The early morning haze drifted over the prayer flags, blurring the farther ones’ details until I could no longer make out their images. The earlly morning sun cut through the haze. The sun seemed content to leave the rest of the city hazy, while lighting the central tower’s golden structure, glistening in the sunlight.
I quietly stood and made my way to the outskirts of the temple area. I’d been still for nearly a day, meditating all through the night and into the morning. Tomorrow was the holiest day of the year, a religious festival, and I wanted to be adequately prepared.
I had once traveled from my homeland to visit this place, with my family, but I was too young to fully understand the importance of the event. Now, I am older, and more mature, and have developed better self-discipline. Now, I can empty myself. I can be one with everything, for longer and longer periods of time. I am not so distracted as I once was.
My family is proud of my progress. I am not a male, but I am the oldest, and I do want to be an example for my younger siblings, even though I am grown and away from my family for most of the year.
I went about my morning, purchasing a small meal and a drink from a street vendor, and sat outside the temple area to enjoy it. It was interesting, I mused, how quickly time has flown by. How different it seems, to be grown up. I am different, but in so many ways, I am the same young girl I used to be.
As I sat in the courtyard, my mind drifted. I wondered how much longer it would take me to reach Nirvana. A few months? A few years? A few decades? With such vain thoughts, I knew it must still be a long way off, but I couldn’t help but imagine.
What would it be like, to be one with everything? To lose myself in the grand universe? Would I miss being an individual?
I shook the mutinous thought out of my head as fast as it would go. Of course not. I would never miss being an individual. Individuality is what keeps us unhappy, trapped by our own selfish desires… the Western countries had proven that well enough.
All these thoughts turned my stomach sour, and I hurriedly finished off the last bits of my meal. Idle thoughts led nowhere. I knew it from the start. It was time to return to my meditation, for the rest of the day, and the whole night too, if that’s what it took.
One day at a time, I decided. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but some day soon, I knew I would get it right, and then I would be free.
Source: This blog series is inspired by the book “Earth from Above: 365 Days” by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Click here to read more about my Creation365 series.
The top picture is from “Nepal. Kathmandu. The Stupa at Bodnath, a Buddhist sanctuary.”
Arthus-Bertrand, Yann, Isabelle Delannoy, and Christian Balmes. 2005. The Earth from above: 365 days. New York: Harry N. Abrams.