I Didn’t Expect to Love India

Walking through the ashram where the Beatles learned Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi, I fought back tears. My eyes filled, and I swallowed, breathing deeply from the intensity of it all.

The tall trees and wildflowers. The buildings fallen into disrepair from a decade and a half of unuse were so beautiful, so incredibly beautiful. Even the graffiti was lovely, positively artistic.

In the yoga room, the paintings of the Beatles were as if they were standing in front of me. The meditation room, where the Maharishi led people into the cool stone caves for connection with the divine, stillness prevailed, only the sound of the leaves in the wind and the Ganges River down the cliffside so far away, as if it were right beside us.

The height of emotions overtook me. Her arm around me in reassurance, Katherine said, “I couldn’t explain to people this trip.”

It’s true. She’s raved about India and its spirituality for years, but when we are in America, in our routines and our jobs, in the busy-ness of our schedules, we cannot even imagine being in a place where spirituality reigns the day.

I didn’t expect to love India. I thought I would accept this gift of a trip and do my work blogging and taking pictures and check this experience off my list. I thought India would be something to endure, to get through, and to never look back once I left.

But I’ll admit it when I’m wrong. 100%.

The power of this trip is immeasurable, and as a writer I can honestly say, inexplicable.

The immenseness of the emotions, of the happiness, of the energy, of the vibrations, of the friendliness of literally all the people around me, the beauty of it all, even the beauty in the filth, in this very different way of life.

Walking down the street in Rishikesh, you greet others – even the beggars, even the children, even the holy people – with hands pressed together in prayer and a nod of humility and reverence in the other person’s direction. And, always, a smile.

I feel so good here, so incredibly good. Katherine said so many times, “India changes you.”

Back home I thought, “yeah right.”

Now I know. Now, I know.

Life is so much more worth living once you step into the spiritual realm and change your perspective from one of I-want-I-need-I-worry-I-cling to one of I-love-all-all-is-good.

Now, I really know. And I am going to miss India so very much.

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