Have you ever lay down on your back and stared at a billion shining stars at night? They either make you feel like a tiny speck on the planet or if you stay there, they all seem to sink in your chest, as if the entire universe lies within you.
This happened to me at Jageshwar in district Almora (Kumaon region) of Uttarakhand. What I thought would be yet another hill station opened my eyes to some amazing lessons.
For starters, there is a certain stillness that greets you everywhere. Later, the same stillness moves something in you.
The absence of the annoying hum marked the stillness …of all kinds of machines running in our lives. This made other things noticeable…. the rustling of the leaves, the gentle wind, the cheerful birds or the gently flowing streams.
I stayed at Van Sarai; the place seems to open the blueprint for experiences at Jageshwar. Thanks to the caring staff and the planned treks and yoga classes, to name a just a few.
The treks took me through thick Deodar forests, abundant in plants and birds. The sheer variety of plants made one wonder if God was crazy. As a creator, he or she clearly did not know where to stop. The birds went about chirping without a care as they fulfilled their responsibility of taking care of their families. We, with our big sized brains, have such a tough time trying to make our living.
A look at the breath-taking mighty Himalayas made one feel like a tiny speck in the entire existence, yet we make a big deal of ourselves and our issues.
As a practicing meditator, I found the temples (124 plus carved in stone) just the right places to close one's eyes and lose oneself to the environment of quiet yet high energy.
Of course, the brightest stars of this trip were the local community. They showed me how simplicity can often be the greatest quality one can possess and that there is so much joy in offering whatever little one has to complete strangers.
I could go on and on about this too good to be an authentic experience. The best thing would be to go there yourself and discover it all for yourself.