The Elephant Cloud


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Prayer Wheels

May 15th, 2008 by · No Comments · Asia, Nepal

I first intended to go to India a few years ago, but instead fell hard for a remarkable woman and cut my trip short. But it wasn’t meant to be and two strong personalitie soon found themselves frustrating one another. One year later I was again dreaming of India.

In the Khumbu Himalaya of Nepal, prayer flags, prayer wheels, and mani walls line the paths I trek. As is the Buddhist custom, they are always passed on the left and as I encounter the wheels, I give them a spin, and for each one think of a loved one, past or present, in the winds of the Himalaya.
In Tengboche, I visit a monastery and spend an afternoon in the cold room at twelve thousand feet, open doors, monks bowed and chanting, accompanied by occasional music. I watch from the dark as streams of light silhouette the rhythmically gyrating saffron robes and the air is thick with incense and frosted breath.
It is peaceful, the chanting, and I close my eyes, sitting cross-legged on the carpets in the corner and wish I could lie down and fall asleep here; for it to never stop.
Today, as is her wish, and for reasons I’ll never understand, our relationship is estranged. But after another morning in the monastery, I leave, breathe the cold mountain air, and return to spinning the prayer wheels, wishing peace for her and all.

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