“The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Often, when a person settles in a location, one eventually becomes accustomed to his or her surroundings and can easily become complacent. I am grateful to reflect that, after almost three years living in Nepal, I still carry the same sense of awe that I had when I first arrived. On more than one occasion, I have walked down any road in Boudha with a friend or a colleague and wondered how strange and incredible it is that I (or we) landed here. This sense of awe is especially apparent when I walk with somebody who has never seen Boudha or Nepal before, for through fresh eyes can we revitalize our experience of the world.
Life in Nepal provides a number of opportunities for students, but the most promising of those opportunities are the people we meet and the places we go to find inspiration. At RYI, we have a supportive community, and have the opportunity to work closely with our brilliant professors who push us to develop our skills. As a second-year MA student currently working on his thesis, I also have the opportunity to travel to an incredibly beautiful location to further my research and dive into the mighty Himalaya that have inspired so many in the past. As the American transcendentalists have expressed, to view nature with unbridled eyes is a form of worship, and the landscape that one views is the temple. This is certainly true within the Sacred Himalayan Landscape where stupas and gompas scattered throughout the landscape remind us of the spirits who dwell deep within their mountain abodes, or in the streams of fresh glacial water, or in an ancient pipal tree. I am grateful that my work and research takes me to the temple I cherish most. Above pictured is my place of inspiration: the Kyanjin Stupa sits before Langtang Lirung, the mighty Dharma Protector of the Langtang Valley, Rasuwa District, Nepal.
~Andy Hallahan, 2nd year MA-BS student