Dharamsala, India:
spiritual experiences in Dharamsala,
home of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan refugees.
   
     The following excerpt is from
ROOTS AND WINGS: adventures of a spirit on earth, by Jack Haas, "The Kerouac of the new millennium." (FW)
    I was in Dharamsala, India. I had come to the land of exiled Tibetans, and was living there for a month, reading, writing, drinking chai, and watching the dance of lightning play over the Dalai Lama's residence one evening in the middle of a week-long gathering of monks from all over the world. I expect the molecular conglomeration from their collective souls must have grounded the spirit in such a way that the electric ether could not help but strike that lightning rod of their united beings in a continuous display this one evening, for the display occurred nowhere in the valley except right above the monastery.
     Though it was not that holy gathering, but instead another collection of individuals which, to a much greater extent, sparked my own passion and interest that week- another conglomeration of living human electrons that would end up providing some of my thoughts on the molecular workings of the spirit which I have just attempted to describe.
     I had moved into a bed-bug-ridden hotel, built hanging on a steep ridge on the outskirts of the town, and overlooking the splendid Himalayan valley. What struck me almost the instant I arrived at the hotel was how many of the residents seemed to know each other, and not just like travelers tend to know each other- for a night of impromptu revelry and balderdash, the morning after which a quick goodbye is said and then onto the next meeting somewhere else, with someone else- but in a real, heart-felt, familiar way.
     Later that evening a fair number of these folks had gathered into the room beside mine, and I was serendipitously invited to join what would become one of the most memorable evenings of music, mayhem, and union I had ever been privileged to witness.
     The air was filled that night for hours on end with song and harmony, as this group of rag-tag musicians masterfully jammed a holy litany of ballads, folk tunes, self-written songs, and spontaneous outbursts, as if they had been playing together for years, and had seemingly known each other for their entire lives. Either that, I thought, or they belonged to a commune of some sort, here in the valley. I could not see it any other way, for their music and souls melded and blended together in a union of love, talent, and siblinghood to such an overwhelming degree that, for the first time in my lone and wayward life, I wanted …to belong. It was that magical of a gathering. I was certain that these truly authentic and marvelous characters were members of one type of spiritual organization or another- be it a Buddhist monastery, Hindu ashram, Christian church, or some other esoteric organization- though at that point it did not much matter to me for I was inspired and uplifted in their communal company, and knew very clearly, for the first time in my life, that whatever community of likeminded souls these people belonged to, I was going to join them …the next day. That was how powerful was the gathering of freedom, unity, care, and carelessness that evening.
     Late into the twilight hours the assembly dispersed, and I went to my room, lay down, fell asleep, and dreamed a dream in which I was told that the folks with whom I had just spent the night, and with whom I had fallen into awe and adoration towards, and was ready the next morning to beg entrance into their tribe- these folks had been gathered together to heal each other. And this had all been orchestrated sublimely, by that carbon molecule of the invisible realm, the spirit. I was impressed, to say the least. And, more importantly, I did not have to enter their cloister, because …I already belonged. Not to this insular group, mind you. No, I was not a part of their molecule. I was a renegade atom, belonging to no specific molecule itself, but being received by all, joining all, and then leaving all. But now this did not matter, for I was a roaming piece of the cosmic whole, flung into the implausible bedlam of a limitless periodic table, created by an intelligence so powerful, so far beyond and ahead of our limited conception, so grand and generous and conscious of each little lost atom, and capable of pulling together fragments from the furthest reaches of the globe, subtly congealing a marvelous molecule in a flee-bitten, filthy, traveler's hotel, and turning it into the House of God for a night, and willing the souls of all invited to grow in the sublime passion of the invisible world, that I bow down in my station, in my abilities, in my cares and concerns, for the Creator's glue runs into and through myself and all things, and the river collects its tributaries, and through the rapids, waves, and falls, we are all taken to the infinite sea. ...



Jack Haas is a wilderness explorer, world traveler, and independent researcher and writer. He is the author of four highly acclaimed books:
THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, ROOTS AND WINGS: adventures of a spirit on earth, THE DREAM OF BEING: aphorisms, ideograms, and aislings, and IN, AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey.
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