By Erik DeMario

India inspires births in people. We were told about the experience; we were taught the experience, but only through the experience itself can we truly grasp a broadened perspective on life. It feels distant to be in a place where there is no such thing as a bad view. The tall, snow capped mountains of the Himalayas could never be hidden from the people of Agora. The undeniably strong current and bitterly cold temperature of the Ganges River was also undeniably holy. It empowers me just as it inspires the mute baba by the river to take a vow of twelve years of silence. 

Rishikesh, the capital of yoga, served as an inspiration to find peace within myself. The city is chaos; silence is nonexistent. Children begged for money, the streets were covered in dirt, and skilled drivers honked at any minor disturbance. Yet, somehow, residents of Rishikesh tune out the chaos and participate in the peaceful practice of yoga. Never have I been on such journeys where it was easy to disregard physical pain from a gruesome trail and instead focus all senses on the many beauties of the surrounding geography and culture. 

Amongst the unfathomable beauties found in India, the sense of solitude from the Himalayas stands out to me the most. It allows time for meditation and the gradual recognition that we are experiencing something that is bigger than ourselves. This inspiration confirms a belief that we are spiritual beings living in a physical world. Despite the filthiness of the cities and the lack of modern technology, the people of Rishikesh and Agora never fail to stay in a positive mindset. Never again will I let emotions rise over my intellect. Worldly experiences create a birth of awe, a birth of spiritual revitalization, and an abundance of countless births that change perspectives. 

6 responses to “Births”

  1. Dave's Mom Avatar
    Dave’s Mom

    Erik – From your beautifully written post, it seems to me you have experienced a true epiphany! How blessed you are to have this special time so early in your life. May you always be mindful of what you’ve learned as you journey through your future and make your mark on the world.

  2. jbyersccs Avatar

    Good thoughts, Erik. The experience does stay with you long afterwards. Those of us lucky enough to make that trip are obligated to figure out how to use our new understandings in our daily lives; that’s a big challenge.

  3. Art DeMario Avatar
    Art DeMario

    I can’t even express just how proud I am of you, Erik. There’s no question, not a book, not a talk or a thought, based on any limited information, that can replace true life experience. You have something significant to share. I am so glad you’ve had this time away from anything familiar. Time to think without common distraction. You will remember these days and things you’ve witnessed for many years to come. Looking forward to hearing more.
    Love, Dad

  4. Lauren Little Avatar
    Lauren Little

    Beautifully expressed Erik. Sounds like the Himalayas have done their magic with you. Perhaps they represent the depth, breadth, height, might, and majesty of infinite Love or Spirit filling all space?

  5. pkempe Avatar

    “This inspiration confirms a belief that we are spiritual beings living in a physical world.”

    —a keen insight, Erik, but one easy to forget in the everyday life we live full to the brim with so many demands that fight against the spiritual. Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

  6. ccstravelblog Avatar

    Wow, Erik, what insight for such a young age! I’m so proud of you! You have now learned and developed the often rare skill of finding peace within yourself; no matter what happens on the outside, you now know that you can always go to that place, within yourself, of peace and joy, and reconnect to your Source. So beautifully and movingly written, Erik. I’m so proud of you. I love you. Mom

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