The majority of the group has spent the last two days hiking to and from Dodital, a sacred lake nestled 10,000 feet in the Himalayas.

More extensive posts from individual students will follow, but here are some short thoughts from the students on the way up and as we were preparing to depart.

On the way up:

“So…this is India, too…lots of hiking lots of walking…lots of pretty views” -Cooper

“Never give up on your dreams. Why do I smell chai?” -Ward

“I’m trying not to think…just trying to keep going.” -Nicole

“I’m living!” -Moseley

“I could crush so many Maggie noodles right now.” -Andrew

“I’m thinking about taking a nap on top of a huge boulder. Covered in green moss and withered with black scars.” -Moseley

“Walking through here reminds me of all the books I read as a kid, with the forest all around me.” -Andrew

“This is how I always imagined a forest would look like.” -Jackson

As we prepared to leave:

“It was smaller than I expected but I think that was my American mindset – that it has to be huge and vast for it to be of quality. But the more I sat at the temple and looked around, I realize it’s not about the size or the elevation or how hard it is to get here, but it’s about the spiritual connectivity in this place instead.” -Jackson

“It is peaceful. I would stay here for a long time if I could. I like all the little things – the mice, the sign markers, the strawberries…all the things you don’t see until you get close.” -Will

“When I was coming here I thought it would be a weird magical huge crater with a bunch of water in it. And then I got here and it looked like a pretty normal lake. But I’m glad it’s normal though, because it reminds you that none of this is mythical myth stuff. It’s actually pretty real.” -Lucas

“I feel like it relates to all of the senses, which is my topic as leader of the day. Yesterday, when I got here, something told me to follow the bells. The priest invited us in and all the bells started to ring in my head – following the rhythm of the bells and the singing, and moving the fire around. I felt intrigued by the fire, and found myself analyzing their motions…they would make a circle, to the right, to the left, to the right, to the left. We were close to the gods. And when he touched my forehead, I felt the energy coming into my body – and being given something to eat reminded me of my family and of giving and feeling comfortable. It was an amazing experience.” -Nicole

“It felt like a bridge into the spiritual world. It’s like if you could go to Mount Olympus, or the Garden of Eden. It was incredibly special.” -Seaborn

“I was really just up there thinking about how privileged I am to be there and how I shouldn’t dance around the experience but instead should force myself to appreciate it. Listening to the priest, I realized that without the religious side of things, lots of societies wouldn’t have been built.” -Ward

Finally, as we prepared for quiet reflection on our hike down the mountain, Mr. Pausic read us the following quote from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, a book he is reading by Friedrich Nietzsche – “No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago he passed this way. Zarathustra he was called, but he has changed. At that time you carried your ashes to the mountains; would you now carry your fire to the valleys? Do you not fear to be punished as an arsonist?”

3 responses to “Hiking to Dodital”

  1. Mr Cola Avatar
    Mr Cola

    Thanks, really beautiful. Many new quotes to be entered into our school’s immersion trip passports for different degrees of inspiration and focus!

    Wendell Berry is smiling

  2. jbyersccs Avatar

    Dodital and beyond. Taking you more places than you can imagine, right? Very good writing and thinking. May the bells continue to signal new discoveries.

  3. Mollie Brumfield Avatar

    I felt stunned and overwhelmed by each of your insights from Dodital. I am not surprised that this holy lake washed over you, but amazed that it did in so many powerful ways!

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