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Laya, Bhutan, 12,533 ft.

A current ripples through you and, when you open your eyes, you see Laya. Nestled in the Himalayan heights, it is a small village with practical houses made of wood and stone. Overhead, dark clouds gather ominously. You feel, as much as hear, the low distant rumble of thunder, and lighting sparks across the horizon.

Dawn suggests you take shelter under a nearby tree to begin your meditation. The air around you seems weighed down by the oncoming storm and you notice your breath is short, perhaps affected by the thrill of the elements and the altitude. Your friendly tree seems as thrilled as you are, as its leaves shimmer and turn in anticipation of the rainfall.

Dawn draws the parallel between this storm and the emotional storms you may have experienced in the past or are living through right now. These turbulent moments have a tendency to uproot the connection to self. Under this tree, together, you cultivate awareness that helps you reconnect.

The howling wind and growling thunder begin to close in, the elements unleashed, yet somehow you feel calm, at peace. Like the tree beside you, you are rooted in the knowledge that beyond the clouds the sun shines and that, with patience, you will once again feel its warm rays on your skin.

Your surroundings come into focus; sights, sounds, and feelings are magnified as time seems to slow down.

With gentle strength, you repeat Dawn's words:

May I be happy and healthy.

May I be free from inner and outer danger.

May I be filled with loving-kindness.

May I love and accept myself just as I am.

A light rain soon becomes torrential, and it is clear your friendly tree is beyond its means in protecting you from the wetness. Dawn invites you to follow her to a cave on the outskirts of the village, where you continue your meditation in silence.

Live this experience in the 6th meditation in the Himalayan journey.

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