places of serenity

If anyone out there is looking for a quiet corner of the world to disappear to for the rest of their lives, I hope you’d consider McLeod Ganj in northern India as a potential destination. Situated on a mountain ridge in the Dhauladhar mountains, there are spectacular views in every direction. And while most of India is suffering through the hottest season of the year, it actually gets cold here at night.

Being the home of the Dalai Lama in exile also tends to draw a more entertaining crowd than the standard tourist riffraff. Aside from the local Indians and the Tibetans, people from all over the world come here to study Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and languages. I might write the town off as a trendy new age retreat—except that there are so many earnest, optimistic individuals here, zealously seeking to better themselves and the world … and suddenly you find yourself wanting to be a part of it somehow.

I’m only here for a couple of days this time around, though, helping to get a few of the students settled for a couple months of research here. I truly wish I was staying here, too. But I’m making good use of the time—eating vegetarian momos, listening to random flute music from neighboring rooftops, and generally contemplating the places of serenity we human beings manage to create from time to time.

But of course we don’t create such places. I am grateful, then, that God’s Spirit has a hand in this very unique, very rich community of cultures.

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