My Dharamshala experience: Moving through the unknown

Hello dearest reader,

 Thank you for joining me for part 3 of my India story. It took some time for me to ponder on how I was going to continue to write about my experiences, as perspectives are ever shifting. Each time I gain more awareness of my ego and my Self, I can see more of what was playing out in my subconscious throughout my life upon looking back. I am constantly learning so much about myself, as my shadow casts itself into my life from time to time. The way I view my past experiences now is very different than the way I have actually experienced them.


Darkness is merely the absence of light and light is information. I believe fear is fairly always caused by a lack of information so to move through darkness fearlessly requires faith and trust in the unknown.

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In my eyes, the dark night of the Soul begins in the moment that you realize and accept that you are not that which you have been identifying yourself with and you realize that there is something like the Soul and so your identification starts to detach itself from your concept of “me”, the Maya, and slowly starts to wander off into the unknown. From this moment on, you are being confronted with the lies that you had accepted as truth and you start to question everything about yourself and about your life. Thoughts are looked at carefully and suspiciously and feelings arise intensely. A strong intuition is a great asset in navigating through this darkest of nights. ‘Follow your Bliss’ or walking the path of your highest Excitement, the path of least resistance, a philosophy shared by Joseph Campbell and Bashar through Darryl Anka, has been the way I have been guiding myself, looking back, to take the most feasible way.


To follow your Bliss: In any given moment accept your entire reality, allow your feeling and observe your thoughts and the possibilities they are presenting. Choose the one that causes the highest amount of Excitement or the least amount of resistance and act on it to your fullest without holding any expectations until you can take it no more further. Then repeat the process.

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This path had led me straight to Dharamshala, a great place to be initiated into a more Soulful life. Time flows differently in India, for sure. Though more things are happening all around, people are more relaxed, I feel, and take more time to complete their daily tasks. At Omalaya Travel as well, I felt very comfortable and relaxed while working. When the moment came, I was even allowed to choose if I worked at the office that day, or in our house or in some local restaurant with good wifi. The people I was working and living with truly are inspiring, free Spirits and beautiful Souls and have become like family to me. The hospitality of Tashi and his family is truly heartwarming.


To end up in a place like this where was I was free to work at my own pace on different projects while taking online courses in between and surrounded by like-hearted people in a time when I was longing more than ever to be free from lies and imposed obligations, a time when I was realizing infinite possibilities to create and receiving exciting ideas, a time where I was misunderstood and not being heard, a time where I accepted the need for learning and patience. It are things like this that make me genuinely speechless and stunned and bring me into this dreamlike state of ecstasy. The ways of the Universe are beyond the mind and when the mind tries to conceive them, it is gently blown away.


I got the chance to attend different Tibetan Buddhist rituals with Omalaya. Tibetan people are truly the most kind, humble and generous of human beings. I was hopping through it all quite mindlessly and carefree, focused on observing myself, not always receiving the beautiful gifts that I was being offered in the moment. Of course I can choose to receive them now.

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The energies flowing through the streets and buildings of Dharamshala are those of ancient wisdom, suppressed culture, devotion, homesickness, freedom, vacation, running, seeking, spirituality, diversity and community. They offer a safe haven for people that are moving through the unknown from all over the world. This is a place where people meet, books are found, conversations happen and knowledge is shared through carefully orchestrated coincidences. And the profound peace that is radiating from the forest and the mountains is a pearl for the eyes and a kiss for the heart. No wonder I felt like coming home, taken in by embracing, soothing arms.


For 9 months long, I was blessed to be able to call the beautiful village of Dal Lake, in upper Dharamshala, my home. And to be, once again, surrounded with wonderful people that were already experienced in India and helped me, guided me and taught me how to set about this dreaded backpackers life that I had, with the best intentions, pushed myself into. And so it turned out not to be as dreadful as it my seem on first sight, once I had attained the right information through real life, ‘in the field’, experiences.


My first visa was only for 3 months and so after the first 3 months I was set to return to Belgium. Having just tasted this heartwarming piece of awesomeness and freedom, I couldn’t stay in Belgium of course, as everything had stayed just remained as it was before, while I found myself to be in an ever accelerating river gushing change onto my being. And so I got myself a 6 month visa and packed once more my backpack that even wasn’t fully unpacked yet. Set on a journey to discover my Soul and learn how to express my truth in a way that can be understood. And that is exactly what slowly unfolded, because now, 1 year later, I know, in order express my Self in a way that can be understood, I had to overstand my self first.


Much love and enjoy your moment.

Written by Benjamin De Donder

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