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Nothing is something worth doing.
The cool morning light breaks the horizon and beams through the window as the first gong is sounded. Pitter-patter of small feet is all around as the macaques make their way into the grounds, winding up through the balconies to join us(/rob us). We rise and make our way to the courtyard, up the stairs to the temple, hulking statues of snow lions on either side. I reach the main doors and push through. Strong, smoky incense dominates the air and bright colours blaze into view all around; ancient stories transcribed all over every wall and great banners swing gently from the high roof. I sit opposite an enormous, looming golden sculpture, watching down kindly upon us and close my eyes.
The room immediately takes on a different form, a soft rustling all around and clanking as the massive instruments are brought in and moved into position somewhere up ahead. Bells chime lightly as they sift across the room. I calm my breathing and begin to count, preparing for what is to come. Several more minutes pass, a gentle shuffling and clinking, before sound dies down. All have arrived.
With a deep, whirring bellow, the horns begin to howl, blasting through the still air. They are soon joined by the wailing of trumpets, pulsating with echoes of the past. Hand drums begin to clatter from every angle and bells sing out loud; hair stands on end as crashing symbols are added to the ensemble. The sound rises, more, more and more, reaching higher levels of intensity. Sound breaks through me like the waves on a beach, smashing into every part of me. The sound increases further, deep emotion wells up uncontrollably and radiates outwards. The intensity reaches unbearable levels, louder and louder, around and around.
And then suddenly, it is over, there is nothingness, save an unfolding lotus, bathed in a spectrum of light.
This piece is about a the state of emptiness and paradoxical feeling of oneness, observed in meditation. If only it were not so brief.