I noticed that there are few things as beautiful as someone sitting in meditation. It’s like an aura of serenity encapsulates their body, pouring from their pores and emanating off of them like steam. In the meditation hall where men and women were separated, I sat surrounded by the energy of femininity. It was strikingly beautiful to me how without saying any words, or exchanging any eye contact or other gestures, you begin to form a relationship with those around you. I began to feel a sort of sacred kinship with the women, feeling inspired by their stoic postures and continuity of practice. When in my weak moments I started to tremble, I gathered strength to ground down so that they might call on my own stability. Taken by the unending energetic exchange — the relationship with everything around, I allowed each breath to take me deeper into that communion. With the inhale I took in new prana, new energy from the surrounding environment, while with the exhale I released what I could no longer make use of. In this way I began to respect the necessity of pure thoughts and intentions as my old prana rode the wave of the out breath beyond the confines of my body. I felt the importance of awareness in how I was interacting with my surroundings. I felt it, often, in the forest where that connection seemed so tactile as though there were no boundaries between my body and the trees. It’s a surreal kind of beauty that’s often missed in our daily interactions. The sublime connection undisturbed by our individual colourings that prevent us from seeing what truly is. I developed deep gratitude for the earth and how she holds such immense energy. I regularly found myself in the forest amidst the trees offering the energy I could no longer carry so that it may better be used. The earth always accepts whole-heartedly and transforms with great wisdom the energy we can no longer make use of. I was so aware of this synergy and balance. I saw it out in that forest, and mirrored in the serene faces of the other students in the meditation hall. Even throughout the wax and wane of our individual experiences there remained a deep sense of peace and calm that pervaded that space. The intimacy of all creation is so clear and obvious there, and you just start to remember what it’s like to bear witness to that connection. In that peace there is profound beauty and joy.