Looking around I could see this moment ticking away in the crowd of people gathered in the grass around me. Were we really about to see the internationally renowned headliner to temples of Angkor?
The morning began cold and early that day. Despite the 40°C heat of the days previous, I was up and shivering at 4.30am with a fully charged camera in hand, waiting in the dark lobby of my hostel in Siem reap to be collected by my tuk tuk driver (NB. I paid a little extra to put him through the torture of the early morning start).
As the drive began I started to wonder if I was trembling from cold or from the nervous excitement at what I was about to witness. Checking my pockets a third time ticket, camera, wallet. Am I ready?
Within a few minutes I was approaching the gates to Angkor and saw the crowd of fellow witnesses appearing in the glow of a few greatly appreciated coffee trucks. Blankets, coffees, cameras, families, children, travelers, friends all migrated like a moth to flame down the stone path towards a dark silhouette forming in the sky ahead.
Nestled together in the grass near the foot of this magical wonder, it felt like the clocks ticked slower. Slowly the sun was rising as jaws were quickly dropping
First the peaks of the temple became clear against a yellowing glow and I could feel my breath slowing. The eloquence of the architecture that followed grew exponentially. Second by second. Piece by piece. It was magic being wielded before my eyes. When was the last time you felt a sense of total euphoria?
Have you ever been so deep in awe that a simple breeze could blow away all your thoughts? There is honestly no way to explain the aura of spirituality radiating from this monument until you experience it for yourself. It felt like there was something more in the air with every breath you took in something higher and expelled any negative energy.
There's a reason it's in your guidebook. There's a reason it’s a wonder of the world. This is one of the most powerful experiences I've had to date. Soon the gates opened and people floated in slowly, unsure whether to keep bathing in the radiance or move inside and discover if it could possibly be any more than this.
Crouched in a small cavern just inside the temple, I sat and began to meditate in front of a Buddha shrine. Still driftingon the atmosphere I barely noticed as an older monk appeared beside me. He handed me incense which we lit together as I let the moment wash over me.
Within moments I received the first blessing of the day at Angkor Wat and that is a memory I will hold dear to my soul til the day my mind is no longer agile. Don't hesitate to climb higher or strive for more. The world will show you as much as you let it.
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