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Lions Roar : July 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2008 53 IN THE SPRING OF LAST YEAR I drove through Kabul, Afghanistan, past rows of mortar-scarred buildings, down the Darulaman Road, a former front line in the mujahadeen war, toward the Alluhodin Orphanage. Next to me in the car was the reason for my journey: a young yoga teacher named Molly Howitt. What Molly showed me that day was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in Afghanistan. From the top tier of a bunk bed, in one of the largest and most corrupt government orphanages in Kabul, I saw a scene through the viewfinder of my camera unlike any other in that war-torn country. Below me was a floor covered with bodies. Not dead, or dying, or starving, but perfectly at peace, calm, and present. A dozen young boys between the ages of eight and twelve were lying on their backs, arms at their sides, with palms facing upward. Some were smiling; others just lay still, their minds turned inward. Before that day, through that same viewfinder, I had seen a very different set of images. JULY 52-57.indd 53 JULY 52-57.indd 53 4/25/08 11:41:19 AM 4/25/08 11:41:19 AM