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Light in the Mountains -- Namaste, Rakshi, and Electricity in a Himalayan Village (Memoirs of a Thoughtful Travleler Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Jeff Rasley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This is a memoir about personal development and the creation of a nonprofit foundation doing culturally sensitive development work with a remote village in the Nepal Himalayas. At his wife's behest, Jeff Rasley first trekked the Himalayas to resolve a mid life crisis. His travels around Nepal eventually connected him with a remote village in eastern Nepal called Basa.

What is real community? In Light in the Mountains Rasley relates what he discovered in the unique and ancient communal practices of the Rai people in Basa Village. Rasley was welcomed into the community, not as stranger or even guest, but as "Dhai"-- brother. The villagers taught Rasley the true meaning of communal hospitality. Rasley has returned each year with other friends to Basa. They created a foundation which has helped to build an elementary school, a hydroelectric system, smokeless stoves, and a water system. But Rasley affirms that he and his friends have received more from Basa than they have given.

Reviewers have praised Bringing Progress to Paradise, the prequel to Light in the Mountains, as a more honest Three Cups of Tea. It is "Part memoir, part travelogue, part documentary, this true adventure captures your interest in the opening pages and leaves you yearning for your own personal pilgrimage through the remote villages of Nepal." Cherri Megasko

Light in the Mountains is a call to those living in urban North America and Europe to regain the connectedness of community. The wisdom offered to "us" by Basa Village is to work hard but sing, dance, cultivate flowers, and enjoy life in community.

Readers of Bringing Progress to Paradise wanted to learn the rest of the story:
"But the central issue ... demanding a sequel, is the question of whether the 'Progress' he is bringing, while admittedly of material value to the villagers, might lead to some degree of corruption of their way of life, a consumerist, Western-oriented degradation of a spiritual depth and sensitivity to their surroundings... I can hardly wait for the necessary follow-up in the next book of the series." John McLaughlin, Ph.D.

"The reader is taken on a fascinating journey to explore, compare and contrast, as well as debate how the meeting of the East and West has altered the landscape and lives of people in this remote part of the globe." Erika Borsos

"If I could picture a time pre-written word and be sitting around a campfire with the people of my community listening to the old story teller sharing stories of the quests of our people, I could picture Mr. Rasley being that story teller." DJ Sauer

If you liked Seven Years in Tibet, read Light in the Mountains to find out whether "progress" has damaged the village called a beautiful little flower in the mountains.

Other books by Jeff Rasley -
For the beginning of the story of Basa Village, read Bringing Progress to Paradise.
To understand where 3 Cups of Tea went wrong, read India - Nepal Himalayas in the Moment.
Want to get out of the snow and mountains and onto sandy beaches and swaying palms, check out the lyrical Islands in my Dreams, a Memoir.
For a change of pace curl up with False Prophet, a Legal Thriller, romantic mystery and inspirational tale based on a legal case Rasley handled in his Indianapolis law practice.
If you enjoy sports action, history, humor, and romance, relive the cultural revolution of the 60s, check out MONSTERS OF THE MIDWAY The Death, Resurrection, and Redemption of Chicago Football.
Pilgrimage: Sturgis to Wounded Knee and Back Home, a Memoir begins with a motorcycle road trip to the Bacchanalia of Sturgis Bike Week but takes
a detour to the site of the massacre of Wounded knee and then across the Pacific to the Himalayas and back home to Indiana.

Editorial Reviews


"For author Jeff Rasley, the heart of the matter in his new book ... is clearly the two sides to progress.  The book is actually two separate yet inseparable stories. One sensitively captures Mr. Rasley's love affair with the magnificent beauty and magnetism of Mt. Everest and the mountainous region of Nepal, and with the physical, mental and spiritual challenges and rewards of mountain climbing and trekking. The other more compelling story, for most readers, is Rasley's warm, admiring portrait of Nepal's intriguing Sherpa and Rai peoples and their cultures." -Reader Views

"This book reminds me of Three Cups of Tea in that Rasley went to Nepal, saw the needs of the tiny village in the Himalayas, which had no running water and no electricity and badly needed teachers and a school, returned home and made it happen." Bonnie Neely, Real Travel Adventures International Magazine

From the Author

Affluent kids at a wealthy suburban high school, after viewing a slideshow about Basa village, asked me, "Why do the Basa kids seem so much happier than we are.  We have so much and they have so little.  Yet, they are happy and we are stressed and anxious." 

In Light in the Mountains I compare and contrast the culture of those American adolescents with the children of Basa.  In doing so I reveal what I have learned about the communal bonds of Basa village and why it is such a happy place.

A Pinterest photo album related to Light in the Mountains may be found on Jeff Rasley's boards.
Peruse and enjoy the photos.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3888 KB
  • Print Length: 207 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Midsummer Books (January 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0070OCIKY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,602 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to handle a midlife crisis--- January 21, 2014
By R. Todd
Format:Kindle Edition
Impressed by how open Rasley is with his inner thoughts and feelings. Most people have great difficulty in putting themselves out there for everyone to see at such a level. Interesting story on how author handled mid life crisis by becoming involved with remote village in Nepal and his efforts to help them without destroying their way of life. I also found his path to becoming a Quaker very interesting. I hope anybody who's going through that midlife crisis will read this book and find a productive outlet for their crisis. Much better to help others than to buy a red sports car and find a trophy girlfriend. I've recommended this book to several business associates who have reached the "want to give back to the community" place in their lives. Very inspirational reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing November 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I must say this is not something I would normally read. But I'm glad I did.

It was surprisingly refreshing to read about Basa and it's people. I have not traveled far from home but the Author in this story has traveled and get to know the hospitality of these people.

I hope that transportation for school supplies will be easier for them in the foreseen future..

Great Writing!!
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More About the Author

Jeff Rasley is the author of seven books and has published numerous articles in academic and mainstream periodicals, including Newsweek, Chicago Magazine, ABA Journal, Family Law Review, American Athenaeum, Pacific Magazine, Indy's Child, The Journal of Communal Societies, The Chrysalis Reader, Faith & Fitness Magazine, Friends Journal, and Real Travel Adventures International Magazine. He is an award-winning photographer and his pictures taken in the Himalayas and Caribbean and Pacific islands have been published in several journals. He has appeared as an expert guest on over forty radio programs.

Rasley has engaged in social activism and philanthropic efforts from an early age. In high school he co-founded the Goshen Walk for Hunger. In law school he was an advocate for renters' rights as the leader of the first rent strike in Indiana, and he served as a lobbyist and president of the Indianapolis Tenants Association. As an attorney for Legal Services organization he was lead counsel on two class action suits on behalf of prisoners which resulted in judgments requiring the construction of two new jails in Central Indiana. Jeff was the lead plaintiff in a class action requiring the clean-up of the White River after it was polluted by an industrial chemical spill. Jeff is the founder and president of the Basa Village Foundation USA, which raises money for culturally sensitive development work in the Basa area of Nepal. He currently serves as an officer or director for five nonprofit corporations.

Jeff recently ended his practice of law as senior partner of Rasley & Wood, P.A. He is a partner in the e-book publishing enterprise Midsummer Books and provides writer coaching services. He is U.S. liaison for the Nepal-based Himalayan expedition company, Adventure GeoTreks Ltd. He has taught classes for IUPUI Continuing Ed. Program, Indiana Writers Center, and Marian University. He currently teaches philosophy of philanthropy at Butler University.

Jeff is a graduate of the University of Chicago, A.B. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, All-Academic All-State Football Team and letter winner in swimming and football; Indiana University School of Law, J.D. cum laude, Moot Court and Indiana Law Review; Christian Theological Seminary, M.Div. magna cum laude, co-valedictorian and Faculty Award Scholar. He has been admitted to the Indiana, U.S. District Court, and U.S. Supreme Court Bars.

For chairing the Indiana-Tennessee Civic Memorial Commission Rasley and the Commission received Proclamations of Salutation from the Governors of Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania and he was made an honorary Lieutenant Colonel Aide-de-Camp of the Alabama State Militia, a Kentucky Colonel and honorary Citizen of Tennessee. He was given a Key to the City of Indianapolis for serving as an intern to Mayor Hudnut and preparing a report on the safety conditions of all Indy Parks. Rasley has received the Man of the Year award from the Arthur Jordan YMCA and the Alumni Service Award from the University of Chicago Alumni Board of Governors.

Jeff is an avid outdoorsman and recreational athlete. He leads trekking-mountaineering expeditions in Nepal and has solo-kayaked around several Pacific island groups. He also loves to read and considers completing Marcel Proust's 3600 page Remembrance of Things Past as great an adventure as climbing Himalayan peaks and solo-kayaking Pacific islands.


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