After sitting in sweat lodges, sniffing herbs, drinking cleansers, and bending my back into a pretzel, and writing sheet after sheet of notes in lectures I truly found a great relief in the experiences I had at a personal level on the slopes of Mt Everest, high in the Nepal Himalayas. What a relief to be out of my head.
Not only did I find myself automatically in the moment and out of my head when I had to take responsibility of my physical being, I was also sent back to my heart when my ego began to argue between what I wanted to happen, and what did.
Of course, the mountains are bigger than any man, but our ego still feels empowered to wish for great weather, be angry at circumstances beyond human control and frustrated by the different sense of time one experiences in Nepal.
The mountains answer to no one. And in this alone there is a humbling awakening. I am small and the mountains are big. Yet, I am at home here. I don't feel irrelevant.
With the monks chanting in the background, I share time with Sherpa people, old friends from my many journey's here. I see their long struggle and yet, for the majority, they are the happiest people I know. I decided to work out why, and the answer was, adapt....
Adapt - to adjust oneself to the circumstance. To move with the flow and not against it. Most Sherpa people have seen life and death through a small lens. They've witnessed the high mortality rate of children and they've been out there in the snow rescuing people.
Our senses can only live in the moment. So, the gift of the Himalayas is infinite. It draws you into this moment right now but not only does it drive you home, it drives you there with a sense of joy. The Sherpa people endure the hardships with dignity and self respect. They are the teachers because they have been permanently affected by the beauty of this place.
Over the last 20 years I've taken many people to my paradise in the Himalayas. Some cried with joy, some cried with regret, some loved me for it, some hated me. It is truly a place where the soul and the ego come to do battle. One cannot predict which one will win in each visitor. Some are ready and some are not.
One lady, a real entrepreneur had endured years of sexism in her business life. She couldn't soften her shell even in Nepal, her ego was her protection, she went home mostly the same as she came. A guy from Israel came to a trek and was so determined he found himself led by his own negativity. He'd lived every day as if it were his last, surrendering to the mountain and his soul, here in the mountains, was just not an option. He went away proud but incomplete.
One can never know. A young person of 12 can open their heart and see enlightenment while another devotee and head shaved western wishful, might only see a statue that doesn't speak.
It is a journey for those who are ready, however, the time one usually finds out this ready or not circumstance is when it's too late to turn back. Nature has a way of teaching everybody, something.