Why I Climb High Mountains…..

Many years ago, I attended a workshop given by a Tibetan Buddhist Lama, named Lama Ole’.
He is a Danish man who became a Tibetan Karampa many years before.

We all crowded around him, hoping to hear about Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, from a man who could translate those sacred teaching into English for us.

We were all Truth seekers, some of us with many years of Spiritual studies, some were novices.

At one point we asked many questions.
One man spoke about the fact that he knows theoretically so many things… The transformative power of meditation, the illusion or appearances, the world of dreams, the fact that there is no death, the cycle of birth death and reincarnation, and about our divine Nature and Enlightenment…. Yet…. None of this theoretical knowledge translated to a transformation in his life…

Where was the disconnect?……He wondered… And how can he make all the loose ends connect?

I knew exactly what this man was speaking off…
I also felt at that time, very much the same, and I have met people who theoretically knew SO MUCH…. Who spoke so eloquently about the Truth, yet could not manifest any of it in their lives.

People speak so easily about Truth principles and about God, but so few demonstrate it in their lives…. So few live lives that are not encumbered by their fears and perceived limitations…. So few are really happy, successful and fulfilled…

The answer that Lama Ole’ gave, was NOT what this man expected….
But it was the answer that I NEEDED to hear….because I happened to be there on that day, and because it stuck in my memory for twenty-five years later, and it helped me stir my spiritual life in the right direction….

Lama Ole’ said: “Go jump out of a plane, or climb an impossible mountain!”

The man said: “What?!”

Lama Ole’ said: “If you do not like skydiving, at least go and bungee jump.”

The man said that he does not understand how it was going to help him unite his spiritual knowledge with his practical daily life…

Lama Ole’ tried to explain that ONLY when you dare to face your physical fears and start to explore and understand what the physical body is, and what the material world is composed of, could you fully grasp all the theoretical knowledge that is locked in your intellectual mind.

In other words…. You have to bring down the theoretical knowledge from the intellect-mind-realm, into the physical world.

I did not have a hard time understanding what Lama Ole’ was speaking about.
I KNEW he was right…

I knew people who thought of themselves as such friendly and peace-loving people, yet they constantly fought and quarreled with others, and every experience in their life, mirrored their aggression and NOT what they thought themselves to be…

I knew people who thought of themselves as very spiritually advanced, yet they could not manifest any of the things they wished for in their lives…

I knew people who LOVED to talk and attempted to comprehend philosophy, who became helpless and even selfish and idiotic, in real life dangerous or stressful situations, forgetting that those were the BEST times in life to demonstrate and to apply all your spiritual knowledge and tools…

My first bungee jump after that seminar, felt as if I were jumping to my death.
My heart actually felt as if it were leaping out of my chest from terror… It was a very physical sensation of fear.

I felt rejuvenated after the jump, and I NEVER again felt the same level of physical fear that I felt that day.

Climbing up a hard mountains, is a Spiritual practice.

Maybe this is why most of the people we’ve encountered while mountain climbing and hiking in Hokkaido Japan, were in their late sixties and mid seventies….. It is a journey wasted on the young…

Beside being outdoors and surrounded with stunning Nature, mountain hiking is a spiritual pilgrimage… A journey to unite the physical with the mental and the spiritual.

I had moments of exhilaration, of triumphant joy, of peace, of bliss…. As well as moments of fear, of despair, of wanting to give up….

But I knew that nobody will come to rescue me on top of the mountain, and that I simply HAD TO find the strength within myself, to keep on going…

I also reminded myself that when I felt that I could not take one more step…..
When I believed that I will not make it…. those were the times to ask for help and for guidance and to learn to manage my breathing, my emotions, my body and my mind…

I knew that with the right spiritual mind-set, I could do everything, and that I am NOT BOUND by my perceived physical limitations.

I could learn to adjust my body’s temperature to fit anything from extreme heat to extreme cold and snow…
I knew that discomfort, is mostly in the mind…

I knew that I could learn to make my body “Light” so it will move though space with less exertion and energy, and will be effortless to carry, if I’ll remember that it is my MIND and NOT my body who is in control.

I knew that the mountain, no matter how tall it was, was just there… But that the struggle and the REAL mountain I was climbing, was within myself…

I was learning to bring the spiritual into the physical, and to unite the realms.

The glory of the scenery, the scent of Nature, the sounds around me, were purely for entertainment reasons…. It was AN INNER JOURNEY I was walking….

So now I look forwards to climbing volcanos and hard Mountains.
It is my Spiritual practice…. My journey to meet the God within me…

Some people put on a nice hat and their best clothing, and hope to find God in churches and temples…. I climb some impossible mountains.

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