For millennia, spiritual seekers, Buddhist scholars, and Yogis have been drawn to the mystical Himalayan mountains. The Himalayas is a unique place with raw and powerful energy, breath-taking landscapes and amazing people. If you want to learn the essence of Buddhism, awaken your inner wisdom and experience the taste of real mystery, the Himalayas is the place you want to visit.
The dream destination
Visiting mountains is always an adventure. You have to be ready both physically and psychologically. Oxygen deficiency, unpredictable weather, challenging roads, harsh living conditions — these are just some of the things to keep in mind when you decide to go on your mountain pilgrimage. My Himalayan memories include ice cold showers, my desperate attempts to find some good coffee, mountain sickness and many other things I had to deal with when I was there. Yet, the Himalayas are a true wonder of nature. It is a place of incredible dream-like beauty and magnificent panoramas. I have visited many different parts of Indian Himalayas and the experience was always profound, cathartic and life-changing. I met amazing locals, learned from inspiring teachers, and became friends with wonderful pilgrims who were seeking awakening and wisdom on the sacred land.
Studying Buddhist philosophy and meditation in the Himalayas is obviously a completely different experience than when you study in the West. Even Himalayan air is full of history, wisdom, depth, and mystery, and you learn so much just from breathing it. The wisdom you receive on the sacred land is not intellectual, but intuitive. It is a heart wisdom. It is wisdom that awakens your heart to unbounded compassion, loving-kindness, gratitude, generosity, infinite joy and freedom. It also awakens your courage, confidence and…faith.
The essence of faith
In the Himalayas, you learn the essence of faith. On my pilgrimage I learnt that true faith is different from religious dogmas and spiritual texts. It goes beyond an unshakable set of beliefs and convictions. Faith is a capacity of an awakened heart to stay true to kindness and compassion whatever the context. It is the sacred space between inhales and exhales – stillness and infinity. It is the voice of your soul that tells you to relax when things go wrong, to forgive yourself when you make mistakes, and continue to love even when it seems impossible.
Faith for Buddhists is not believing in God and following his orders. It is not a set of rituals performed to please someone or gain something. For a Buddhist practitioner, faith is a string that connects your heart to your own Buddha Nature — your inherited capacity to be kind, compassionate and forgiving. It allows you to maintain a balanced state of heart-mind in all situations, and never lose the oceanic, or cosmic perspective on life. Faith is liberation from your own misconceptions, delusions, attachments and cravings. With true faith, we perform rituals and practice spirituality but never get fanatic about them. We love and live fully, having desires and dreams, but never become their slaves.
With faith we remember, that we live and practice for a higher purpose, which is compassion, joy, and happiness. We also learn how to be patient with ourselves, as humans are a part of nature, and all changes in nature come slowly and gradually. Life and nature always evolve slowly. Whatever comes too fast is usually traumatic and disastrous, like a tsunami or an earthquake. Faith helps us create enough space for change and let it happen organically, without pushing too hard.
My Himalayan pilgrimages changed my life. They planted seeds of awakening in my heart. I cannot wait to come back and learn more. Come with me! Join our Immersive Meditation Retreat 13-23.2020 in a Buddhist monastery in Indian Himalayas (Ladakh) and learn the essence of Tibetan Buddhist teachings, get certified in Metta Meditation Training, and practice “kindness in action” by offering selfless help in the monastery school.
Much Metta, Lola