Monday, January 31, 2011

The Way of the White Clouds

Born and raised in the flat state of Delaware, I dreamt of seeing snow capped mountains for a long time before I actually did. I then fell in love with the Sierras—and I bet if I had the chance to spend more time in the Rockies it’d be the same story. I’m not convinced I’d love 9 months of snow that usually comes along with the mountains that I love gazing up at—so I’m pretty content to visit, trek, and explore them as much as I can.

I’m not a peak bagger. Getting to the top of the highest peak is not usually my goal. I just like to look at them and feel like they are looking down at me. So when I saw pictures of the Himalayas—a new longing began to develop. I decided that someday I will see them in person.

Himalaya literally means "abode of snow". This mountain range is in Asia and is home to the world's highest peaks, the Eight-thousanders (8000 m or 26,247 ft), which include Mount Everest and K2. In search of possible trips to this area—particularly Nepal—I came across a book called, “The Snow Leopard” which I have just started reading. It is Peter Matthiessen’s account of a trip he took with a field biologist to study the Himalayan blue sheep—and their quest to see an elusive snow leopard. Its also about his spiritual journey—afterall, he is in the land of the Buddha.

I haven’t read very much of it yet, but right away I found a quote that I really liked and wanted to share. I find Buddhism and other eastern religions (or ways life, whatever is the correct term) very appealing and fascinating.

“Just as a white summer-cloud, in harmony with heaven and earth, freely floats in the blue sky from horizon to horizon, following the breath of the atmosphere—in the same way the pilgrim abandons himself to the breath of the greater life that wells up from the depth of his being and leads him beyond the farthest horizons to an aim which is already present within him, though yet hidden from his sight."

—Lama Govinda, The Way of the White Clouds

I will let you know how the book is -- and when my trip to Nepal is officially on the calendar.

1 comment:

Jill Terese said...

Peter Matthiessen is swell!