The Wandering Rinpoche (Two)Posted On: 24 June, 2017
Born in Nepal, I grew up hearing many great Buddhist masters live in Tibet. It is a mysterious place for me and my will to go to Tibet has always been strong. I had prayed so many times in the monestary when I was young hoping that one day I will be able to make a pilgrimage to Tibet and find my root Guru.
During the time of wandering and practicing in India, I was meditating in isolation on a snow mountain located in the north of India. I originally planned to spend more time on the mountain, however, one night in my dream, I received a message that suggests I should continue my practice in Tibet. When I woke up, I thought maybe this is a sign from my Yidam, so I started packing right away to get ready for a journey to Tibet.
When I was applying for a Chinese visa, many travel agencies said: for many reasons, it is very complicated to get a Chinese visa, even harder to get a permit to enter Tibet. But I have determined to pilgrimage in Tibet and I didn’t want to give up. Therefore I have asked many people about the ways to enter Tibet, I had heard in the past many have chosen to climb the snow mountains as a way to get there, but now it is harder to do so since it is not safe. Some asked me where about in Tibet do you want to go? I answered that I want to go pilgrimage in the Mount Kailash (also known as Transhimalaya). They told me that Mount Kailash is just next to the border of Nepal, and it doesn’t require a visa but I will need to climb mountains; so it would be a good idea to get some training beforehand.
It was known that Mount Kailash is a sacred place; therefore, I firmly believed that there are many great Buddhist masters, and I will surely meet my destined root Guru.
I decided right away to go to a training centre for mountain climbing and it is located in Himachal Pradesh, North India. During the training I got up every morning to do uphill running and practiced mountain climbing. They taught us how to tie a rope, how to utilize climbing tools and how to react in urgent situations. Sometimes it makes me feel like being the 007 special agent, especially when every time I looked down from the middle of the hill and it was funny and cool. My plan was going to practice and wander and soon I was undergoing training for mountain climbing; It is truly unpredictable how fate plays to influence people.
Although the daily training was very hard, my heart would be filled with expectations each time I thought about Mount Kailash. After three months of training, I learned a lot and the friendship between my teammates and I was one of my most precious treasures. I was encouraged by my teammates during every training sessions; and whenever someone was left behind I would help them, cheer them up and share with them the food that I bought. When we were training, we would go into the woods or up on the hills where the conditions were more dangerous. A few girls and boys in our team were always left behind; I was worried about them, so I mindfully took care of them. One day there was a kid stumbled by the rock，his feet was wounded. So I carried him back to the center and I took two days off to look after him. There was another time; the other teammate got fever, people at the training center did not know about it, so I got up at midnight to accompany and take care of him.
Looking after people makes me feel happy and moved every time, so I take every chance to take care of other people.
When my training session ended, we all hugged and loathed to leave each other, and some teammates cried, I did too. Although we spent a short period time training together, we have became a family.
Before departure, I was packing in my room. Several teammates who I had helped before brought me gifts and said to me with tears in their eyes, “even though we did not know each other before, you looked after us like family and we feel sad to see you leaving.” We embraced each other and sit down to chat once again, they asked me how I could be so fervent about caring other people. So I shared some of my thoughts: I think life is like climbing a mountain, we cannot climb alone because friends and teammates are important as well; no matter where we go, we should always think about helping people around us; no matter what conditions we are under such as being the leader of an organization, we should always consider the feelings and benefits of everyone around us and achieve success and happiness together.”
Buddha used to say: the source of pain is selfish, the source of happiness is compassion.
With some excitement and sadness, I left the training center and continued my way to Mount Kailash. I planned to pilgrimage the Mount Qomolangma first and then go to Mount Kailash from there, so that I can visit two places in the same journey.
After a long time, I came to a village called Lukla in Northern Nepal. It locates at the bottom of Mount Qomolangma – 2680 meters above the sea level. Taking with me some food and a tent, I kept climbing till I reached a highland with no sign of any human being, which is about more than 3000 meters above the sea level. Suddenly I started to feel discomfort all over my body and my head was dizzy for a few days. It must be the highest altitute that I had ever reached and from there I saw the grand Mount Qomolangma.
I was meditating in isolation for a month. Every day I can see the magnificent and pure appearance of the Mount Qomolangma as if I can see my Yidam. I could not help yearning and expecting that my root Guru must be as magnificent and pure!
Later on I walked along the bottom of the mountain, trying to find the route to Mount Kailash. After talking to some local people it became clear that there is no road in the area which leads to Mount Kailash. They told me if I walk out from here I will reach the border of Shigatse and I may get into trouble because it is very dangerous to cross the border illegally. The road to Mount Kailash is not here but locates at North-east of Nepal. I suddenly realized I had a huge misunderstanding about the geography before.
I followed their instructions and went on to the North-east of Nepal and finally came to the border. Nevertheless, this time the local people told me that no one should pass through without a visa. It is nothing like what the Indians told me that one does not need any permission to enter the Mount Kailash at the border. I thought we do not need a document to make a pilgrimage or meditate, just like with the Mount Qomolangma.
Sure enough, the soldiers blocked me at the border and told me it is not allowed to cross the border without a Chinese visa and permit to enter Tibet. I went back to the village and chatted with the villagers. I found out that it takes only a few hours to get to Mount Kailash from the border so I decided to sneak out at night. Everything went as planned till midnight. I came out with my backpack ready to cross the border. My heart was pumping due to fears of being caught by soldiers and also excitement of finally close to reach the destination.
I heard people talking in the dark and someone was walking towards me. All of a sudden, a man lit up his torch and swept over where I stood. I was revealed with my legs shaking. They held me up and inquested me. I begged them to let me go and explained that I just want to make a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, even just a glance. I was so scared that I even kneeled down on my knees and begged them. The soldiers from Nepal also seemed a bit lost but they caught me anyway and kept me inside a dark cabin. They told me even if they would let me go out of pity, I may still very likely to be captured by the Chinese authorities and it will get me into a bigger trouble.
Staying in the cabin that night, I was filled with fear and sadness and I missed my mom. I curled up in the corner and speculated on the kind of karma that could possibly cause so many obstacles on the way. ( to be continued)