The Himalayas are often connected with saints and sanyasis who spend their life in meditation. I see the Himalayas as a symbol of immense beauty, vast silence and the never ending inner struggle for overcoming our own personal boundaries. This year I sat a 10-day Vipassana course in a small meditation centre in Pokhara, Nepal. The centre was more modest compared to the European ones, the food was simpler, and the fruit limited to two pieces a day. The views from the centre were magnificent. From here I enjoyed the immense beauty of landscape, the tantalizing changes of light at the peaks of the mountains covered partly by snow and partly by the glistering rays of sun with the interplay of the fog and the clouds in the skies.
The place has the dream-like quality where the meeting of tangible and intangible is possible. As I sit here this seems a very special place in the universe where I can forget the past and not grasp for the future. The present is just now and I am completely happy; this instant is the very entity arising for one and only one reason: to connect the future with the past.
When sitting there I wander again and again: ‘What is the present moment? A void? What is there when past is gone and the future has not yet arisen? So is there any moment? Is there a window to see beyond?‘ Most of the time we look at the past with sadness …Or we look to the future with the eyes full of expectations – as we mostly prefer to live in these two dimensions.
Maybe staying at the present moment has a new direction in itself… and offers a glimpse of eternity for very fleeting moment.
Walking towards Panchase, in Nepal
A few days after the meditation I was sitting there again on the grassy field watching the magnificent views of Himalayas in front of me; I was in this holy land contemplating the sense of being in quiet solitude. At this very moment I could find none. Around me were villagers with their daily duties – cutting woods, fending the cattle, working on their fields… They contemplated nothing. They just appeared to grasp the very essence of life.
I raised myself from my little hiding hole behind the trees and resumed my journey, taking path upwards; putting one foot in front of the other. The space and time disappeared. There was just me and countless stone slabs in front of me. What was behind me was already forgotten and what was ahead was divided by the universe into what already exists and what is still a fantasy.
Walking upwards I passed already hundreds and hundreds of stone slabs and countless others lay in front of me. Still I had not come closer to my answers. I did not know who I am and who I may become. My mind or ‘I’ was playing tricks with a mirror trying to pretend that I am someone else. So who am I? Why I am showing different faces to different people? There is no Me who was before; and there is no Me who will be in the future. The present moment does not exist either because from the standpoint where I am I can see only the past and anticipate the future.
I have great expectations to meet Me in the future and equally I fear to look back at the person from the past who already went out of being – the person who is not there anymore and her actions cannot be rectified. So I am here, in the present, and see myself both here and there; both in the past and in the future, such as looking in the mirror. I am touching the images made by my reflections and cannot decide which one is real. Maybe I am just an image created by my own mind …and by my habits. Maybe I already had existed and have to wait again until I can see my next ‘being‘.
There were many questions that came to my mind and yet I climbed forward. I proceeded up the valley, up above the slowly moving clouds. It was only me and the clouds and lonely rays of early morning sun. At some point I ceased to ask questions, I just proceeded with my walk.
I felt solitude. It was me and the long path upwards. As I walked I knew I am following the correct path and I understood that I do not need the answers any longer. At that moment all questions ceased to bother me and for the first time I have realized that I might not be far from the gate to the ‘unknown’; the doors that lead to Interior Castle.
Until that time comes I continue with my journey. I am patiently waiting for the WORDS that are coming from BEOYND. These words will direct me along the path that has been written for us from begin-less times. As I continue my walk a song comes to my mind and I whisper:
‘Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.’ (by Bob Dylan)
I understand at last that in the never ending game of future and past where everything counts as if it was happening right now we are the forces that move the very universe, we are the Words and the Existence.