The trick is to be aware without being in control. I don't like the idea of the Buddhist mentality of letting go of all control. Their whole thing is centered around the idea that there is no certainty in life and in fact they'd even say there are no real ideas. Everything is a continuance of mystery.
So we started our trek at 8am after a Nepali breakfast of potatoes and fried egg. The sun has been really good to us. Everyday we were starting our trek to clear views of the Khumbu region--Thamseku and Kanseku.
I do really like the idea of checking out though. Having the presence and awareness to understand that letting go of control once in awhile is beneficial to the other side of life.
As long as you're not hurting yourself, or anyone or taking advantage, checking out can be a great tool to levy the stuff you can control. Like this flying moment I had on a the path. Handing it over to your subconscious, with the knowledge that life will usually lead you down the right path. And not down the mountain. Moving without thinking. Jaun jaun, "let's go" as the Nepali say.
The Everest base camp route has a ton of switch backs on your way to Tengboche. We only got to 3876m or 12,900ft, but on the way the views were perfect and I caught myself just letting go and zoning out.
Yesterday I caught myself meditating--thinking about nothing in the world--until I realized I wasn't thinking. Then my brain congratulated me for not thinking, which was some kind of thinking and I was like, dammit, well fuck. I have like 10 more days to practice not thinking, just putting one foot in front of the other.
I wrote an article about it once; the athlete and subconscious control and how it allows for flow. How our best intuitive subconscious let's us teeter and totter back and forth, without faltering and that's actually more successful than, oh, say sprinting up Mt. Everest, like our German friends up here. You should see them--they're like beasts. Then we slowly reach the top of the summit for the day and they're huffing and puffing collapsed on the side of the trail. If you know me, you know I think a "work hard, play hard" mentality is just dumb. Anyway, I digress.
So we headed up the steep ridge and climbed up to Tengboche, passing more yaks and Nepalese on their way to market. As we passed the tree line, Everest appeared clear, next to Ama Dablam.
I believe in our most successful moments, we have absolutely no control. Our body and it's connection with our mind, is simply following through on the training we have gone through, strengthening the quick twitch muscle fibers and the mental connection we have with action. We let our practiced balance of intelligent emotions take over and our body simply follows suit. Occasionally feeling whatever your mind and body wants you to feel, allowing yourself to feel the momentary mental and physical awareness of a challenge will eventually quiet your mind from the chatter going on around you and let you be open enough to progress forward. It's a physical revelation. And when you start trusting your deepest emotional feelings, whether or not you can explain them, you start trusting your body to do what it was designed to do. Before getting to this point, I wouldn't let myself do something unless I knew I could explain it. Now the explanation can come later.
Anyway, we made it to Tengboche and then sat through a painful 108 minute ceremony of chanting, horn blowing and incense in a freezing (and I do mean FREEZING) cold monastery. We couldn't take pictures inside but at the end we did get the Nepali version of a kit kat bar which I figured was a reward for toughing it out (most of the other tourists left before the magic candy came).....
Sorry for getting all emotional on you, but then again, I'm not. If you were here, I'd hope you would be too.
From Tengboche Monastery, Nepal. 3876m
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