I grow into these mountains like a moss. I am bewitched. The blinding snow peaks and the clarion air, the sound of earth and heaven in the silence… the flags, great horns, and old carved stones, the silver ice in the black river… the Crystal Mountain…
Though we talk little here, I am never lonely; I am returned into myself. In another life – this isn’t what I know, but how I feel – these mountains were my home; there is a rising of forgotten knowledge, like a spring from hidden aquifers under the earth.
To glimpse one’s own true nature is a kind of homegoing, to a place East of the Sun, West of the Moon – the homegoing that needs no home…
― Peter Matthiessen,
🦉 ∞ An Invitation Letter ∞ 🦉
One of the first things you have to clarify before embarking on an adventure like this is why you want to leave your old life behind and begin a journey seeking the boundless “Self”. It’s a long, strange and enchanted road that takes us off in directions we neither signed up for nor imagined.
So why bother? Why not just stay with family and friends, the job and the TV shows? The answer is simple but few people understand the issue with good clarity. It’s all about greater freedom: inner and outer, primarily inner freedom and secondarily outer freedom. And when we finally receive the call from “Freedom” we don’t have much of a choice really.
When we finally commit to the journey of awakening the Self, that is synonymous with expanding our awareness to see more, feel more, understand more, and, love more. In this context, loving more is synonymous with being more: being something more than just your name and personal life story.
Until we have brought our outer personality in alignment with our inner Self – the kernel of all magic – it’s as if we are half asleep in life: looking for something we cannot articulate, blown around by forces we understand little, like a puppet dancing in the wind.
Greater union is greater, richer, more fuller sense of being; and those who aim for the highest union with the Self, aim not towards deeper romantic love, but towards becoming transparent to magic.
A very strange sort of living begins when that happens: the mountain is still the mountain and the homeless bum is still the homeless bum, but then the mountain is no longer just the mountain and the bum is no longer just a bum. Everything becomes multi-layered, interdependent and co-arising. Every event feels like something unleashed from within.
About this expedition:
Once in a while I invite my students to adventures with me in the mountains with the aim of coming to deeper alignment with the Self within – and you are now invited.
🔔 NEXT VOYAGE: November 5th, 2018.
Do Not Panic!
Fitness level: You don’t need superhuman level fitness. But you do need to be fit enough to be in nature and walk up and down mountain trails.
Important: You cannot have knee, ankle or back problems; or any other illness (mental or physical) that can become a problem out where there are no doctors and no quick fixes.
You should be able to walk 5 to 7 kilometers a day over 5-6 hours.
Now, an important cautionary reminder: Be very careful about building up a massive ego trip. You will seriously regret it. More than physical fitness you need emotional maturity and spiritual humility to truly enjoy this sort of a journey. Many people injure themselves in these mountains, in the name of adventure.
Now here is your Invitation Card if you are ready and it’s your time to fly:
Once in a while I lead two week adventure-pilgrimages in the great Himalaya mountain range where we spend most of the time walking, learning and meditating.
Out of these 12 days, 3 days are spent retreat style at a small lodge somewhere in the mountains. Here we spend most of the time learning, meditating and dissolving our minds in the mountain air.
The retreat is usually around 12,000 feet (3800 meters) in the Nepalese Himalayas. (Our specific destination is bit of a secret sanctuary that will be shared with you once you are confirmed.) Our “mountain home” will have basic food, lots of tea, breathtaking views and (hopefully) functional toilets.
We aim for two goals:
- Let nature guide us towards awakening and deepening our conscious mind in alignment with our True Self: our boundless identity.
- And learn to meditate systematically and deeply in order to dissolve the jagged fragments of our personality.
“A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it might never live to regret it.
When a man has fulfilled all four of these qualities – to be wide awake, to have fear, respect and absolute assurance – there are no mistakes for which he will have to account…
If such a man fails, or suffers a defeat, he will have lost only a battle, and there will be no pitiful regrets over that.”
~ Carlos Castaneda
🔹 Day 1: Arrival in Nepal, Kathmandu.
If you arrive early, you can rest and explore this old world of incense and Buddhist chanting alongside endless bars and some very good restaurants.
🔹 Day 2: First teaching session in the morning.
Free time in the afternoon.
Getting papers and permits ready for entering the protected Everest region.
Second teaching session and meditation in the evening.
🔹 Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla at around 2860 meters or 9383 ft.
After breakfast we will start walking towards our destination.
We will stop at some Sherpa village around 2pm or so. Estimated walking through paradise: about 4-5 hours.
🔹 Day 4: We will reach the Sherpa capital Namche at about 3440 meters or 11,286 ft. Trekking time: about 6 hours.
Expect Irish pub, cakes, pizzas and burgers surrounded by magnificent snow peaked mountains! (Splurge with your own cash, stuff can be expensive as we ascend higher.)
🔹 Day 5: We reach our retreat destination around 3-4pm. Altitude around 3800 meters or 12700 ft. Estimated time trekking upwards: 6-7 hours.
Prepare to gasp at the breathtaking landscape and scenes you will never ever forget.
🔹 Day 6, 7: Learning, meditation, insight, and awakening. Exact schedule of teaching and meditation sessions will be posted later.
🔹 Day 8: Back to Namche. Irish pub, pizza, cakes, coffee…
🔹 Day 9: Back to the village before Lukla airport.
🔹 Day 10: Back to Lukla. One last night in the greatest mountain range on earth.
🔹 Day 11: Fly back to Kathmandu.
🔹 Day 12: Take your own time off.
🛫 Day 13: Fly back home.
✅ Highly recommend: Keep 15 days free from the time you leave home. The weather can be unpredictable in the mountains and delays are part of life.
💰 All inclusive price per person for this 12 day adventure is $2100.
The price includes:
- ✈️ Domestic Airfares.
- 🚌 All transportation.
- 🏦 Government fees: Permits for protected regions, permits for “trekking”, etc.
- 🏋🏽♀️ Support staff costs including their salary, insurance, equipment, domestic airfare, food and accommodation during the whole program.
- 🏠 Accommodation: Most times just plain mountain cottages or something to that effect, attached toilet rarely available. Expect no luxury, it doesn’t exist in the mountains.
- 🥗 🍝 ☕️ All food (vegetarian food only. No alcoholic drinks.)
- 👳🏽♂️👳🏽♂️ Porters to carry luggage (No more than 10 kg.)
❌ Does not include:
- 🛫 International airfare to and from Nepal.
- 🚁 Travel insurance with helicopter evacuation in case of medical emergency. You must have this. If you need a suggestion, get it from World Nomads. Costs less than $200 depending on your country of origin. Make sure your insurance covers emergency medical evacuation by helicopter. If you need help with this, let us know.
🔆 So… if you want to join:
Fill out the form below – with a brief intro about yourself, where you are from, your physical fitness level, age/height/weight, life situation and why you want to join this journey. In other words, please introduce yourself. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer that.
As you can imagine I have to carefully choose the right people with the right mindset and the right sort of “readiness” for this adventure. If you are truly interested to evolve, expand and experience some mountain magic, I am waiting to hear from you.
A great adventure is calling towards the path of knowledge: an adventure that can lead to discovery of worlds upon worlds inside and outside, un-imagined till now, yet just a breath away. But courage is necessary, sincerity for discovering the deepest truth within your heart and willingness to totally surrender your self interest is necessary.
If these components are in place: if there is true sincerity, true commitment to come in alignment with the heartbeat of life, and willingness to accept the responsibility that comes with it, you are ready to begin.
It’s a long journey (never ending really) but every day we walk the path, it’s a day filled with wonder and new discoveries to expand our inner-space exponentially. The alternative involves saying no to the calling that is within our hearts; and living a life too small, (in the words of poet Rilke) in a cage with a thousand bars, and beyond the bars, no world.
Looking forward to walking with you in the great mountain.
Shafin de Zane