For two days the words have not flowed smoothly. As we left the city I could feel an infection building and have needed to devote much energy to supporting my body in addressing it. We have left Kathmandu for Nagarkot and the mountains, wanting to avoid the crowds for the rest of Deepawali and the visit of the President of India. By night-time the fever has taken hold. I wake in the darkness, outside my body but in still inside my aura. I thank the infection for the learning it has come to bring. I thank my wonderful body, which is all but on fire as it contains the infection and drives it out once the learning has been delivered. I see much in this heightened awareness than I have not seen hitherto. Yes, the journey incorporates the words I channel and sculpt. But it is so much deeper. This journey is towards the throne room and I am in awe. My ego fears to venture forth into this new level of awareness. Yet this is a place where no angel fears to tread here. There is no compulsion. Only an awareness that there must be a relinquishing of the old security blankets of identity, a willingness to let go of the self if I am to step forward to embrace that which is offered. There can be as many trips around the mulberry bush as I want to make, as there need to be – ‘if I want to,’ as my Guides repeatedly tell me, ‘if I really want to.’ But the question remains the same as posed when I was home in The New Forest. Do I want to? Do I really need to? Or am I ready to lay down the rags I previously considered regal garments in order to inherit the robes of sanctified awareness that I am being offered. ‘Love thou knowest,’ I answer as my body burns. Am I ready to give up everything I ever held dear, ever knew or thought I knew, ever valued, in order to be clothed in this light that infuse, energises, conjoins, re-joins love to love?
The next morning the fever has gone and I thank my body once more, noting now it is time to for me to honour it more than I have done hitherto. The mountains are close, soaring above the foothills where our hotel is, that themselves rival most of the mountain range I have seen before – the Alps, the Andes, Snowdonia, many more. But oh, the Himalayas. Neither words no photographs come near to doing them justice. The only way to know them is to be here. I am privileged beyond measure to feel their energy. For these mountains lend new meaning to the cliché ‘ as old as the hills.’ Their ancient vibration, their permanence juxtaposed to my transience, rekindles my awareness of my youth and smallness in the eternal context. For now they are gentle, these old ones, and rarely need to flex their muscles. But when they do, beware. In 2015 they shrugged their shoulders. Fissures opened. Villages were flattened. Thousands died. Yet for now these august and revered elders feel less the need to assert themselves, drawing the energy seekers of the world to their foothills, their icy paths, and for the few, their peaks. You do not conquer Everest or Annapurna. You do not assert yourself at them. You infuse their souls and work congruently with them as you climb. At least, you do if you wish to return alive. My friend Chris, the Rector of Totton, is experiencing this right now as he journeys to the half way point up Everest to raise funds for a major church project. But Rj and I do not travel thus. We have other peaks we must ascend.
Thus it is that as master of little and apprentice of much, I approach the Namobuddha monastery in Bagmati.
We have hired a driver/ guide KrishanGopal, whose driving skills we hugely appreciate as we cross roads so barely worthy of the name as to lend a whole new meaning to the term ‘unpaved.’ Potholes, more holes than pot, are avoided as oncoming vehicles are engaged in a slow motion waltz of the planets. There are no accidents. No one tumbles from the unfenced edge of the road down into the valleys far below. The sacrifice of seven and a half thousand has been enough. Nobody dies today.
We arrive at the monastery to encounter a group of monks taking a coffee break in the adjacent café. Why not? No one comments or considers it incongruent when I take a break from writing at Costa Coffee back home. Reminded that spirituality is lifestyle, I follow Rj and KrishanGopal into the temple of the monastery. We shed shoes and shells to approach the Buddha, passing silently the ornate entrance doors, the drums, the brightly painted prayer stools, to infuse the energy of the devotion of countless souls. Namaste, cries the heart, Namaste, Namaste, Namaste. I acknowledge that in you which is eternal. I draw near to the god who is in the soul of each of us. I acknowledge myself a part of the same whole, the living universal, the ever present, the alpha and omega, the all and only, the Tao.
As we emerge and reboot, after this, all will be prosaic. The night is spent at a hotel where dinner is wired in series not in parallel. Each items appears in sequence, all of mine before any of Rj’s. The whole process takes two and a half hours. We look at each other and shrug. This is Nepal. The next day we discover the chef has left in a hurry. I’m tempted to ask if he left before or after our meal, but I refrain.
The following day is spent at Baktapur, cultural capital of Nepal, whose architectural supremacies are better narrated elsewhere that I can achieve here. As we travel there we engage in animated spiritually focussed conversation – Rj’s sound energy work and writing, our respective journeys and learnings, the friends and experiences we hold in common and in contrast. Later as we travel back to the hotel over roads less teeth-jarring than those we traversed yesterday, we fall silent. My focus switches back to the inner journey, where Spirit brings me to tears of joy as the deeper meanings of past revelations shine out their hidden messages.
Tomorrow we shall leave the mountains and return to Kathmandu for packing before flying to Chaing Mai on Sunday. Can Thailand possibly offer as much as this? Can there yet be more to learn, more growth to infuse?
Farewell my mountains, my lovers, my joy. Farewell my beloveds. Oh the Learnings you have granted. Namaste, Namaste, Namaste.