By tehconi | September 7, 2007
What’s your most memorable experience or achievement ?
Mine was a trip to Tibet several years back. I went alone but with a group. I liked the silence without a companion, which aided my soul-searching.
Two sights made an indelible impression on me – Potala Palace and Yamdrok Lake.
Potala Place and Yamdrok Lake
Standing at the foot of the Potala Palace and looking up at the majestic architecture, I thought to myself, “Finally, I’m here at the Potala Palace”. It was a feeling of awe and disbelief that I was actually here at this majestic yet mystic place on the rooftop of the world. How blessed I was to be able to set my foot on this land and be in the midst of its wonders.
Yamdrok Lake was over 4,400 metres above sea level. To get a view of the lake, our jeep made its way up the mountain on a meandering road trail. This was one of the toughest stretches in the entire journey, and most of us were panting out of breath and inhaling from our portable oxygen supply. However when we reached the peak and gazed down below at the holy lake, the journey was totally worth it.
Looking at the clear blue lake, time stood still. I had never felt so peaceful, calm and serene before. All desires, worries and anxieties terminated at the edge of the mountain where I stood. Ripples of the heart’s disturbances disappeared as they dissolved into the deep ocean of calm and eternity.
An old lady’s advice
A 70-year old lady was one of my group-mates on the trip. I sat next to her on the plane and she told me this, “He who is going up the mountain should not ask the one who is coming down how it’s like”. If she had listened to those who travelled before her how it’s like and how tough it is, she would probably be too scared and never make the trip.
What good advice ! I remember it till this day.
Here’s another old lady who was 50 years old when she travelled to Tibet alone for 50 days.
The transient nature of worldly attachments
My trip to Tibet was in Aug 2001. When I returned home, I was completely recharged and felt a sense of hope knowing there is such a wonderful place on earth.
Ironically, the 911 incident took place barely 2 weeks after the trip. I remember my heart plunged when I saw the World Trade Centre collapse on TV. For about a week, I suffered mild depression and felt somewhat disillusioned.
Looking back, I think it is a way of the universe telling me that all worldly attachments are transient in nature. Even the heavenly state of mind which I felt in Tibet was transient, and I should not attach to it.
Indeed, looking at how China tries to influence the state of affairs in Tibet and pry it open, who knows how long the sanctity of Tibet can last. The world is growing in greed and falling short of purelands. Heaven forbid the erosion of the Tibetan pureland by political and commercial vultures !
I made a wish
Tibet is an enchanting place. I feel a sense of affinity with the place. Before I left Tibet, I made a wish that I will return. I’m going to visit Tibet again someday !