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After adjusting to the new altitude, and let me tell you that Altitude Sickness nearly killed me, I was ready to totally submerse myself in nature. IT WAS TIME FOR A TREK! This was another thing on my to-do list that I had been dying to do here in Nepal. I had heard so many great stories of the breath-taking vistas and the peaceful serenity that I could not wait to experience it.
 
I had also found out, when making new friends here - all Spainards, all here trekking and sight seeing, that due to the lovely monsoon rains this was not the optimal time. Slippery trails. Not the best way to trek especially when some of the trails border along a ridge with a long drop down. The only good thing about the non-rain situation in the area was the good conditions for trekking. Of course, all the ladies in the village would tell me to strap on a gagris and trek my way down to the spring.
 
We were up and out of the door in the early morning. The fog was still settled along some of the areas that we passed making it even more spectacular.
 
As we passed by a Stupa in the middle of the road, in what I would call the middle of nowhere, I realized what symbolic structures they are. Those all seeing eyes are everywhere!
 

Then we hit upon some beautiful forest. As you can tell it is a rather young forest. Most were replanted a few decades ago. Before that most of these hills were bare from the trees being cut for fuel and building. I couldn't imagine what it looked like then!
 
When off in the distance (only 1 ridge over now) I spotted our destination! The Namo Buddha Monastery. It was glowing in the sunlight!
 
As we walked along we kept passing everyone working on their daily chores. Everything in my pictures  speaks volumes of the rustic beauty here. Their everyday existence is something that most Americans have not experienced in a century.

As we got closer to our destination the village life started to emerge again. This old fellow was slowly hobbling around. If he was a cartoon character he would have a crutch under one wing. Honestly, in all of my years I have NEVER seen a rooster that old!
 
We turned the bend and came upon the beginnings of the village. We were getting closer and closer!
 
The view into the restaurant reminded me of an old spaghetti Western.

We were there in the heart of the village. Guess how you know where the heart is? Both literally and figuratively...the Stupa. This one was a beauty!
 
I have developed a huge fascination for prayer wheels now!
 
To give you a perspective on how big the prayer wheels are. Here is Shree walking into the room to make his one circle with the prayer wheel. Always one or three...remember that! Do three if you can 😉 I sometimes get a bit dizzy...or maybe that is enlightenment knocking on my brain and I just haven't realized it yet!
 
Then we started our climb up the last hill towards the Monastery. The prayer flags woven into the trees along the path were beautiful! I could just feel all of the good wishes floating in the air!
 
The first structure that we reached was the shrine to Buddha. It was so peaceful. I stopped for a few minutes, got my bearings, made an offering and just stood there and gazed in awe.
 

Here is my story of the day for you....
 

We kept going to the top of the hill. The hill with all of the prayer flags. You'll notice it in other pictures and the video. We were getting closer and closer! The Namo Buddah Monastery was within reach!
 
Past even more stupas...this is the largest variety of stupas that I have seen in one day!
 
We reached the monastery and I looked around in every niche and corner that I could. I was dying to see more, but we were early and the room of the Golden Shrine was still locked. I stood there at the railing and just looked out over the view. It was magnificent. Then I saw a young monk walk past and hoped that he was aiming to the room that I wanted to see.
 
Would I get the chance to see the prayer hall?!? Ohhhhh yes! It was MAGNIFICENT! No pictures allowed, but beauty beyond your wildest dreams. Ornate, carved, brightly colored statues, stupas, offerings. Everything a sensual delight to the eyes!
 
As I stood there in front of the golden Buddha that had to be 40' high I said mantras and wishes. Suddenly out of nowhere the omega symbol appeared in my mind. It actually shocked me. I opened my eyes and could still see it. Glowing, resting there in my mind, in front of my eyes. Shocking me enough to take a deep breath.
 
Over breakfast I mentioned it to Shree, bought a pen and drew the symbol on my hand. Then came home and started googling. In the Greek alphabet the omega symbol is the last of the alphabet - it represents completion. The completion of what?
 
Just this morning I found this on a website: "The first step of starting one’s practice is to first look and reflect on oneself. First we must know ourselves. That is the first step." Just like Socrates said, “Know thyself,” so in Buddhism, the first step is to know oneself. But not only is it the first step, it is also the last step too. It is the alpha and omega of Buddhism. Even in Confucianism there is a teaching that says one should reflect on themselves three times a day."
 
Am I finally reaching the completion and beginning of me? I'm beginning to believe so! This Adventure has healed me, helped me and completed me in so many ways. Through all of the trials and tribulations I couldn't imagine my life had I not started this...and I'm only 9 months into what will last me the rest of my life!
 


We continued along. It was time to take the path less wandered and make our way home.

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copyright 2011-2017 Loxley Browne

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