We climb. One foot after the next. Steady and completely immersed in the moment. Watching the placement of each foot as it touches the rocky ground or layered leafy soil, alternately. We are guided by our inner sense of direction…and the technology of an application called MAPS.ME on our iPhones to guide us along the way. Yet after a while, we find ourselves bringing out this offline GPS system very rarely and relying on something quite different. We are becoming completely connected to our surrounds, and have an inner knowingness that we are traveling correctly to reach our destination. There are many goat trails along this forest path up the mountain. One could get easily lost if not connected. We are aware that leopards roam this country, along with people who may not have the purest of intentions. “You must be careful”, we have been warned. “Carry a stick”, we have been told. “Don’t keep too much cash on you”, we were cautioned. Yet in this complete state of connectedness, we feel no fear, nor any sense of ill-intention falling upon us. We have an even greater sense of not bringing these situations into consciousness, but remaining completely connected with our surrounds. This is our true purpose on this journey of self-discovery and reflection: simply to remain aware of each passing moment.
We walk. Our lungs, feeling the change created by the thinner air in this higher mountainous country of Nepal. Our legs, moving almost automatically, at times reminding us that they have been completely awakened as our ascent becomes steeper. Our backs, becoming damper as the sweat permeates in between our clothes and backpack. Our minds, remaining still, remaining focused. To climb…that is all that we wish to do right now. With this focus in mind, it becomes easier to acknowledge and simply observe the intensity of bodily sensations that emerge. I know these sensations, and I know that they will pass. I have trained my mind to acknowledge and then to let go. The monkey mind could easily sneak into the forefront of my mind, creating havoc, creating stories to make me stop, and turn back in my tracks. Not today. For some, the monkey mind has such control over their lives. That little trickster creating thoughts in your mind, leading to beliefs that you suddenly think are true. That little trickster, making you believe that you “can’t do this”, or that you “aren’t strong enough”, “not young enough”, “not good enough”, or “not….” I’ll let you, the reader, complete this sentence. I think you get the point here. It is this trickster of the monkey mind that brings thoughts into your head that you then choose to believe in being true. This is not so. Learn to acknowledge your thoughts. Simply become a witness of your thoughts. Do not attach to them…they will pass. I still have to remind myself of this. It has become much easier, however, to recognise these occasions when my monkey mind comes into play. So then, I watch, I acknowledge, I remain detached, and then I allow the thoughts to pass. In time and with practice, each thought has less and less hold on you, allowing you to acknowledge them for what they are. Thoughts in your head. That is it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
And so we continue to climb. My mind remaining still and focused from training it through meditation to remain a silent witness. My body experiencing heightened sensations, yet my mind acknowledging that this too, shall pass. And so it does. And in doing so, my connection with my surrounds in this sacred place of higher vibrations becomes stronger. We allow ourselves to be guided through the forest by this connection as we walk along one of many goat trails along the ridge top. We reach a fork and follow the lower of the two trails, and there in our path appear a group of Nepali women collecting branches to take back down to the mountain. “You take the higher trail!” They exclaim in Nepali. “Take the higher trail”, as they motion and point for us to turn back on our tracks and follow the higher track at the fork. They know where we are headed. No need for any explanations. The knowledge is innate. Connectedness and synchronicity of being guided along the way. Much better than any 21st-century navigational device…that is, so long as you remain fully aware of the flow that surrounds you. In this part of the world, sacred energy is high. You can feel the guidance from the earth, from the trees, from the wind, from the sky, from the birds…and even from the dogs! Along the way, we once again take a wrong turn. Out of the forest appears a black dog, walking directly in front of us and urging us to follow him back onto another trail. We ignore him and continue along our merry way. Once again, he walks straight in front of our legs, leaving us no option but to stop and follow him back onto the correct trail. We laugh, realising that once again we are being guided. And as promptly as he appeared, he makes his way off around a bend, nowhere to be seen. Synchronicity, universal guidance, whatever you wish to call it. But remember, you must allow yourself to be completely connected with the flow of life. No expectations, no questions asked. Just complete trust and focus. Dropping any preconceptions that you may have about what things should or should not be like. Dropping any egoistic desires to achieve or attain any specific goals. Simply allowing the nature of life to take its course and organically bring you onto the correct path.
I came to Nepal with the idea that I would practice and improve my skills and knowledge of Sanskrit. What I have actually received is so much deeper and so much richer. Yes, of course, I have had the opportunity to delve deeper into this ancient and beautiful language. However, I have been guided to take many more steps into my spiritual journey, discovering places, people, teachings, and teachers that I never thought I would meet on this particular journey. And each time, they have come to me “by coincidence” (or through synchronicities as I prefer to say). I have been guided to them simply by being completely immersed in the flow of connectivity that surrounds me…that surrounds each and every one of us. This place is special. Of that, there is absolutely no doubt. And as such, it may at times be easier to “plug in”, or connect to this collective source of guidance. Yet, let it be a reminder, that wherever we are, we always have the opportunity to be completely focused and at peace with ourself and our situation. We always have the opportunity to recognise the trickster that is that monkey mind and simply observe, and we always have the opportunity to remain connected with our surrounds to allow opportunities for synchronicity to spontaneously arise. Simply let go of expectations and preconceived ideas, and become an observer of your life to completely experience the beauty of it.
Sabrina David ERYT500, RYT1500, RCYT, RN, MHN, DipSc (Biomed)
Author: Sabrina David
Sabrina is a registered nurse, mental health nurse, and yoga instructor who combines her skills in general health planning, counselling and yoga instruction to work alongside people seeking change. She is very fortunate to have been born into a family of yoga instructors and has been practicing yoga (postures, breath work, meditation, philosophy & lifestyle) since early childhood, so yoga is her way of life. She lives it, breathes it, practices it and speaks it. Sabrina teaches yoga to groups as well as one-on-one and is passionate about making all aspects of yoga as a full system of well-being accessible to all. She also studies Sanskrit and Ancient Greek as part of a Master of Arts in the Classical World, and incorporates her ever-growing knowledge of this ancient history into her teachings.