Part 6 - Only Love is Real
I have just returned from a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash in the far west of Tibet, an arduous trip due to the tough climate and basic conditions found to the west of the Tibetan plateau. Apart from traversing the Sahara or venturing into some of the world’s denser rain forests I would say this is one of the tougher journeys on our Great Mother. This month I am writing about my experience on the kora (sacred circumambulation) of Mount Kailash, my findings are about something deeper than the 2012 phenomenon.
It was my third trip to Mount Kailash; the seat of Lord Shiva for the Hindus, a mandala of the centre of the Universe for the Buddhists and the holiest mountain in the world for the shamanic Bon tradition native in Tibet prior to the influx of Buddhism. To New Age proponents Kailash is simply the world’s crown chakra. Many relate the mountain to a mandala – divine palace – with Kailash as the Guru in the Centre and the circle of mountains around each being a deity the Buddhist say the deity at the high pass is Drolma, the Sanskrit name is Tara, Mother of Compassion. To add to the spiritual import I was journeying to Kailash during the sacred Vesak full moon on which some Buddhist traditions say Lord Buddha was born, gained enlightenment and passed from this world. So I was travelling to a juicy place at a very juicy time.
The Hindus say even to set eyes upon the incredibly beautiful and mystical Mount Kailash is an incredible blessing. It is forbidden and almost impossible to climb this sacred mountain. The Tibetans say walking around Kailash, a trek of 53km through an almost 5,700 metre pass will clear the karma of this lifetime; subsequent visits will bring deeper purification. On this kora I came with a clear and defined healing intention, a deep request to the Guru’s heart to heal me from my base chakra blockage to love. The morning we set off for the pass was day three of the kora for us (Tibetans normally complete the 53km circuit in one day). I slowly made my way up the winding path, amongst yaks and singing nomads and a smattering of Western pilgrims to the base of the pass, I was greeted by a 300 metre rocky face with a path winding between the ice, snow and rocks. I said one last prayer took a deep breath and set off up into the heavens. At this altitude there is half the oxygen in the air compared to sea level and every step, especially driving your body up the side of a mountain requires huge gulps of air and breaks after a few metres. Amazingly as I reached the plateau atop the pass I found myself alone, despite being in a pack of a few hundred people below. I found myself retching and I began to vomit, I vomited not from exhaustion but to relieve a deep emotional pain I had carried since the age of four, it came from deep within my guts. As the emotional pain was physically released I found myself crying uncontrollably, tears rolling down my face and my guts shaking as I sobbed. I felt great gratitude and bemusement with God for the three beautiful children s/he had entrusted as their father. As I walked a few paces more this emotion changed to a great fear for the safety of my children. And then I hit the base, the floor of the pain I had felt for most of my life. I sat on a jagged rock not caring for my comfort and just let the floodgates open and the feelings overwhelm me not caring who saw me. I remembered back to being a boy of four and finding out that my two beloved cousins (whom I had shared a cot with on many a night) had been killed in a car crash. In my heart and mind I was taken back to when I first found out and I felt my cousin’s spirit palpably all around me and looking for support, and giving support to me. I felt my mother’s desire for me not to cry, not to feel my emotions, for it was too much for her to feel the pain and see me also in pain. In that moment I shut down. But now I was reliving it, feeling it and releasing it. I felt as if a part of my beloved cousin, locked into my body for 33 years was released into the gaze of Goddess Tara looking down on me from the eye pass. I looked up into the eyes of the mountain and felt her loving embrace – I felt safe to let my darling cousin be free. I felt the ancestral pain and the fear that had run through all branches of the family – the collective karmic burden and I prayed that they too be relieved. The mountain was shimmering the rocks were shimmering, the Drolma pass was no longer in it’s mundane form but to my eyes looked like a grand statue of the Goddess, I looked at my feet and saw a small chunk of rock which had broken and slid down from the mountain. In that moment I knew that the only lasting thing in the universe is love. Rocks, mountains, continents, worlds, star systems and even universes will come and go in the unending cycles of creation but the love experienced and created within our hearts is eternal, it is the only thing that is “real”. 2012 will come and go and provide opportunities for express evolution but the only thing ultimately that matters is the love we express.