We truly are pilgrims...
Not only Tho and me but all our family....
Aren't we all pilgrims...?
Isn't life a pilgrimage?
I remember walking with Tho in St Luc, the Alps in Switzerland, on a long hike.
It was during
our sabbatical in the year 2000 when we both felt the need to STOP and to take time to look deeply at ourselves and at each other. This sabbatical was a pilgrimage and our main activity was walking in the mountains during 9 months...
we had “silent days” when we offered each other time together without speaking. And yet we were closely together in our meditation, our walks, Tai Chi practice, or what ever we did …in silence…
May be it was on
one of these walks that I remember looking at our feet walking down from Bella Tolla peak... (in Switzerland you usually climb on a peak…in Buthan you climb up to a monastery…peaks are left in peace as they are the home of the gods…)
While walking and looking at our both feet…I “saw” us walking on different terrains…in time…in space…for a fraction of a moment I “saw” our “pilgrimage” on so many roads…it
is hard to explain…but I remember exactly the feeling of “knowing” that our life is a long pilgrimage and that we are truly heart pilgrims .
Here in Buthan we walk a lot like pilgrims…up the Cheri monastery, up
to Dochula pass…the other day with Nath and Russia’s family up to Tango Monastery. Each time we reach over 3000M altitude! It never is "easy" and yet so wonderful and transformative!
And every time a monk invites us for a tea, and every
time we feel welcomed...like pilgrims arriving at the "right place"in the right time...
Nath, Russsia Igor and Tho and Ilya climbed up to Tigersnest last thursday! Ilya on horseback! Tho said he looked so much at ease! Tigersnest is a demanding hike
and he was really brave!
I stayed behind with Alexis and Sofia as Tigersnest is too difficult for the little ones!...(we had a great time...look at the photo of Alexis playing darts at Nak Sel)
Sofia and the two boys, their parents and
Nath are excellent pilgrims…You can tell right away! Pilgrims recognize each other!
It is so sweet to see Sofia who WANTS to walk up to 3000M and more, all by herself! And it is lovely to see how she enjoys every step! Of course her parents
have to carry her sometimes, otherwise it would take too long for all of us…but usually she does not appreciate too much that we do not let her walk by herself all the way up…like a pilgrim.
Tigersnest, Lumbini, Varanasi, Bodgaya,
Mont Ségur, Tango, Cheri, Lhasa, Milarepa Gompa,...and many other "holy places"….and this is only in this lifetime….and it is only the beginning...right?
The important thing when doing a pilgrimage is …the path
Being totally present with each step…just like little Sofia, There is always something to overcome...also hardship...but so much joy and deep transformation! ...it has a lot to do with surrender...with letting go...and discovering your
I remember when we went on last years pilgimage "in the Footsteps of the Buddha" guided by our friend Shantum and together with 30 of our friends of the "lake Sangha-Switzerland".
Even though we travelled mostly by bus, the
hardship (7h hours per day bus ride on indian roads, in Bihar state, believe me this is hardship!), the letting go (every day in another place...no way to get attached, no way to form comforting"habits"), adapting to a new surrounding daily....all this we
find in every pilgrimage,
Nath Rusia and Igor are now on a 4 day treck-pilgrimage from Paro to Thimphu. The path will guide them over 4000m altitude! The weather is perfect...I hope all goes well!
Tho and me stay here in Thimphu with the 3 children...busy
busy...I write my blog during Sofia's nap...Tho is playing with the boys...
Sending you our love and friendship...dear fellow pilgrims