Milarepa writes about his awesome experiences in the mountains since childhood and why he is happy to return to Nepal this spring to play at the OSHOfest, March 23-28.
I grew up in the shadow of the famous Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. One of the highlights of my youth were weekend forays with my Dad and younger brother to the Shenandoah National Park. As a young boy, the mountains represented a magical place, a world where Nature whispered its secrets to my soul; where life’s mysteries were communicated in every clear, cool sip of water I tasted from a spring along the trail. In a spiritual sense of the word, I can say it was the mountains that gave me my first experience of something bigger than myself.
On my second trip to India in 1977, I emerged from a fourteen-day Vipassana group knowing I had to get back to the mountains. Maybe it was my need to escape the searing hot season of India, or to indulge my adventurous feelings to explore and spread my wings, but within a week I was on a train to Kashmir and a few months later to the mountains of Kulu Manali in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
One fine day, high above the famed Parvati Valley that runs perpendicular to the Kulu Valley and extends deep into the heart of the Main Range Himalaya, I lost the trail and my sense of direction. Before I knew it, I was in a challenging situation, pulling myself up, hand-over-hand, a dangerously wet, steep slope with no end in sight.
I was a high school state champion cross-country runner, so I knew what it meant to push my physical limits. But, I reached peak exhaustion as darkness approached, and with still a few hours below the pass, I gave up and sat down hard on my butt. Suddenly, from this unceremonious vantage point, I witnessed a divine spectacle unfold before my eyes: a two hundred sixty degree sunset view over the Main Range. Overwhelmed, with tears streaming down my face, I let go of who I thought I was and the profoundness of the moment entered me from all directions. I survived that night alone on the mountain, but I had been humbled, and reminded once again by the mountains of something bigger than myself.
Yes, no words can adequately explain what happens when one’s eyes rest on The Himalayas: the awe, the sheer majesty, not to mention the indescribable pull, the longing that tugs at one’s depths – the longing to know what worlds lie on the other side of those towering ranges, what mysteries lie there waiting to be discovered.
The Himalayas have long been associated with the spiritual search. Their lofty peaks mirror something deep inside the human psyche: a calling to search, to know oneself. For thousands of years they have summoned pilgrims, mystics, and enlightened ones to their eternal snows. I consider it one of life’s great blessings to meditate in their shadow.
The venue for this year’s OSHOfest Nepal 2020 is Nagarkot Village, which sits on a hilltop at 2200 meters and is about 1.5 hours drive from Kathmandu City. It is famous for its uninterrupted views of the Main Range Himalaya. This year’s festival schedule will again include the morning sunrise Zen Walk finishing at a stunning vista point. If my experience from last year is any indication, this year’s festival is going to be sky-high.
For our Western friends, flights to Nepal are right now very reasonable. Also, the festival price of $300 (all-inclusive) is a super deal. If you have some extra days available, consider staying on a bit after the festival to explore Kathmandu and other aspects of this beautiful Land of the Buddhas. Enjoy this opportunity of a lifetime with the One Sky Band and all the lovely participants on their way. And, if you depart Nepal a little more enlightened than when you arrived, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
“The Himalayas have attracted for centuries and centuries the mystical people. There is some quality of mystic atmosphere in the Himalayas. No other mountains in the world have that quality – the height, the eternal snow that has never melted, the silence that has never been broken, paths that have never been trodden. There are some similarities between the Himalayan peaks and the inner consciousness.”
Osho, Hyakujo: the Everest of Zen, Ch 9
OSHOfest Nepal 2020, March 23-28, Nagarkot, Nepal
Contact: facebook.com/OshofestNepal2020 – oshoniranjana.org
Contact for Nepal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact for Milarepa: email@example.com
Easy registration link: oshoniranjana.org/oshofest-nepal-2020
OshoFest Nepal: Unfolding Osho’s vision in the Himalayas – Prapat reports from last year’s event
Milarepa: Osho’s Bard – interview with Milarepa