On a holy conquest with inner peace in mind, I had set off on a backpacking trip to a monastery in the Tibetan mountains which have clearly proven that they are the best in achieving such results according to The Telegraph.
As I reached the base of the mountain, a layer of cold had enveloped me and even though it wasn’t full on winter yet, I knew that I would either suffer from lack of oxygen on my way up or I would freeze due to the cold. Either scenario would probably be the cause of death if that was to happen, but nevertheless, I continued with perseverance to the top.
About midway, I was about to see the monastery from where I was standing. I had no water, the oxygen was slowly getting to me and a lot of cold air had passed through my ears, ultimately making me freeze. But I knew I had to keep going to finish my conquest of inner peace.
After about three hours, I reached the top. I climbed the stairs inside only to see that it sort of looked like a house built on wooden floors. A monk came up to me and asked “Have you come here to see the Elder One?”
“Yes, for I have come on a conquest to find inner peace” I said, as I started to shiver.
He noticed my freezing state, and took me to a room that was similar to that of a sauna room. After giving me the attire which was required to be used in the sauna room, he left me to warm up.
He collected me after an hour and gave me my clothes, which looked very fresh. I was given food and water to quench my thirst and hunger before I was taken to see the “Elder One” that the monk was talking about.
The Elder One’s room seemed pretty empty. There was a big Buddha which looked as if it was attached to the wall and he was sitting on a mat facing this Buddha; deep in meditation. Incense was also lit and placed on a small at the corner of the room. A tea table was placed beside the wall, where hot tea and teacups were left untouched.
The monk and I stood there for a few minutes before the Elder One had finished his prayers and acknowledged us. The monk had bowed down to him, and I too did the same. The Elder One bowed back and turned to attend to the untouched tea.
After he took a sip of his tea, he had offered some to the both of us and he asked me about my purpose of visit, for which I had told him about my conquest towards inner peace.
After hearing my story, he let out a laugh, which left me bewildered. I thought that he’d give me a solution to my problems, but I wasn’t expecting laughter.
“My boy, you have already achieved inner peace. The fact that you took the effort to come here is inner peace in it’s own way. Think about it, would you have ever come here if not for your conquest?”
I shook my head. “Well, did you feel like quitting after you were deprived of oxygen, food, and water during your climb to the top?” he asked again. I shook my head to that too, because at the time, my goal was to reach the top and ask him for answers.
“Did you feel content after you reached the top?” he questioned. I nodded my head. I actually felt like I could get answers once and for all.
‘Well there you have it” the Elder One said. I still gave him a confused look. He understood this and started to explain.
“You made a conquest to search for inner peace, dedicated yourself to get to that goal and now you have achieved it. You have committed to achieving inner peace, even though you were deprived of oxygen, food and water. And that my friend is the answer to your question: Faith. When you surrender yourself to faith, you will find inner peace.
I smiled at his response as realization hit me. He was right, if not for my conquest, I wouldn’t be here in the first place. And I even had the dedication to move forward as I moved up the mountain, despite my lack of resources.
And it was because of this experience, I became a monk at the same place 10 years after that trip which had changed me entirely.