Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Luck of the Lama
After lunch and a consistently steep hike up apprx. 2,000 vertical feet from the Dudh Kosi river, we arrived at Tengboche, the site of our most memorable experience referenced earlier. Among his many other accolades, our guide Dawa Gyaljen Sherpa, mentioned in previous posts, also happens to be a full-fledged Buddhist Lama. For those of you who have already read "Steps to the Summit" you may recall in Chapter 8 - "Is There a Lama in the House?", Dawa was also the Sirdar (or head Sherpa) in charge of our 2010 climbing expedition. Yes, this is the same Dawa (with 6 Everest summits under his belt plus many more summits of other 8,000 meter peaks) leading our current trek, and we are extremely privileged that he was available to lead our team.
Anyhow back to Tengboche, where we are now, it is the site of the largest Buddhist monastery in the entire Solukhumbu region. Dawa made special arrangements with the head Lama of the Tengboche Monastery for a personal and exceptional blessing. By the way, this Lama is third in rank (by title) to the Dalai Lama, so his blessings are the real deal. After various formalities one by one, each member of our team approached the Lama and bowed down presenting a ceremonial kata scarf. After a series of spiritual chantings the silk katas were placed around each of our necks and we were officially blessed. All of us walked out of the monastery feeling incredibly lucky and privileged ...and perhaps a bit closer to "enlightenment"...so we have that going for us.