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It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.

-Sir Edmund Hillary

When asked why climb a mountain the traditional answer has been because it’s there.  Human beings have an unconquerable spirit.  See it, believe it, be it.  There truly is nothing a human being cannot accomplish. 

What would the world be like if we took this invincible spirit to conquering ourselves?  Guru Nanack said conquer the mind…conquer the world.  Similarly another guru once stated to his student, if you spent 10% of the time you spent on chasing women, and financial pursuits to that of bettering yourself and that of a spiritual existence you would have attained enlightenment long ago.

Our lives, our beings are far more valuable than meaningless pursuits.  Our lives, much like the mountain are far more than that of a conquest.  We do not live our lives just because we are here.  Our existence is far more powerful than a life without purpose.  The blessing, the miracle that exists for you to be in this form on this planet right now is not a mistake.  Your existence is a gift.  You have a purpose on this planet.  You have a responsibility to fulfill on this gift that you have been given.  Our lives, like climbing a mountain is a journey without an end destination or result to conquer.  Every moment is a blessing.  Every moment is a moment for you to make a difference on this planet and in this universe.  Every moment is a moment for you to live a spiritual existence…to be love.

I love to hike and climb mountains.  I climb not to  conquer the mountain or bag a peak but to spend a moment in time with a spiritual force that rises into the sky.  This spiritual being of a mountain will exist long after my ashes have scattered in the wind.  I climb to experience, to be at one with this being, with the wind, with the sun, with the energy of the universe.  The long days and suffering up the mountain slope is similar to our experiences in life.  Life throws us everything- happiness, challenges, sadness, obstacles, beauty.  It is up to us to choose our path.  Buddha said life is suffering when we get stuck on the permanence or static of life.  Life is change.  Life is painful at times yet just like climbing the mountain if we let go of the pain and just be we get the view and experience of a lifetime.

Call to Action:

  • Stop…Breathe and experience life.  There is no right or wrong or the way things are supposed to be.  There is not good or bad, there just is.  Realize life just IS and be with it.  Choose life and choose the blessings in every moment.
  • Where are you not just experiencing life everyday?  Where have you put expectations and your own personal peaks to bag in your life?  Let these go and live life to the fullest without expectations.
  • Where are you wasting your time on meaningless pursuits.  Put a list together of the things you want to experience and transform in your lifetime.  The list should look unattainable…impossible….this is when you start living and experience that there is no impossible.  Conquer yourself…conquer the world.

Thomas D. Craig

Author A Cup of Buddha

Writer. Seeker. Adventurer