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‘I bow to the divine in you’

In 2010 I was lucky (there’s that word again) enough to spend nearly two weeks trekking through India. The North Western Himalaya in Chamba Valley to be precise. It was absolutely magical, and a truly life changing experience for several reasons.


Firstly, I was there doing charity work, in the lead up to the trip, I had been raising money with a group called ‘Trekking for Charity’, we were raising money to build toilets for the villages in the regions we were going.

Basecamp: Trekked two days to get here. Perks: Bucket of hot water to bathe in.

What had been happening, is without any place to do their business, the villagers were going anywhere, and when it rained, what comes down, also runs down. Thousands of these very poor villagers were becoming very ill, and occasionally dying from drinking contaminated fresh water as a result of poor hygiene practices. So that’s what brought me to India.

It really opened my eyes as a young 20-something, that I was exceptionally lucky (real luck this time) to live in such a beautiful country as Australia, and I really took a lot of the basics for granted.

Strong and sturdy bridge over a gently flowing stream

There were several times during that trip, where I really went deep. One of these times was atop a mountain nearing dusk…..

Our trekking guide, we’ll call him Prakash; a village elder, and one of the wisest people I’ve ever met was incredible. I don’t know how old he was but definitely ‘older’, he just kept trekking, with his trekking stick, day after day, he was amazing.

I now know where the term 'stubborn as a mule' comes from

After maybe day 7-8 of the trek, we were setting up camp at the top of a rise (it was the Himalaya, there were rises everywhere you looked), and it was an hour or two before sunset. I asked Prakash, if he knew much about meditation.

To be clear…

I asked an Indian village elder, if he knew MUCH about Meditation, did I mention I was in my early 20s? #facepalm

Anyway, he said yes, and would I like to learn. Yep, I thought, for sure, we’ll be able to knock out half an hour of meditation, and then I’ll set up my tent, go find a creek for a quick wash and be ready for dinner… Prakash wasn’t of the ‘quick and dirty’ type when it came to life lessons.

Didn't wash this night

For hours we were atop of that rise, what felt like on top of the world. He took me through the beginnings of meditation, life, evolution, I got into chanting ‘OM’ for a very long time but felt like only a few minutes really.

small village, one night we camped on top of those little huts

This meditation experience, somewhere in the middle of the Himalaya was eye opening, or rather mind opening. I’d never really stopped, like really stopped to let my mind just be (I try to do it quite frequently now, but more on that later).

me, not meditating

Me... also not meditating

The place my unfocused, uncluttered mind when during my first real meditation experience was incredible. I’m a deep, DEEP thinker, and consequently have a lot of internal dialogue, mostly good exploratory stuff, and sometimes self-derogatory if I’m honest. But that day, on top of that mountain, I was enlightened. I felt and truly believed that I was destined to do great things.

From that meditation experience, I’ve always believed in Mind over matter, sometimes I’ve really had to dig deep, and check myself, but the mind can conquer some of the most amazing things if you can just shut out all the chatter.

I’d love to know what you do to shut out the chatter.


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