The last 2 days have been filled with some of the most breathtaking (no pun intended) scenery on the planet. i am now sitting in the tiny, dusty, windswept village of Dingboche - elevation 14,465' - and I ponder not the beauty around me but something even more beautiful.
Nepal and its people are grounded firmly in Buddhism. It is apparent everywhere. A stupa here, a "sacred" mani stone there, countless prayer flags, and the distant hum of a local lama chanting daily prayers surround me constantly. One of the "highlights" of any trek to Everest Basecamp and for the expedition member is a visit to Lama Geshe. He is the reigning holiest of holy Buddhist spiritual advisors, 2nd only to the Dalai Lama. For a small donation you can enter his monastery high in the mountains, bow to him, and receive a blessing of safety for your expedition as he throws rice all over you. Yesterday, around the snack table this visit became our groups topic of conversation. Everyone became so excited with the prospect of receiving this special blessing.
Backtrack 5 minutes. As this conversation began to develope I turned on my I-pod shuffle. For those not familiar, you load your I-pod with hundreds of songs from many different artists. In listening to the music, one option you have is to shuffle the music inventory so that there is a true mix of music. The VERY 1st song that came on was by Casting Crowns - The Voice of Truth. One of the lines of this song is "With all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth".
With excitement in the air we went around the table and everyone began to give their approval of this "sacred" visit. All eyes turned to me awaiting my response. With Casting Crowns playing in the background and with all the voices calling out to me, I chose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth. In the Bible book of John, the 14th chapter, and 6th verse, Jesus says " I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through Me.
I believe any and all blessings, past, present, and future come from Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. If I achieve the summit of Mount Everest, I rest assured knowing that that blessing came from above and not from some "blessing" received by a Buddhist holy man.