Once upon a time, long time ago; a master and a novice started climbing a hill in the Himalaya for no apparent reason. It was early morning, still pitch dark and freezing cold. Master climbed silently barely making a sound with a placid demeanour belying any efforts in his part while the novice a young teenager struggled with a mind full of questions. Here is the story -
Why do we climb – novice asked
Just breathe – master answered
Why are we climbing in the dark
I can’t see anything
I am cold and tired
I can’t climb anymore
How far is the top
I want to stop
And then soon enough the sun begins to rise painting the azure in shades of gold and orange and mauve. The novice stood speechless at the spectacular play of light and shades upon the snow covered peaks that lay before him like endless chain of white pyramids. He had never seen anything as majestic or inexplicable. He paused and gasped and gaped. The master stood beside, smiling gently at the young boy.
Then the novice realized that they were indeed at the top. He was tired, he was happy, he was fulfilled and in that moment of supreme realization all he could do was – just breathe. He had no more questions and he didn’t seek any more answers. All he did was breathe and rejoice that he could breathe.
Note – obviously, I was the novice in the above anecdote and the master was one of many that found me on my life’s path and worthy of their company. I was and am still always ready and eager to learn and imbibe what I don’t know; and I don’t know anything. On this climb I learned that our most basic need is also our most fulfilling objective; which is to just breathe. And I learned to breathe, just breathe. Rest will occur naturally.