(by Ninja) Where is the best place to meditate? From a physical perspective, it goes without saying that we need a spot where we won’t be disturbed, where it’s quiet, clean, and pleasant. But from a subtle physical, or astral body perspective (the body of energy that surrounds the physical body known as the aura), finding a great spot to meditate can be a bit more challenging.
The subtle physical body provides doorways to meditation known as chakras, and meditating on the navel center, heart center, and third eye can open up planes of awareness, knowledge, and power. In order to find an aurically clean place to meditate, where the subtle physical body is minimally impacted by the “radio waves” of auric impressions emitted by our fellow human beings, it is ideal to be in a place where there aren’t too many people. But how do we find such a place for our daily meditation? And still have the proximity we need to cities for our day-to-day lives that include jobs, access to entertainment, healthcare, and our friends and colleagues? It’s tricky!
The Himalayas have been a place of refuge for meditators for thousands of years. They are one of the most sparsely populated regions of the earth and are literally “above” the soup of human aura that generally surrounds us 24 hours a day. if we were to have the great good fortune of being able to meditate there, the effort required to quiet the mind would be substantially lessened. One strategy we can use is to dip in and out of cities, jobs, and the super pervasive human aura, and then periodically retreat back to a place of refuge where we can clear our minds and meditate more easily. But even the most renowned power spots for auric house cleaning may be less effective than they used to be, as human aura creeps into even the most remote reaches of our planet.
In the classic spiritual text, Snowboarding to Nirvana, by Dr. Frederick Lenz (Rama), this eventuality is discussed directly. The intrepid young snowboarding dude from California who is learning about meditation and enlightenment is on a journey with Master Fwap and the Oracle to discover the secret of the missing dimensions in the Annapurna range. Master Fwap warns him about the degradation impending in the Himalayas. “’ That is why it is important you solve the riddle of the missing dimensions now. These very mountains, trails, and passes are attracting more and more tourists and mountain climbers each day, and they are rapidly becoming more aurically polluted. In a few short years,’ he said with a laugh, ‘you might have to become a scuba diver and go hundreds of feet underwater to experience what you are feeling here now. It will be the last refuge of pure aura and power on our planet, the oceans’ depths. It will be the only place left that human beings have not yet polluted with their vibrations!’”
It has been almost 25 years since these words were written, so it might be reasonable to presume that the days of auric purity in the Himalayas are over and that our next refuge – our last refuge – is the sea. But the Himalayas must still be pretty nice! Even if it’s harder, or maybe even impossible, to solve the riddle of the missing dimensions in 2022, I imagine it’s still a lot easier to meditate there than in your local downtown park. I remember in late 1996 when Rama was in the middle of writing Snowboarding to Nirvana, at the time I was working with him on a software project. He came into the office one evening and asked me if I had a copy of a photography book he had once recommended, “Himalayas”, by Yoshikazu Shirakawa. I did have a copy and he borrowed it for a week or so, for “inspiration” he said. The images in the book are truly breathtaking, captured in the period between 1967 and 1970 when the aura was purer, and you can still find a copy here or there with a little effort. What a treasure!
But what draws all of the Himalayan mountain climbers, trekkers, tourists, and pilgrims to this cold and remote land? It’s not for the glory, as even the most famous mountain climbers are not well known by society at large. It is to elevate the spirit. In the talk Peak Experiences from Rama’s Tantric Buddhism series, he discusses briefly the case of Reinhold Messner, a famous climber from South Tyrol: “I was reading a story about a guy who’s climbed more of the Himalayan mountains of the highest elevations than anyone else. As a matter of fact, he’s only got one or two to go and he’s done them all. And in doing this, he’s lost several fingers from frostbite; he lost a brother in a climb. He’s gone through all kinds of innumerable obstacles. But this guy is probably the most famous mountain climber in the world. He keeps climbing these mountains. He’s gone up to the top of Everest without oxygen. He just does these incredible things. And you have to ask yourself, well, why do this?… Why push yourself? Why not just be comfortable? Why not play it safe? Why court danger? It’s because there are some individuals who have a peculiar power. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s from past lives, maybe it’s not. Who knows, but some people just have a peculiar power, the power to elevate themselves above the deadness of the human condition.”
Because Rama rarely talks about specific people as examples of the spiritual pursuit, I went to learn a little bit more about Messner and there is a wonderful documentary available for free on YouTube where you can really appreciate the “weird power” that this humble man possesses. It becomes clear early in the film that Messner is climbing to discover himself, not to discover mountains that have all been previously climbed by others anyway. He appears immune to the opinions of others, deliberate, and not afraid to fail and try again. I think his spirit is well captured by the following, which he says near the end of the documentary: “It’s not important what we have in the end, it’s important what we have done. But not what we have. And I am still functioning [such that] I am willing to spend everything for a project – all my money, all my time, all my energy, all my enthusiasm to do it. And afterward I can say, ‘it was not necessary, but it was great!’”
Whether you go to the Himalayas inwardly with the help of great photography and firsthand accounts, or whether you journey outwardly on a pilgrimage or even to brave the 8,000-meter peaks with no supplemental oxygen, these majestic mountains are for all of us, waiting silently. What do they promise us? Just stillness, that is their promise. Stillness. They will be here long after we are gone, probably long after all human beings are gone, and the aura will be pure once again. I hope your luck and weird power get you to those peaks in this life!