In my first blog I said that I was not expecting to achieve enlightenment. Permission to revise that statement:

Anyone who has lived in Mcleodganj, Bhagsu, Dharamkot or any of the Himalayan mountain villages and towns for more than a few days, deserves the right of passage to the land of transcended beings.

Stairs! EVERYWHERE. Three hundred and thirty three (I counted) just to get from my room to the town’s main street. And you need to go to the town if you wish to eat, or do anything really. There are stairs leading to restaurants, shops, temples… stairs, stairs and just when you think there can’t possibly be more, wrong! MORE stairs.

I’ve been here for six days and my legs and gluteus maximus are threatening to disown me. I would love to appease them with a lovely long soak in a hot bath, but I’m not actually sure that ‘bath’ is a word in India?!

The willpower, concentration and sheer determination required to survive three months in Himachal Pradesh, in my opinion, shoots me to the top of the ‘waiting to be enlightened’ list.

However, if stairs don’t seal the deal then there is Tibetan food for the soul. And by that I mean cakes. I thought the Afrikaans were skilled in the art of baking, but the delights in almost every restaurant and the Tibetan street bakery will send you into a completely mesmerising and trance-like  state. The kind of meditation or samadhi experienced while eating one of these treats most people struggle to attain through many lifetimes following Patanjali’s eight limbs or the Buddha’s Aryan truths.

So my advice for those wanting to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime: Journey to the Himalayas, climb thousands of stairs and eat Tibetan cakes.


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