The Trek, Kathmandu Arrival

Kathmandu. Pilgrims, tourists and hawkers at grand stupa

Arriving in Kathmandu, Nepal seems a good starting point to write about The Trek.  It’s where almost Himalayan treks begin.  It’s a transition point of realities.  The reality of the “West” to the reality of a developing Asian capital city, and onto the Himalayan mountain reality. Truth and illusion blur when realities are stacked so close together. From the orderliness of the West, to Nepal’s deep poverty and a booming economy living side by side with its pollution, crowds, chaos, dirt, traffic, noise, poverty, and misplaced people, to the beauty, serenity and mysticism of the mountains.

Anapurna Range, Nepal. Fishtail and Anapurna 3 peaks, over 25,000'

From my notes I see that the very first thing I wrote after arriving in Kathmandu was, “The last thing I need [in my life right now] is any sort of teacher.”  I’d just met the sweetest, most lovely Nepalese man.  His interests and successes had brought him to a position of de facto spiritual and life teacher, and example of sorts on how to live, what to strive for, and the meaningful spiritual way to the right life.  A continuous stream of teachings pours forth. Good teachings, I imagine. I’m just not in the market for anybody’s teachings. I guess that sums it up. I’m on my own. I’ve had many great teachers in my life.  I honor and respect them all and am grateful for what I learned from them, but not now, please, and thank you.  I will “struggle” along on my own just now.

Friend and teacher Dewa and family on the roof of family home

I’m bad.  I’m politically incorrect, ungrateful and other less flattering things, but I will find my own way.  My life’s quest is to become fully me, not something else.  I really don’t mean “me” from an ego point of view, but quite the opposite.  Becoming me is about truth, the truth of what and who I am, not who I should be, want to be, or what anyone else wishes me to be.  It’s about what I am, stripped down and naked, the reality.  On the trek, “politically” naughty but truthful, was our mode. This is why The Bad Dogs of Mustang Club was formed, to explain shorthand that we are being bad, bad within truth, bad in that we say what shouldn’t be said, bad that is good with integrity, laughter, and without apology. We had only to say “bad dog” and we all understood.


The order of a western-like city, the edge of Hong Kong

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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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