„You have fifteen minutes! Then we‘ll continue our drive.“, our guide tells us when we stop by the roadside at Lake Manasarovar. „Yeah, right.“, I think and step out of the bus.
Driving from Lhasa westwards across Tibet, we have covered more than 1200 km over the past days. Our group of eleven plus guide plus driver is heading towards Mount Kailash (6638m / 21,778ft) and the plan is to spend more time at Lake Manasarovar (4590m / 15,060ft) after the Kailash circumbulation, not before. For me though, this moment now is crucial, and sacred.
My first time at Lake Manasarovar, in this life that is. The landscape is magnificient, the air exhilarating. I begin to walk towards the lake in the hope to touch its water. My legs seem on autopilot, bringing me closer and closer to the crystal waters in front of me.
While my co-travellers remain behind, I become increasingly aware of my relationship to the lake. There is a magnetic pull which gets stronger with every step.
I keep walking, sure that I will reach the banks right after the next hill. But no, there is again another hillsite. What seems so close is in actual fact still far away – a phenomenon I will experience also around Kailash later on.
Looking back, the others are only tiny dots and the bus is no more in sight. In my mind, I send a note to our guide: Sorry, no way, fifteen minutes will be sufficient.
I am not running, but walking fast. Despite that my focus aims ahead, I am fully present in the now. It is quiet around me. I hear only the slight crunch when my feet touch the gravelly savannah. Grey-brown, barren land with only some tufts of sturdy grass. Far away, towards the horizon, the snow capped peaks of the Gurla Mandhata plateau (7694m).
I am conscious of my breath, my heartbeat, my perception about the lake, its light and atmosphere, while what‘s behind me dissolves. I actually feel as if I leave everything behind, as if I get stripped of my entire external Earthly life. A parallel world is opening. A vast, fresh, untouched, nonetheless also familiar wonderland.
Tears wells up. There is a clear recognition in me about this location and its vibration. My mind tries to grasp what is happening but my beingness is already far beyond the mental realm.
I slow down. And suddenly my legs give in. I sink onto my knees. I‘m literally floored.
Down on the ground, I cry silently. Stunned, I look towards the water and know, just know, this lake is my portal back home, and a diving board into the ocean of higher consciousness. I feel an immense relief. And instantly notice also my yearning to return home. It is almost overwhelming. Tears keep streaming. This is my gate up, towards my soul family, my crowd, and my divine source. I am sobbing, loudly. Can‘t help it. Glad, there is only me. Not a single person nearby, not even in sight.
Despite my determind walk, I have not reached the actual sea. Yet I am close enough to get a taste of my connection with this space. My breathing, brain and body calm down.
At some point I stand up and slowly walk further towards the lake. It keeps changing its colours rapidly, from emerald to hues of blue. Clouds seem to move and shift their shapes and textures equally fast on the cobalt canvas higher up. Looking at the enormous landscape, I observe how my system tries to grasp its entirety. My senses and inner antennae scan the physical as well as the nonphysical. I feel infinite silence – a dimension of eternal, pure and potent stillness. It is delicious.
After crossing another hill, suddenly and unexpectedly, there is a group of wild horses right in front of me. Cream and caramel coloured beauties. The animals are absorbed with grazing and look rather perplexed when I turn up. Instead of running away, showing signs of defense or fear, they remain tranquil and composed. Some continue eating, while a few others look up, curiously watch me, or even move a little closer towards me.
This encounter feels quite special – ethereal. As if meeting celestial creatures. I am spellbound by the animals’ beauty, innocence and gentleness, and the sheer perfection of the scene at that precise moment.
I can not let this delightful moment pass without taking photos. Unfortunately, my camera with its macro zoom and click sounds makes them nervous. First, only half a dozen start to move, then the entire group of maybe twenty horses runs away. They settle further in the distance. Not without looking back and double checking what I am up to.
I decide to turn round, but get a strong sense of having to lay down on the ground. There and then I lie down on my back and look at the sky. Consciously breathing, and eventually closing my eyes. I listen within, and without. Again, that rich stillness. Sacred silence and no-thing-ness, no-thought-ness too, yet there is an energetic grandness which is incomparable. Out of this world. I expand and melt into this nourishing energy pool.
Just when I conveyed my gratitude to existence, I get nudged to walk back to the bus. I feel revitalised, strengthened and somehow new. Not excited, although I sense joy. It is rather an intense serenity.
While walking back, I wonder for a second if the bus departed without me. Then I see Sergei on the horizon, and others from the group. He slowly moves towards me. I feel we are in a time- and spaceless zone – a great opportunity to sit down and do the introduction to meditation he had asked for few days before.
„Let‘s sit here.“, I indicate. He smiles. We sit on the bare land. I give him some guidance into meditation, and fall into speechlessness. I remember to explain a few more things. I seem to lose my thoughts though. The strong subtle powers around me have me in their grip.
Upon opening my eyes, the water of Lake Manasarovar appears like a bright platinum lava plasma. Intense. Indescribable.
Silently we walk back. Reaching our bus, I apologise profusely for being late. Our guide is laughing. I laugh too. Everybody is late!
When we depart from Lake Manasarovar, I have no idea how much time has passed. It didn‘t cross my mind at all to check the watch.
Our bus is now heading towards Darchen (4575m / 15,010ft), where we will be given accomodation for the night, and from where we are going to start the Kora the following morning.
During the drive we get first glimpses of Mount Kailash, which is really quite exciting. And then, all of a sudden, a rainbow reaches out from the ochre-coloured mountains and grassy foothills next to Kailash. Hours later we are in for another gift from mother nature: a beautiful peach pink sunset in front of our guesthouse – a further auspicious sign for the journey to come (the three days kora around Mount Kailash followed by another, longer stay at Lake Manasarovar).
All images copyright Marina Wolny. No extraction / utilisation permitted.