The Doko of Compassion: GMF Project
Healing Journey into Foothills of Himalaya
Summary/Longer Version In Progress
I recall my father once told me that it takes tremendous amount of courage to pursue initiatives for the betterment of society, especially in a place where silence and gossip prevail over open communication and constructive disagreement. He emphasized that if you start a journey with a group of 10 people, by the time you reach your destination, there might only be two left, or you might even end up on your own. This reality, he shared, was based on his experience over the past 5.5 decades of his life.
As I looked at the vast sky, the steps, and the trails on my own path, I realized how insignificant I am in the grand scheme of things. How can I consider my problems and stories to be of greater importance when the Himalayas have stood for centuries without complaint? I couldn't help but wonder about their way of life. How do they thrive? What motivates and sustains them? Who influences and inspires them?
I felt like a kite, freely navigating the open sky, allowing my heart and soul to go wherever they pleased. This sense of lightness brought peace to my heart through my eyes. This journey provided me with ample time for self-reflection and observation of my actions, beliefs, and behaviors. I could smell the mountains, forests, and hills. The soothing sound of the breeze and rivers immersed me in their depth, enabling me to develop a heightened sensitivity, focus, and a feeling of completeness.
I closely observed the resilience, stability, and courage of the mountains and rocks. What makes them stand tall? I questioned myself about what drives me to stand up for what I believe in. Is it my principles? My beliefs? My interests? How can I strengthen my own courage? Where do these extraordinary strengths that few people possess come from? Where did Gandhi find the courage to fight? How did Mandela gather the strength to endure 27 years in prison and foster the power of reconciliation? What unshakable faith did he hold? Who and what ignited their strength and courage? How did they find their purpose?
Reflecting on the knowledge shared during the GMF Journey, where we explored narratives of courage, compassion, reconciliation, cooperation, interconnectedness, and trust, I realized how these were intertwined with my trekking experience in the mountains and hills. I learned that the power of interconnection, interdependence, and interbeing is unbreakable, just like the forests and communities of trees I observed. It only strengthens with time. It became clear to me that the stability and trust exhibited by the Himalayas allow them to shine despite any challenges they face. I witnessed living examples of interconnectedness, cooperation, stability, and peace during the trekking retreat, which made me appreciate these qualities even more. Each experience, character, and moment served as a healer and a force for peace, transforming my pain into valuable life lessons and a deep respect for every individual's journey.
Walking in the foothills of the Himalayas helped me closely observe the ecosystem and understand how it maintains balance through karma. This led me to contemplate the relationship between myself and others within our society. Walking and immersing myself in nature taught me that it is a journey within oneself, allowing us to comprehend the interconnections and relationships with the community and society we inhabit. True understanding of interconnectedness can only occur if we see others as reflections of ourselves. Although we may appear different, at our core, we are all the same. This realization calls for acceptance, love, respect, and concern for one another. These qualities serve as the medicine we need in our daily lives to help and heal each other, and to live in harmony.