Trekking In Bhutan: Acceptance

Nov 20, 2010 | Bhutan


Our days take us past neon yellow larch forests, plus rhododendron, silver fir, and birch, until we are above the tree line in an alpine valley. Mornings, the earth vibrates with horsehoofs as our pack animals near the tents and await their breakfast. We arrive at the base of Bhutan’s sacred goddess mountain, (Jhomolari) ahead of a light afternoon rain. Dozens of yaks roam hillsides around us. A crumbling fortress-monastery stands on a small hill, but the 24,000 foot mountain behind it is entirely shrouded in fog and cloud.

Early in the morning, we catch a short glimpse of Jhomolari’s softly rounded peak, but that is her only unveiling. The light rain which crept in a day or two ago has come to stay. We climb to the blue Tso Phu lakes at 14,300 feet and shelter against the incessant rain.

Perspective and choice have been on my mind, and the weather is my current teacher. Rail against it or accept it, but you can’t change it. I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle, and he reminds me that we cause ourselves pain when we don’t accept what is. It is raining. And raining. And raining. I watch some of my clients resist it and make themselves unhappy. I embrace it and find myself inspired.

Near dusk I walk out to the edge of the lake in a fine drizzle. The world around me is exquisite. Behind the fog lies a panorama of snow-capped peaks, but I don’t long for them. The low clouds focus my attention on what is closer to me, and I soak in the details.


Our horses are grazing at the base of a huge rock face with a waterfall careening down into the head of the lakes. Another waterfall slices through the rock behind me. Rain speckles the surface of the lake. A herd of wild Himalayan blue sheep stray into a precariously steep patch of grass and shrub at the top of a nearby mountain.

Everything feels undisturbed by the quiet continuous falling of water, and I feel like I am wiser at heart. I’m full of peaceful gratitude for what is, rather than longing for what isn’t. Wish it could always be this easy.