Tea with Lama Geshe

We continue to work our way up the Khumbu valley, taking two-days for acclimatization for every 2000ft of gained altitude. We are currently in Pheriche, a small village made up of five or six teahouses. Pheriche sits at the base of a pristine valley spotted with a handful of moss-covered stone houses and hundreds of grazing Tibetan Yaks. 
Today our team visited Lama Geshe, an eighty-something Lama with a memorable smile and an infectious laugh. Lama Geshe fled Tibet in 1967 just days after the Dali Lama himself. In fact, the pictures that line the walls of his home suggest that he and the Dali are good ol’ pals. He entered Nepal by way of Nang Pala, a 19.000ft snow-covered pass, and settled down in the small village of Pangbouche in the shadow of Mt. Everest.

After sharing a cup of tea and several heartfelt laughs Lama Geshe blessed our expedition and granted us permission to climb the holy Jomo Langma (Everest). Without his blessing (and a Puja ceremony to be held once we arrive at Base Camp) the Sherpa would not step foot on Everest. Lama Geshe gave each climber a Kata (blessing scarf), a necklace and a personal prayer to be carried with us at all times. The personal prayer he wrote for me is completely illegible, however this is the prayer he offered our team:
"You yourself are your own refuge, Nobody else can be your refuge.
If you really tame your mind, You can attain the highest realization of the Buddha!”
 
I continue to feel strong and seem to be acclimatizing even better than usual. My blood oxygen saturation level hasn’t dropped below 96 (I just recorded a 97 here in Pheriche at 14,000ft) and my resting heart-rate has locked-in consistently in the high 40’s and low 50’s. However, the high-altitude dreams have settled in for the long haul. I’ll leave you with this one from last night:

I arrive at the beach on my motorcycle (I don’t own a motorcycle). As I’m about to park several bikers cut in front of me and steal my parking space. I brush it off and find another spot. As I’m walking down the beach there are several dolphins playing in the surf when all of a sudden a killer whale breaches the water and lands in the beachside bar. Out of nowhere the kids of Flying Kites rush to assess the damage and begin prodding the whale to see if it’s still alive. All of the media showed up at the scene including Alan Arnette (an Everest blogger). I was pissed off that Alan was covering the whale story because it had nothing to do with mountains and we began to fight destroying the bar even more. Well it turns out the bar is owned by my movie-star crush Rachel Weisz (the actress from the Constant Gardener), who is none-to-pleased and has us arrested by Dick Cheney and several Kenyan Police. 
The End….
                                           
Mike ChambersComment