Dies ist der FriedensPilger-Blog
This is the peace pilgrimage blog

one week more in Leh/Lahdakh

Dear friends,

I am still in Leh. Surprise, also for me. After organising everything for the next 475km, after meeting new friends, after writing all the articles in the blog, I felt, that I have also to rest. Just resting. And I did. So good. So tomorrow I continue walking and from tomorrow, I am not reachable for 3 to 4 weeks, because there is no Internet.

I am and I was so surrounded by beautiful people. This place is blessed by the people and there spiritual praxis. As I wrote earlier, lots of things came together here. I stayed at Zaltak guest house and I was heartly welcome here. And I can highly recommend this place for you, if you plan to come to Leh. 2 weeks I stayed here and I had to pay only a very little fee for my stay here, so nice and welcoming. The lady who owns the place has a beautiful skill to gather the right people together.

I met also some more ‚Stupa Lover’s‘. My ‚Is-ness‘ feels so much supported by the ‚Is-ness‘ of the Stupa, just beautiful.

A week ago I got blessed with a ‚donation‘ by the bank. I looked for money at a bank mashine, when I suddenly got money without putting my PIN code in there. I went 2 days later to the bank office to report about the issue. The assistant manager surged for the mistake, but could not find it. So, what to do? I asked him at the end of the procedure….. he lifted the shoulder up and I kept the money. After a while I accepted the money and try to handle it as a ’normal‘ donation.

Leh is a wonderful example also for the environment. In all the shops you never get a plastic bag. This is a praxis here sice decades, as I understand. There is also a refill station for drinking water at one of the shops. They counted to have saved more than 700.000 plastic bottles by this praxis.

Also very nice to see, how houses are build here. The sand at the properties is suitable to be used with cement to make briks or concrete. Poplars are growing here too and there are used for all kind of construction help or building the roof. If there are stones needed, the mountains offer a lot. Only transport and labor has to be payed to get them.

Leh is on the way to get more and more tourists, in the moment there is an increase of 25 percent every year!!!!!

I sent a lot of love around the world

Thomas

 

 

no internet for the next 4 weeks

Dear friends.

For the next four weeks I do not have internet.

I am walking 475km through the Himalayas crossing some high passes. But following a street. So don’t worry.

I got fantastic help from some people who know the area. So they lent me tent and sleeping bag and mat. Got also very good helpers for the way.

One of them will deposit the tent, sleeping bag at the way, so I have to carry the extra volume and weight only for about 100km plus. So blessed.

There was yesterday an interview with the ‚Time India‘. Let’s see, what the outcome will be.

I still love to be with the stupa. Soooo good.

Love Thomas

The Stupa in Leh

Welcoming in Leh was just great. Lots of thinks came together here. Kesava organized a place to stay. And new friends showed up. Also Katarina and Lukas, cyclists, which I met earlier on the road, are still in Leh. …….

But the most amazing ‚thing‘ in Leh is the super beautiful walkin Stupa. I earlier saw one walkin Stupa in Hungary. That one actually the biggest Stupa in Europe. Anyway, I was asking myself already, why there is no stupa here, where you can walk on, where you can do walking meditation? And there the beautiful building is.

I go as often as I can, idially at sunrise and Sunday. This stupa is a gift to me.

I do love to inspire people, to build a Stupa, where we did the light temple initiation, or reinitiation, in the north of Germany, close to Flensburg in ‚Angeln‘. But this would/ will be a big project. Everything is possible.

Fotos you can see on instagram: schmockelthomasheinrich

Religions

Religions have to permanently bring the evidence, that they teach Love and Peace. Love and Peace is the basic every religion is embodying. If we can’t see the evidence of Love and Peace in a relegions teachings, it’s not a true teaching…..!!!!!

———-

Every religion has the responsibility, to show the people the way to freedom. Freedom is arising, when people understand there true self. Freedom is arising, when people can see God in themself. If people can connect with God directly, they become there guidance directly from there heart. They will follow directly universal rules. People will behave from that rules by themself, because they understand, its good for them. From that heart wisdom place happiness is arising.

to Leh

It’s still 36 km to Leh. So I say good bye to Kesava. I will see him tomorrow. I can’t walk that far and I started the day to late for this.

After seing the Zanskar river flowing into the Indus the street went up to Magnetic Hill. After I thought, I am on the top, the street went more and more up, km by km. What a illusion. Finally on the top, the view so far. clouds on the sky, but a view so clear, reaching at least 40 km. And a long way down. And it took time. I walked slow, as mostly, but when the evening came no privat house arised.  Only military after military camp, army camp after army camp. There was no privat house to find to finish the day. A Sikh temple. People praying inside. I thought to myself, I will go a little further, because they need some time to finish. I also saw through the door a Krishna picture. All the praying has to be towards inside, towards us all inner god-self.  Images outside have us only to remind that they are the mirrors, to look inside. Mirrors to show us into what we can wake up, into what we can realize. Doing that way, the prayers get very effective….
I come to a shop. They sent me to the next monastery,  But there, it’s already dark, I can’t knock anywhere, and to both sides of the road, not ending 15 km long military basis. Not to believe. Is that really, what Leh needs???? Do there have to be so many soldiers and camps. I kind of doubt. But I have no choise. I can’t ask anywhere. Fences and walls all along the way. So I end up in Leh, everything dark, no electricity….. at 22h. I book a room again for a cheaper rate. Puh. ..

The way of the heart

The journey continues. After some km two different ways. One is towards Alchi, a old monestary close to the Indus. One is along the main road. I kind of feel attracted to see Alchi, but it’s early and it’s not far and it would mean, to stay in Alchi….. I ask my heart, what to do, and I am so surprised that we continue on the main road. After some 100m I feel clearly, it’s so right to do so. After passing beautiful village Saspol, where I had some more tomatoes under a nice tree at a good care taking place, I see to my big surprise a big mulberry tree.  And it has fruits. Ripe fruits at the 2nd of September?!!! I know Mulberries from the middle east, where they get ripe in Mai , June or July,  depends on the area. But that late in the year, I have never seen a mulberry tree having fruits. And I love tgem soo much. It seem no-one is interested to harvest some or dry them…. a car stands underneath and is fully covered with all the berrys, which glue, if there are to ripe.

At a army base, where I shortly rested, after a long walk today, I suddenly see Kesava from south India, a bicycle rider. We quickly become friends and he walked with me through this 3 km army camp to Nimmu,  where we rented a cheap reduced room.

A little bit cold evening. And it has snowed in the 5000m mountains. Does it effect the walk through the passes or is that just a cold week. Later i hear, the Monsun in India there days further south is so strong these days, so many flooding. So maybe some of the to many clouds came just over…..

Continue reading The way of the heart

Indus and Kaltse

In Lamayuru I met a very nice chinese guy. He mentioned, that I also could leave the road to hike on sideways. But I decided to stay on the road, first I do not need another adventure, but mainly I wanted to walk more at the Indus. The road went spectacular in a zic zak steep down into a kind of canyon. And then continued for a while in that narrow valley, until it totally opens up into the wide Indus valley. Something attracks to the river. What, I don’t have a clue.
In Kaltse I found a nice house to stay. From that side I was coming the village was a bit unorganized, but had even a try of a small industrial area. Through all the little poor houses, I could look through some area with a good looking yellow house beside some big stupas. No question that I could stay, ‚how many days will you be here?‘ The nephew Jimmed of my host is one of 4 kids, which she takes care of. She is the sister of one of the parents who are working in Leh. Jimmed is 12 and has already a artist name born from the sound of his name G.Me!!! He draws fantastic portraits. Always he draws boys in Manga style and with long hair hanging in the face. He by himself is not allowed by his teachers to have long hair, but he would love. If the hair of the boys is to long he just comes and cut it back to 2cm.
As I leave the house I am so surprised to see around a mountain corner a big offering on shops and restaurant’s. Everything is suddenly there. Everything for what I was looking for the last days. Fruits, nuts, good warm food…… With this abundance I have to stay a bit. I have some apricots and hot water.
Coming newly out of town a internet cafe. Uuuuh. I could stay all day long and write the blog. But internet is not working. Next year they say, it will be better.
Somehow the Indus is kind of magic, but what is it? Some stone? …..???
The weather is a bit cloudy, fresh here and there some little rain.
The 84year old Ladakh lady and topfit, who is my next host, is praying later in the evening, while others prepair the dinner, with her prayer wheels. Prayer wheels are lots used in Tibetan Buddhism, as big wheels on the street, or smaller ones often to find close to the monasteries or this hand prayer wheels. They have all papers with prayers inside and it’s believed, when you turn the wheels, the prayers get spread around. The hand prayer wheels are helping also to concentrate so you can focus better. This last has two different kind of hand prayer wheels. One is silver and one is kupper/gold. Using the different types makes also a different effect. There are 7 different metals used for prayer wheels.

Again and again I am resting at the Indus. I don’t make it towards Saspol today as planed. It rains first and then, a little later I feel stopped a Eco village in Tokpo. I am invited to stay to nights. I get a little cabin. Internet for the blog, no….. So I use all the time for resting. After breakfast the next day I move back to my cabin, on my bed and realize how good a massage could be now. So I decide to give it to myself. I kind of see a spiritual lightful hand that moves over my body. Everywhere where I need a stimulation, the hand does with my concentration what I need. So I move all the back down, spot by spot. Also shoulders, legs and head I treat. I even learn some new graps who are done, so I can use for others later. After the treatment I fall in a deep relaxing sleep. I repeat the treatmen two more times and two more time I fall in a deep sleep afterwards. Thsts how I spend all the day, until dinner.

A little group of 4 is also 2 days guest in the Eco hotel. One of them is the Ladakhi guide.  We start sharing about Kashmir and Ladakh and India and so on and he gives me some more information. ‚Some time ago the Kashmiries made a campaigne against the minorities of Hindies in Kashmir. The Hindus felt after a while not safe anymore and gathered and decided to leave there home land Kashmir. Now Indian government changed, a Hindu party is on power and Kashmir feels some ‚karma‘ coming back through getting more controlled through Indian army.‘

Then he reports about Muslims in Ladakh. ‚In Leh we allowed the Muslims to build all together four mosque, because we believe in freedom of relegions and everyone should be happy. But in Kargil, where he Buddhist are in minority, the one little temple, the Buddhist wanted to renovate – no allowness.‘ ‚Also Muslims believe that we are dirty, they don’t consider us as clean‘

Bob Karboo and Lamayuru

Somehow after leaving Mulbekh I hear a echo inside me. I hear a friend of mine, Elisabeth. It’s a conversation from 15 to 18 years ago, which I never before remembered. She talked in a gathering with another friend about Ladakh. Because they went into detail and I did not have a map with me, I went away from the conversation. Now, walking after Mulbekh, I hear her voice of that old conversation echoing in me, saying: Do you, ….äh, ….mean Mulbekh….? (In german: Meinst du…. äh…. Mulbekh….?) Never remembered this conversation before, now It is present here and there while walking….

It is quite a challenge on the country area to get some fresh fruits. In desperate need of some fruits I arrive in a village after the Namik La pass. The variations of food were really poor and it seems that no tourist stops here. In the only shop here, which provided also a little kitchen, but not very inviting, they offered Maggi soup, I found in one corner good looking tomatoes. I got to know, that are from the gardens here from 3.500m elevation. And the taste was soooo good. With some garlic and salt, so delicious.
In Bod Karboo I was guided to the main temples. The monks there,  just washing themselves, in underwear, welcomed me heartly. The relatively young main monk told me he is from this village. And I was immediately invited to stay 2 days. Some ruins tell stories from monks meditating lonely up in the mountains. This temple is located beside the road, but in the middle of military. Totally surrounded from all sides by army. Because this temple looked pretty new, I asked the main monk, why this location, expecting a answer like, ‚there are quite some Buddhist practitioner in the army‘ ….. or something like this. I witnessed before, that sometimes the army supports group of people, like in that case ‚Sikhs‘ together. But temple normally have also the duty to create beauty around them. But here, with all the army buildings around…… I got a buddhist mindful positive a little bit shy answer: The army is also protecting us, in winter they help us to keep the street clean from snow…. and: we got this property.
Next day all the monks were gone. They also did not show up until the day after until I was leaving. I used the property for a beautiful and long walking meditation, one side nearly had a little forest with small bushes and trees. A side valley invited for a nice walk and I enjoyed looking at the people’s daily work on the fields, the stupas, ‚Om mani padme hum stones‘ ….
Crossing the next pass ‚Fatu La‘ at 4.108m was more easy than expected. I found a lot of joy to short cut the serpentines as well as on the way up then down.
Lamayuru is a famous town laying in a valley, surrounded by big mountains. The monastery itself is situated on top of a hill in the valley. I managed again to stay in the monastery.

My budget was no down to 200 Rupies/3€. I check my account and…… oh there arrived a donation, a wonderful a good donation…. uuuuhh, I can’t believe and I can believe. Thanks so much, Georg….

Monks behave strange when I am in a monastery. Here they nearly avoided to talk to me. Lots of the monks were anyway not present. The last place the monks disappeared completely. I know that from earlier places too. I want to a silent retreat by myself, and the day I arrived the Abbot left…. maybe just coincidences?
I again stay two nights.
Lots of stupas in this village. There is even a whole ’stupa street‘ up to 500m long, combined with thousands of ‚Om mani padme hum‘ stones.  Following that ‚prayer street‘ it leads to a beautiful valley with inviting silence.

In the afternoon I find a nice restaurant who even serve Ginger-Lemon Tea. First time a herbal tea. Celebration……

I realize, since I am in ‚Buddha Land‘ my waking up rhythm kind of normalized. I get up earlier again and meditate…. Before I was always disturbed by the before dawn prayer in Muslim culture. Most people go sleeping after that again, and it felt just to early.
I visited also the temple hall of Lamayuru. It’s so packed, that I don’t know where visiters have space to participate in a puja. There are all the teaching desk of the monks in the prayer hall. Around cupboards full of scriptures. More areas full of I guess valuable statures. In the back of the hall there is only one line left for visitors.

Is the main practise in monasteries served by the monks and not together with any other practitioner?  I always love to have a togetherness. So maybe the monks have more knowledge, but the practise should be together. So the non-monk people get inspired, led and guided through the together practice. Because the together-practise make from my point of view the change. Doing, praying, singing mantras…. makes the change….. other than getting a prayer or mantra served….
so there need to be more space for the whole community in the monastery……

Continuing walking with the always presents of the army I start to think a bit of all that defending thing. If there would be a attack from outside, how difficult it is to defend a mountain area like this with only one main road. So if a attack comes from the air with a lot of paratroopers…. They could easily block the main road. If there is no military in every village, as there is, how difficult it would be to free the road again. Just some thoughts I had on the road.
But peace is not happening through the presence of the army. Peace needs to be done on another level. By conversations, concioussness building with politicans and inside the folks and parties and by creating togetherness and building bridges……  if a fight starts its already to late….. If there is not a good foundation for commincation, it’s very problematic,  when a fight starts, to establish communication.

Mulbekh

Coming closer to Mulbekh was such an experience. 3 different mountain shapes. One more beautiful than the other. Wonderful structures. I was so amazed to see in the best weather this scenery. I rested below a school with the best ever view I could imagine in that moments. These kids have the most amazing round view. Continuing walking I came along the first prayer wheel, Tibetan flags are hanging everywhere around, sometimes making a gate, in this case into the Buddha land. It is the first Buddhist village after so many muslim countries and villages I walked through. And I quickly felt such a different energy. It feels like more open and more beauty. Or how should I else discripe? I really dont know.
Again I am looking for a kitchen or restaurant, what has something vegetarian without onion, but no Maggi soup. The first place can’t serve me with that. The second also is passing. The third place can make it happen. Its the paradise restaurant and guest house. Stanzin is the owner. I quickly ask him also for the price for the special dish. I have learned, if I don’t do, there maid be trouble when paying. And you know, my budget is still very small.
With Stanzin I come quickly into a nice conversation. He has seen me earlier that day walking along the street. And he is one, who understands quickly what I am doing. He also appreciated the work I have done to reach that point in my life. He mentioned to let go of so many attachment is such a achievement.  This kind of vocabularies you hear rarely out of a Muslim mouth. Then he offered a room to me, I gratefully accepted. (Later I asked him, if I also could stay two nights and he agreed) His restaurant lays directly opposite of the small temple, which houses one of the biggest Matraiya statues, engraved in stone.
I love the scenery here so much. The empty mountain tops , where you can see all there structures and the green valley. And here are no pine trees. All my life I never liked the pine trees so much and was somehow disturbed by them, but until now I never knew, what disturbed me. Is that an inside? Hihihi (There are exceptions of pine tree areas I also like and enjoy a lot) But in a mountain scenery I love it more like this, exactly like this. Perfect valley. Wonderful Ladakh and I am not sure if it can come better.

At one point I said to Stanzin: I really could live here. It’s so so beautiful. And even in winter.
And I already have two ideas to bring to this area. Every one is drinking black tea with milk and salt, the traditional tea. But what is totally lost ist the knowledge and use of herbal teas and also mountain herbs. That would be also a good b uisiness for some people,  to pick and dry what’s already there. Stanzin: ‚Yes, someone fried already, but some of the herbs are poison and if you take to much,  it could harm. And no-one knows the meaning anymore, so the indian government is not just allowing to do so.‘ Yes it could be started with something what is still known…. also with some more herbs you can have in the garden, dry and use for the winter, as well, as they could be sold.
The second idea is to establish walnut trees. I guess that would grow here pretty good. Stanzins answer: some people thought so too, but the soul is not so good. (Later i saw some few walnut trees in some properties, and they liked soooo good.

When I entered my room I immediately saw a place, a recess in he wall overbuild with a stabilized wood. So long ago, and my singing bell found a place to be and sound.
My trouses got a second wash, this time with very hot water, to kill the still living fleas and stop new bites and my itchings.
What to do if you would find a place where you have lived before? Would I like to stay there again?
Stanzin himself grewed up in a home on 4500m elevation level. In some days he and his family plan there a yearly ritual, inviting 15 monks to there home to bless the place and pray there. I nearly asked him to join, but also I had to stay even some days longer – and it was also good to continue.
On the day of leaving I was so wonderful in a fresh mood. After a while a man was running behind me: I think it’s my duty, because you are walking, to let you know, there is a short cut to the next pass…. he said. So I had to leave the main road following the valley a bit more. I arrived in a very tiny hamlet, which included a monastery. Every stone kind of resonated in a fine vibration of silence. Little bit up, maybe in 10 or 15m high there where 2 meditation cells colourful decorated. This impressed me, especially the silent vibrations in the stones. I did not know, how the way, the shortcut, will continue. So I had to ask. After the village up the mountain, on the other side down, then right and you see already the pass. There was not a real way, but maybe some donkey path or so….. On the top it was also not clear, how to get down, it was pretty steep, but I could see the pass. I hoped, to go right would save me from going down and up again. But in the end I had to do just that, but a little bit later…..
Because it was steep, I reached the pass heavily breathing. Namik La reached on 3.760m!!! Continue reading Mulbekh

Changings

I have to find a rest place soon. But until he is not there, I decide to have smaller distances. I did that earlier in Israel/Palestine, at the Sea of Galilee, where I was so exhausted, and no-one to find, to gave me a place to rest. But luckily I am not that exhausted. 11 km after Kargil, in Pashkum I want to stay. I meet a boy on the road who comes from this village. He just turns left down the hill before a real street apears.  I just follow the pass, have to ask some people and they sent me to the other side of the valley. After the bridge I don’t have a clue where to go. Finally I end up at some houses who have a buddhist style. Because this is still Muslim area I know I can’t just speak to the women in one of the houses. I have to wait for some male person. Patiently giving signs from the distance and turning around the house Zakir, 25, one of the sons of the house appears. Here I would be the first foreign guest, too. But we have to get permission from the father. After a while all the obstacles overtaken.  I am invited to sleep in the ‚hall‘. For me it’s a kind of Meditation or even seminar room and I feel immediately home. Here is real space and even a hot shower. We have a good time together. I learn, that it could have been possible, that there ancestors have been Buddhists before they converted to Islam, but it’s also possible that they are Persian origins. They like the tibetan buddhist architecture. I report about my little illnesses or better issues, and I really have to take care more. There is my cold, but the coughing is not so strong anymore. I found some herbs close to the street and they made me a tea from it. Also the nose is still running. The maxillarus sinusis starting to get involved. Then there is the herpes. On my lower back, there where my backpack touches my back, there is also a irritation. This I never had before. Then there are the flea bites around the belt area. The feet are totally fine. But this is a bit to much of ‚little things‘.

Such a warm welcoming athmosphere. And so much space, the people have outside and inside. Apricot harvest is now, so all the family selects the good ones from the bad once, to dry it with stone, without stone or for the animals. Apricot is growing here on 3000m high. Zakir has some more paper for me, so I can make more peace birds or write something down. But I forget, because just in the moment when I shaked the hands to say goodbye, the father of the house, just says, oh I thought you are staying longer…. Even though I promised to myself, if this family invites me to stay longer, even in the last moment, I will. But I am just not sure, if they really mean it, or if this is just a set phrase? So, I just leave.

Workers with showel and pickaxe digging a shaft beside the street. Later I learn, its for a better internet connection. Stone by stone they have to digg out, and this for more than 400km. And mostly it is without mashine help.

Vegetation is mainly in whole Ladakh willow, poplar, both used for house construction (roof) and apricots. That’s it. Everything else superrare.

My next host, a earlier forest ranger in pension, why they are not planting walnuts, answered, ‚because we don’t have enough water‘. All this rivers here…..?????