Nako to Chango

From 3.600m it shall go down to 3.200m. But by my surprise, the next loops go up…. only later the route goes more down. Here a little snowfall… At one shortcut I come along a kind of temple building worked into the mountain, Tshulung Gompa. Some old couple sits in front and invite me. But where to enter…. I have to climb over a little wall….
Inside they have a surprise for me. There is a young restorator, Pema,  busy painting some 1000 year old statues from tibetian tradition new.

As often. The monasteries are situated over the village. Even though lots of restaurants, hotels and other houses on the way, I want to go there. It’s not to far but climbing. 2 very nice monks, Karmatsering and Palden, welcome me without hesitation. Here is everyone welcome. They have also a stupa, but it feels, no-one is using them. Around the temple I can clearly feel something good.

Next morning Karmatsering can’t wait to cook for me, but I just want potatoes with some oil. They offer me instead of oil ghee. Ghee is made from butter and is even used for candles. The butter needs to be cooked, after the water has left, the rest is then pure fat. Also in Hindu tradition is very well known and used to consume before some breathing technics as well as for healing. In tibetian terms ghee is also used in tea. The problem is, the mountain people don’t put ghee in the fridge, so it becomes for western not so tasty….. I smelled on it…. felt tolerable. … and used it for my potatoes…..
There was a way down from the monastery,  a short cut, but really really steep…. somehow I managed…..
After a while I felt really bad, felt like, the food wanted to come up again….. but it stayed…..
Because of this ugly feeling I developed again, as last year a herpes, same place, but this time I have also a 2nd explanation. Last year I also was above 3000m when it happened. I cured it with honey, what worked very good…. Already in Reckong Peo,  reaching 2.200m elevation I had suddenly a speaking problem. My voice lips were very dry. Every word was so exhausting. After some days it went. But the dryness of the area as well as the strong sun over 3000m helped the herpes to develop. Last year I used only over 4000m a breath protection, a fabric in front of the mouth, this year a bit earlier, the locals also do. This helps the mouth area not to dry out to quick,  keeps some humidity between fabric and mouth as well warms up the air, so that your lungs get not affected by the cold…. And sure, keeps the strong sun away from face and lips. Cappy and huddie I anyway wear all the time.

Meeting other alternative travellers on the way is always something special. Today, and first time this year, two French bicycle riders come noiseless from the back. A little sound from there tires I just noticed when Guenre and Olivier stopped beside me. They have been in Central Asia since last year, since January in India and in June the journey leads them to Central Africa….. But they have a little disturbing news for me….. For French people the Indian embassy does not give two Visas directly after each other, if you have been all the time in India….. uppps…. are the rules for Germans different? …. I don’t think so……
After the nice chat my mind starts to rotate….. my belly follows….. what does it mean for me?….. does this cross my plans?…. what could be the solution?….. how long has the gab to be?…. is this information true?…. (in the end of July my Indian Visa is finished – the plan was and is, after reaching Leh in Ladakh, northern India, to fly to Kathmandu/Nepal, get a new Visa and fly back, to continue the walk in he Himalayas…..) Anyway, for the moment the mind and the belly rotates, where is some calmness in me….. in my heart. … I went to my heart….. that calmness in my heart spreads to my mind and belly……

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From Pooh to Nako

Since a while the people as kind of pushing me. ‚You have to go to…. it’s only 30 km…. or …. 25km/38km. … as if they want to tell me ‚hurry up, later there are areas coming, where you have to stay longer, if you don’t go now,  you will not have enough time later on…‘

Sutlej river (one of the longest Himalayan rivers – which flows through Parkistan in the ocean) which I followed some 100 km,  springs at the Everest, comes here from China/Tibet into India and meets the Spiti river. Sutlej brings muddy water from 10km China, maybe some big construction going on or mining on the Tibet side. The Spiti river is glacier water clear. I sit for an hour at there melting point. Powerful.

In this area a climate change. From now on it is more desert mountain climate. Vegetation now only by irrigation. The mountains are totality free from vegetation, only some little species grow here. The snow fall border lays higher. The area all together is relatively a bit warmer.

Internet is not working anymore, much earlier then I thought. I thought I will have internet all May…. Thre are only two towns coming, where there is internet through WiFi. (One is Kaza, capital of Spiti Valley, where I will get this texts in he blog the next days)

At the street loops, going up or down, I always look for the short cuts. Shortly before Nako I see a apple plantation at a steep mountain , which must lead to the village. But this time I am wrong. Being ‚on the way‘ I don’t want to go back down and have to search for a possibility to get through this steep plantation. The apple trees are flowering.

After another short cut I reach the Nako Gompa. The monastery has lots of buildings. First I meet Sempa Dorje, a ‚free‘ monk, who does not live a monastery life and teaches at the school here. Later he introduces me to Lama Tashi, which is responsible here. Lama Tashi, at least a head shorter than me, shows me around, first in the old monastery, which old wall paintings and a lot of statues,  which all need urgently some restaurations… here is another building, where the kitchen is situated, a third, which is an abandoned monks building, but Lama Tashi is the only one here…. The forth building is a new temple, where Sempa Dorje circles around clockwise at sunset with his mantra…. locked….. and the fifth building is a big guest house…  where only monks have the allowness to stay…. Both monks discuss a while, what they could do with me…. finally, because Nako is a becoming tourist destination, surrounded by such a beautiful mountain scenery, with a lake and lots of terrace fields, waiting to be watered…. I have to stay in one of the hotels for a cheap price. I will stay three night. Because of my special food needs, Sempa invites me for every morning to cook at his room.

One sunset I went with Sempa to a prayer wheel a little bit more up from the village in a outstanding rock overviewing the village…. Here I explained him about some buildings, a peace stupas, a gathering light temple and a vipassana center and proparbly 2 more buildings, etc…. I want to build, when I am back in Germany. … where the money should come from…. ???

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Pooh 2500-2700m

Climing up to Pooh, the villages lay here often further up, the road is closer to the river, I reached at a stupa at an outstanding place, first enjoying the view and resting/arriving. 100m further, my host request was welcomed and transfered to different people, until Santoosh took over. He had to go with me to the police, to ask for allowness to host me, because Pooh lays already in the ‚inner line‘ area, a section close to the Chinese border. But still, I am not allowed in his house, but he invites me to pay a guest house. On the way we see some monkey’s. … oh,  up in this area?… they come for the summer season over the mountains … route is not investigated yet.
Then a little sunset guidance through the village. Some German missionaries have been here in the 18. century, that’s what the history says.  But there are even fotos existing… so it must have been later…. They offered there knowledge of weaving and spinning. Anyway, the missionaries house is in the families ownership.
Also a visit to Santoosh family home. This area has a lot of apple plantation and they offer some ‚looking really fresh‘ ones (from last year). Also some almonds from this!!! year. Wow. Aaaand very special: Some Chilgoza pine tree seed, which grow world wide only in this Kinnaur region and Afghanistan.

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8.5.2018

Dear friends,
I want to update this blog and I feel,  I have no words to write. Not that I have nothing to wright, but maybe, that, what could be announced, has no words…..
To make it clear, not something big has happend (even though always big and small things happens) that I have to write ’nothing’…. it’s just not needed to write something…..

Still here are some words…. to update you a bit….

I am on my path to Kaza, Spiti Valley and Leh/Ladakh…. and I do want to follow this  ‚God-given‘ path,  inside and outside…. even here and there some difficulties are on the way…. it’s a beautiful path…. I am grateful….

Aparna left the walk, joint me on the way to Nepal ( to renew my Visa), left again towards her home in south India. .and thinks of joining again…. let’s see….

The bus ride to Nepal was exhausting, 3 times around 12h ride in one direction and 3 bus rides back to continue the walk…. All together includes 3 night bus rides….. puh. … it took me a while to arrive back on the walking path…..

Now the weather has a cold period, snow 800m more up ( I am at around 2200m ), but it seems, the very cold days come to an end in latest two days….

I reported about supporting from now on the whole group, and I feel, it will enfold naturally. .. fear is gone. …. in a flow

I enjoy very much to be back at ‚Buddha land‘, this and the upcoming area, where are lots of monasteries around, where the spirit of ’space‘ and deepness is feelable….

I love continuing meditating…. it’s so beautiful and connectable…. inside my self. Often I get up at 4/4.30h to have at least 1h or more meditation….

I will have from soon on until end of June less, little or no internet….

And again

Dear friends,
I want to update this blog and I feel,  I have no words to write. Not that I have nothing to wright, but maybe, that, what could be announced, has no words…..
To make it clear, not something big has happend (even though always big and small things happens) that I have to write ’nothing’…. it’s just not needed to write something…..

 

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Supporting the group

From the very soon future I want to be able to support financially everyone who comes to this group. Everyone who want to come to the group, should be able to come, even if someone has no money. If the commitment is there, this should be not a problem at all. I want to go for it. And it’s time to do so.

This is a new chapter in the history of steppps peace walk!!!!

I know univers is giving everything what we need. ‚Everything is everywhere‘, on this I contemplated a while ago for several years. And I know it’s so true!!! And I have so many examples and experiences which proved it.

The peace walk is in general a walk, were we live from that, what we get. Some other peace walkers do that also, with not exepting money or having no money, or having no own money. So everything is given. Because we walk with little money for food here or there, also taking in special occasions a cheap hotel (that’s possible in India sometimes only for 100 or maybe 400 Rupies…  1 € = 75 Rupies). … , clothes they are also mostly given….  we have some money with us. I carry some donations from some of you with me. So everything is given. And it’s all used in responsibility. It has all beauty in it.

I told Aparna yesterday evening about my plans, maybe mentioned it earlier, so it became a bit more concrete…. also by putting the first 5$ in the ‚pot to be‘. She already wanted to donate something in it…. And then I realize…. maybe a bit to quick….
In the night it continued working in my system, because from now on it would mean to take a lot of more responsibilities. …
…. because we have a rest day today, we started sharing about that topic… which is very wide…. and connected with so many other topics and concepts…..
….

…. in process …..
….. a good one …..

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Aparna

It’s very nice with Aparna. I am happy to be a part of a ‚mini‘ group again.
After 5 days we walked 67 km. So that’s not very much, but somehow ok, because of the short cut from Mandi to Rampur. But sure it needs to be improved. Aparna is very commited and working hard on herself, has also a beautiful personality, so when I see that, I am happy to support.
Through some slow and slower walkings I can witness in myself, how my patients has improved… and so on…. good exercise…..
Arriving in Rampur proparbly in 3 days…. I have to look a bit into the upcoming parts, distances, time frames….. check the reality….

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1100m up and a wish

Today I walked 1100 elevation meters up. Now on 2100 m. I found again some nice small roads with nearly no cars.

The wish

As I told you, I got really inspired that Mr Goenko offers free Vipassana courses. Since a long time I think of offering the peace walk for everyone who joins in for free. So, that all the costs are covered as long they join the group. But how to bring it into life? All the people who walk with me are working a lot. Walking, meditating, getting involved in all the spiritual parts which come with the walk….. the people who come walking are often also financially not the richest from the money side, even though they bring a lot of richness from there heart side into the group and taking a big commitment …..   Until now I always thought, ok, if there is no big money coming somewhere from, I can’t start doing so….. but maybe I make it for myself to easy?……

 

From Mandi to Rampur

I am on the way again.

I found a short cut, so I don’t go through Shimla anymore. The way is a bit north of Shimla walking Mandi-Sundernagar-Rampur, through 2.400m mountain.

Aparna from Kolhapur, south of Pune/Mumbai, is on the way to join me on the peace walk. She needs to get with busses and train around 4 days to reach me. It’s about 2000km to travel….. Since a long time steppps has again a Mini-group. Some other Indian friends maid also join. Will see.

Hugs to you all

Thomas

Holger’s visit

After the retreat I meet Holger, a good friend from Flensburg, who came to Dharamsala to organize with Wolfgang and Jürgen, all from the ‚Tibet Initiative Deutschland-TID‘, the next visit of the Dalai Lama in Germany in September.
Holger is also my former dentist and we founded together a mindfulness-meditation-group, which Holger still runs. 6 years since we have seen each other.
He has some gifts in his luggage, which I asked to bring – bubble pavement for my feet and ear plugs…..

At my birthday on the 31th of March, there is a gathering at the Dalai Lamas Temple. It’s 60 years ago, that the Dalai Lama fled from Tibet and stepped into Indian soil. This celebration is a gratitude celebration to India. Holger, Wolfgang and Jürgen have  places of honor on the stage, I sit in the crowd with lots of Tibetians and foreigners.

Thanks Holger for the visit.

I leave by bus to get back to Mandi, to continue the peace walk.
I have to sit in the back of the simple bus, windows are open. Fumes of the engine disturb me in the beginning, then I breath through a cotton, arriving in Mandi and a day later I realize, that I feel real poisoned…..

2. Vipassana retreat II

Somewhen in the retreat I cought also up in me mind, here contemplating…..

Again, as in the last retreat 4 month ago, I think of the Easter-silent-retreats I have offered before I started the peace walk.
We had the element of ‚toning‘ inside where everyone sings from the center of the heart, whatever sound comes out there. Mind is not allowed to put ideas in it, not to add melodies or words we know…… It’s exactly meditation pur. … no judging, just observing, arising, passing, not clinging on to anything….
I proof it, if that is true or have I taught something wrong?…. it’s just the perfect and simplest example of meditation I can think of……

I can(‚t) wait to give the next retreats, when I am back in Germany. Maybe again in Neukirchen, if the center is still alive by then, what I hope very much…..

Donations
Vipassana retreats are for free. This is such a big inspiration for me. Soooo big. Sure you can give something after the retreat, but no-one is forthing or asking you for it.
I want also to do that, when I give retreats or even seminars after I am back in Germany…. Actually I want to offer all my work for free and continue living from donation. Until the time before the peace walk, I always charged for courses, sessions and money was always a stress factor….
So I contemplated on it, how to manage that….

The last Vipassana retreat was also for free, but after I put some money in the organisations account. And because I have given by myself seminars, I know how important that is. To that time I thought of that donation more as a fee.
Now I switch my attention more towards the fact, that a have to categorise that fee as a donation.
This time, I figure out, I do not have enough money to give even a donation. Looking forward in time span I have some expenses in summer (visa issues), that I can’t give a donation now. Uh. That is uncomfortable in the beginning, but after some contemplations I find peace with it. Yes it’s ok, because it’s by donation (and free for those who can’t efford it) And I have to trust, that all is in universal harmony.