Abhidharma Himalaya Khenpo Philosophy Silence

Silent teachers

Goethe once wrote: 

“Mountains are silent teachers that make taciturn students.” 

I really like this sentence, because it’s so true. Mountains have something fascinating about them, and I heard so many people say that it is almost impossible to not start thinking when you see those majestic, beautiful things. That mountains seem to be floating on clouds, as if not really real and without any contact to the ground, and also both so far away and very close at the same time. To me it is no wonder that people start believing in gods or the like, just looking at mountains. I guess Nepal with all it’s mountains is basically predestined to spirituality, just because of having mountains.

Right now it’s Friday, I’m in Bandipur, one of my favorite places in Nepal, and enjoying the view (with mountains, of course). The philosophy class was cancelled (the Khenpos are on a short retreat with Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche), but I still feel like I’m getting a little class, just as in Goethe’s sense. Mountains really make me think. Maybe not of all the mathematical calculations and different ways of presenting the different discards of disturbing emotions (which we’re going through with our Khenpo at the moment), but rather about more general, to me more valuable, teachings. For example, of how much more beautiful things are when one has no expectations, no grasping, no fear to lose them, but simple respect and appreciation that they are there. Like mountains. Or people. Or other things. The little ‘meditation’ is basically like a teaching that I’m getting from these big silent teachers. But that does not mean I don’t appreciate the teachings I receive in school. I actually am also fascinated about the Abhidharma’s preciseness and how it is like a big puzzle where apparently no piece is missing. And I can also see a little mountain in our Khenpo, who always thinks first before he talks and who always silently looks at his class while Adam is translating, as if he was reminding us about the importance of reflecting what he teaches.
So, in brief, I like both mountains and our philosophy classes.

P.S.: In the picture, that’s not a weird new hand gesture that I invented for meditation. The German readers might know this (maybe it’s even known to other countries, who knows), it’s called “silent fox” (“Schweigefuchs”) and used by teachers in Germany who want to make a noisy class silent. (It usually only works only up to grade 4 though.) Thought it kind of fitted… =) 

~Johanna from Germany