Himalayan Cave Enlightenment?

I traveled to Nepal in search of something not seen in my Stateside existence. High mountains were climbed to find enlightenment in between my clouded understandings.

And then one day, I peered into a dim hand-dug cave and into the wild-eyed gaze of a bearded, emaciated and practically naked ascetic.

My first thought was that he wanted me to know he was “right living.” And that I was not. Yet, his world of silence seemed cacophonous to me. His eyes let me know I was breaking his serenity. As was mine.

I realized then, we were both searching through our own self-induced darkness for an enlightenment that required no illumination. Just acceptance.

I soon left for home, realizing after having trekked over 180 miles in the rarest of elevated air that I was asking for less “things.” Perhaps this ascetic hermit seeker left me a gift. That state of mind – not having anything to ask for in my mind… became the beginning of my release.