Adventure in Zanskar: one woman's solitary journey to reach physical and metaphysical heights
This episode of The Conscious Classroom is a little different, some fun. I just published a memoir about a solitary trek I undertook in the highest mountains of the world, the western most corner of the Tibetan Plateau, and area called Zanskar, India.
I simply couldn't wait to share it with all of you. It'll take you on a journey in 1983 through a region virtually untouched by western materialist culture and show you what's possible to realize when we dare to go beyond our conventional limits.
You can grab your kindle copy here! (Or paperback or hardback for gifts)
Please share a review when you finish it'll help others find the book. Enjoy!
As acclaimed author Andrew Harvey wrote,
A thrilling book takes us into the heart of one of the most powerful spiritual places on Earth - Zanskar. It is a must read for all those who love and recognize the healing power of place and the adventure that spiritual travel can open up.
“This is a beautiful book for every woman who has ever wanted to do something extraordinary. ... Amy's story is sure to light a fire within you to expand your own horizons and tap into untold dimensions of inner strength, courage, determination, and resilience.”
— Marci Shimoff, #1 NY Times bestselling author of Happy for No ReasonSupport the show
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Welcome to the conscious classroom podcast, where we're exploring tools and perspectives that support educators and anyone who works with teams to create more conscious, supportive, and enriching learning environments.
I'm your host Amy Edelstein, and I'll be sharing transformative insights and easy-to-implement classroom supports that are all drawn from mindful awareness and systems thinking. The themes we'll discuss are designed to improve your own joy and fulfilment in your work and increase your impact on the world we share.
Let's get on with this next episode.
Hello, welcome to the conscious classroom podcast. My name is Amy Edelstein. I'm really excited today. We're going to do something a little bit different. My brand new book, called adventure in Zahn scar, is about a young woman's solitary journey to reach physical and metaphysical Heights has just been released and I'm super duper excited. And I can't wait to share it with you.
It's a powerful and profound story and it's true. It's all true. It's about very unusual. An extraordinary journey that I took in 1983 before GPS, before cell phones, before good maps of the high Himalayas. And I walked on my own for more than 500 kilometers in the highest valley in the world, in way north India, on the Western tip of the Tibetans.
It's a valley called Zahn scar. It's the oldest Buddhist valley in the world. It's said to have been Buddhist since the second century CE. And the people there, what I saw, what they taught me, and what I was able to absorb, really did set the course of my life for the next almost 40 years. I was really able to tap into a way of living a way of being a philosophy and a set of values where that created this extraordinary ease, happiness, joy, laughter, contentment, depth, and beauty.
So I'd kept a journal at the time. And I carried that journal around with me ever since 1983 and all of my moves all around the world, teaching here or teaching there doing lots of long retreats, but these were two little Indian copybooks that I never threw away. I was never left behind because they were stories that seemed so important to tell.
Andrew Harvey who offered, to read the book in advance of its release, said this thrilling book takes us into the heart of the, one of the most powerful, spiritual places on earth, sand scar. It's a must-read for all those who love and recognize the healing power of place.
I thought I would just share a little bit of that with you today and encourage you to buy your copy on amazon.com. The easiest place to get it. You can get a Kindle, you can get a paper bag, and you can get a hardcover gift book. It's really a story for those who love adventure. Those who love to think, and those who are curious about how to reframe their interpretation of their own lives begin to think differently.
How we think and about our daily efforts so that we can see our journey towards depth towards higher potentials in our surroundings, whether they're as unusual as 16,000 feet at the rooftop of the world, looking down on snowy mountains. Or there as mundane as watching squirrels, chasing each other in the parking lot, across from our house, we can reframe and recontextualize our lives in extraordinary ways.
And this a pilgrimage that I took to the Himalayas. Not to a place, but nature, because I love the mountains so much. For me it shaped my life because it had to do with the way I thought about things. And the way I got clear about what was important, and what came out of that time marked me and set the foundation for the principles of the conscious class.
And the inner strength foundation that I was to create a few decades later. I thought I'd read just a short passage. I didn't have anything particular. And then I just opened the book and I thought, well, why don't I just read from where I opened. So the setting is the highest valley in the world. The valley floor is 3,000 meters or about 9,000 feet high in the mountains. When you walk there they go up and down from there. There were no navigable roads at the time, there was no electricity in the valley. There was no running water.
And life was very stark and very beautiful. So here's a description of the first large, the first high pass that I went over, which was called Pensacola.
Pennsylvania is very different. Very Zen the mountains look like humpback whales breaching. Blue-black rock scarred by streaks of white ice and snow. It was quiet, so quiet. No chirping of forest or farmers just rock snow, and wind in the path beneath my feet. The climb to the past was gradual. The Dota river poured out of the drain drum, glaciers mouth and drop deep down to the east on my right.
The valley narrowed into a tunnel of snow mountains on either side hugged me. I headed up, I could feel the air thinning clarifying calling for more was a paradox. The climb demanded both more focus and more expansion. Too much focus I'd lose my way or feel discouraged by the intense. Too much expansion out I'd slip and stumble and become dizzy by the Heights.
Such was the way in meditation as well. Open awareness and meditation create a sense of sharp, clear, wide-open non-restriction. The spirit can soar freed from the dead weight of thoughts. In meditation I could just be neither moving towards nor away from. Walking up to the past, despite the surface layer of my thoughts, I had that same sense of being deeply attentive and nonjudgmental, neither liking nor disliking, neither bringing together nor dividing.
So it's just a little short passage from this 500-kilometre journey, sleeping in caves, meeting llamas, having body times with ruckus women experiencing, but felt like black magic. Coming out the other side with a deeper sense of what's really possible. For our human family to do.
I really had the sense and still do, that we can create harmony on earth. That we can create a beautiful world, where life is as it is, with ecstasy and discouragement, with loss and with gain. With insight and with boredom, but the fabric of that world is one of care and love of harmony and equanimity and of a deep and profound consideration of the ripples that we create with all of our actions and how they extend from generation to generation.
There are so many dimensions of this book and so many stories and just so many different lenses that you can use to understand it. I think that you'll enjoy it. If you've been enjoying the insights from the classroom, you'll get a different look at, the way of thinking. That I was applying in the high mountains and in exploring other cultures that has brought a different kind of sensitivity into the classroom.
So enjoy, the book is called adventure in Zanskar. I'll put a link in the show notes and I hope you read it. Please write a review. If you share your authentic thoughts on Amazon, it will help them share this book with other people who might enjoy it. And you can always drop me a line. Let me know what you think.
Take care. Be well. And till next time.
Thank you for listening to the conscious classroom. I'm your host, Amy Edelstein. Please check out the show notes on innerstrengthfoundation.net for links and more information. And if you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend and pass the love on. See you next time.