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Trekking and Zen

Updated: Apr 16

To begin with, first let's distinguish between hiking and trekking. Both, trekking and zen, essentially involve walking in the natural outdoors. But unlike hiking, which is typically a day or overnight activity on a defined trail or footpath, trekking stretches over multiple days, covers longer distances, and often ventures off the tourist maps.

Walking through the better part of the day and living amidst beautiful forested hills over an extended period can do wonderful things for us on multiple levels (and you're welcome to Google the medical benefits deriving from the sport). However, we are mainly concerned here with a layperson's perspective on how it positively impacts our sense of well-being, our way of thinking, and attitudes.

You discover that a few days of walking in the central Himalayan wilderness results in an altered state of mind; you encounter few, if any, tourists. Gradually, the city buzz in the brain fades, and fewer words are exchanged as seasoned companions prefer to walk in silence, interrupted only by bird songs and the occasional call of a barking deer.

With the surrounding nature present on a spectacular scale, quaint little villages with their sparse populations become an inseparable part of the landscape, and every creature, be it plant, human, domesticated, or wild, seems worthy of our attention.

‘Zen’, laser-sharp focus, and soon every little story playing out around you becomes a priority.

Indeed, a typical high-altitude Himalayan trek provides unique opportunities to observe everything at leisure. The rare luxury of time, mixed with the indulgence of observing things for the simple pleasure of observing them, becomes evident.

And now, the serious business of pursuing ‘joy’ can begin.


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