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The Power of Lungta

The Power of Lungta

The Power of Lungta
By Gary Guller

I first learned about Lungta while trekking with my Sherpa friends to Mt. Sherpa is an ethnic group, originally from eastern Tibet, who now live primarily in the east Himalaya of Nepal. While it is common for westerners to pronounce the name as “Sherpa”, in the Tibetan and Sherpa languages it is pronounced “Shar Wa.”—“Shar” meaning east and “wa” meaning person. Over the years I have learned many things from my Sherpa friends, including Lungta, a word and idea which has remained in my thoughts since then and is a guiding force in my personal and professional life.

Literally, Lungta means “wind horse,” a mythical horse creature without wings that carries, or spreads pure universal goodness throughout the universe. Some folks do prefer to observe Lungta as flags themselves, commonly known as the colourful Tibetan Prayer Flags that flutter in the wind on mountain passes, paths or peaks, and carry the prayers printed on the flags to the heavens like the horse flying in the wind.

The Power of Lungta

Everyday Lungta
After a beautiful, restful night’s sleep, we awake, rejuvenated and refreshed. We drive our car to work, our mind starts to chatter, we start thinking of the day ahead, and, of course, the upcoming traffic jams and endless red lights that we deal with on a daily basis.

But, on this particular day, for some reason, there is no traffic and no red lights—all is smooth and all lights are green. We arrive to our office, our desk is clean and neat, our initial phone calls are positive and productive, and our colleagues, our friends and our clients are energized and happy. This is a great day, we say to our deeper self. What we think, we truly become, and this day we chose the best direction in our mind. My thought is that if we can tap into this positive way of thinking on this day, we can tap into this way of thinking, every day. And, although there may truly be a few red lights or challenges in our lives, we are not phased, and further peace, wealth and harmony is easily obtained. This is the power of Lungta.

Lungta and Belief and Rice
In 2001, I was climbing from Base Camp to Camp One on Mt. Everest, smack in the middle of the Khumbu icefall, with a Sherpa friend, Kipa. The Khumbu icefall is a sea of moving ice, constantly changing, with deep crevasses and ice walls that generally give no warning before breaking up and reigning fear into any climber. It is known as one of the most dangerous places on the mountain.

…we can tap into this positive way of thinking…

We were halfway through the icefall when an ice wall collapsed, and debris began to fall around us as the ground shook with anger. All we could do was grab each other and brace for impact.

Suddenly, without hesitation, Kipa let go of me and moved into the path of the avalanche. He quickly reached into his pocket and threw something three times towards the falling ice and rock. Retreating back to me, we embraced each other, expecting the worst, but within seconds the avalanche seemed to veer away from us and our lives were spared.

After we dusted ourselves off, I looked directly at my Sherpa friend and asked him what he had thrown in the path of the avalanche. He replied that he had thrown “rice” that had been blessed by Lama Geshe. Local Sherpa and international climbers visit every season to take his blessing before attempting to climb the dangerous nearby mountains. Lama Geshe had told my Sherpa friend that if danger came his way, to throw the rice three times in the path of danger and he would be safe.

Was it the rice? Over the years, I have given this much thought and have come to a conclusion. Kipa believed in the Lama and he believed in the rice. I tend to call this Sherpa power—always being prepared to go a little further in our everyday life. Be nicer, give more, appreciate your success and make others greater.

Further peace, wealth and harmony will follow. Universal goodness and happiness will flutter in the wind throughout the universe with the utmost ease.

This I know to be true.

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