It took me half a day to reach the top of that mountain, a small Buddhist sanctuary stood there lonely in the middle of nothing.
The monk in charge of that small place smiled at me as soon as I reached the entrance and invited me to seat beside him on a wooden bench by the main door.
I looked exhausted and messy after the long climb. He looked radiant and happy. I told him about my great climbing adventure as if it was a once in a lifetime odyssey. He calmly told me he goes to town twice a day, so he does that “odyssey” four times every day.
I remained silent for a while.
Then I asked him if many people visited the sanctuary often and he told me that not many visited him anymore. It was difficult to get there and the weather conditions didn´t help much either.
But he told me he really enjoyed the silence: “Just listen to it, its sound is so beautiful!” That reminded me an old song.
But he was right. That sensation of quietness was like a wonderful balm that healed every corner of my being.
Then I realised that many people travel the world to go and touch a rock, do a ritual, dance, pray, meditate and so forth, in order to get the “inner peace” they are craving.
But that inner peace is not at those far away places. It is all the time inside of your own soul. In fact, it is your very nature.
But we usually condition our happiness, our tranquillity, our enjoyment to certain “requirements”: “I´ll be happy when I have a new house”, “I´ll feel complete when I finish my career”, “I´ll smile again when I have a new spouse” and the list continues ad infinitum.
That fulfilment, that smile, that happiness, they are all already within us. It is our decision, conscious or unconscious, that keeps them hidden.
It might sound like an old cliché but, “Our happiness and wellbeing is a decision away”.
So, you do not need to travel to the other side of the world to be cleansed and happy. You do not need to make a six-hour ritual in order to “sanctify” yourself, there is no need any more to postpone your wellbeing, your health, your joy any longer.
Once, His Holiness the Dalai Lama told me that the real enlightened ones are in the midst of the big cities, those who can keep their inner peace in the middle of the noise, the traffic, the chaos that reigns in big crowded cities.
So, do not try to find a new excuse to make yourself miserable while you reach your goals and dreams.
Instead of deciding you will be happy when you reach your goal, decide to be happy during the process of achieving it. That will be the fastest and better way to accomplish it.
You never know what is coming the next instant. Decide to be the happiest person you know, here and now. With and despite everything and everyone around you.
Your time is now. Honour your inner Sanctuary by deciding that you are already happy, already complete, already a winner. Because when you decide it, it becomes so.