20th July 2012
Lhasa 12,000 MSL
Six years later I am here at this once-forbidden city of Lhasa. Forbidden to the uninitiated it was, but now a bustling city with all signs of being built in great hurry. Neatly laid boulevards lined with quick-growing eucalyptus trees and a lot of shopping but not too many shoppers. The traffic is quite a continuous stream, not just of Chinese vehicles but many of European and American-make. A determined administration and migrants goading the naturally lethargic pace of the locals to spur up. I had to make a visit to the department of traffic to get my local driving license. All official buildings generally look like military establishments manned by uniformed men and women. The forceful ways in which nations are made is probably to be only judged by history.

Tomorrow morning, will be driving to Namtso Lake 15,481 feet above sea level. It is one of the highest saltwater lakes in the world and the largest in the Tibetan plateau at 1,920 square kilometers. This sudden jump in altitude is going to be a challenge. The group is on Diamox or some herbal version except for a couple of us who are stubborn. No troubles with the group’s health; they are enthusiastic and on a sightseeing trip in Lhasa. It is important to be out and walking.

This small group is with me for an adventure route. There is no adventure without danger. If we eliminate the danger there will be no adventure, but if we do not handle danger well it will become a disaster. There are a few brave hearts here and few innocents whose only mantra is, "Sadhguru will take care." This makes the trip manifold more adventurous for me.

It is in moments of danger that most human beings realize the imminence of mortality. It is in this realization that humility is born, which leads to receptivity. Constant state of precariousness leads to perception.

21st July 2012
A day-and-a-half at hotel Brahmaputra Grand in Lhasa; the hotel feels like a museum replete with artifacts of ancient Tibet. I was told that the Chinese proprietor of the hotel spent over 30 million dollars acquiring these artifacts of phenomenal beauty and value, representative of all that Tibet was. Today’s Lhasa has grown beyond expectations from our previous visit six years ago. It has become a sprawling city of over 300,000 people, standing up in vigor like a gaudily dressed adolescent hiding the ancient visage of piety and sacrifice.

On our way to Namtso Lake - fully asphalted roads, quite heavy with touristic traffic, a continuous stream of cars, minivans, and buses in a 250-kilometer journey. Driving through Tibet is always breathtaking - these seemingly endless mountain ranges in indescribable moods of melancholy and joy. The greens, blues, snow whites and continuous mood swings of the ever-present cloud formations and numberless rainbows are heartwarming at the least, and a peek into the ultimate at its best.

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The greens
The blues
The snow whites
The sandy browns
Coppers and Cobalt
Endless mountains
stoic in stance
Moods played out in
their halo of clouds
Moods of melancholy and joy

These ever changing moods
adorned by numberless rainbows

The profound past
The eager youth

A tiger tamed
A leap of a few centuries
Needs a leap of faith

In its throes of change
May dear Tibet gain

Love & Grace