I wish to circumambulate around Mount Kailash on foot. This is roughly 33 miles of mountaineous terrain.

Many people do this for spiritual reasons, i.e circumambulate once to wash away your sins, circumambulate 108 times to attain nirvana.

I just want to circumambulate around Mount Kailash because I want to.

What type of physical and/or spiritual training do I require? I understand this can take years, even decades.

Some information about me.

lady in mid-30s (people swear I am in early 20s)

5'4", 140lbs (last time I weighed myself was Jan 2016)

mostly eat fruits, veggies, fiber

exercise 4 to 5 days a week, perform Surya Namaskar (started with 3 reps in Summer 2015, I'm up to 69 reps now, goal to reach 108 reps by end of 2017), plus light weights

  • Do you mean physical training or spiritual training? This might be more on-topic (or rather, you might get better-informed answers) at the Outdoors.SE site. There's an overview of the trip here. Summary: a difficult place to get to; 32 miles at 15000 to 19000 feet altitude; typically takes three days; foreigners usually need a guide, vehicle, permit, etc. – ChrisW Jul 2 '16 at 16:06
  • @ChrisW I think it's more physical training I'm looking for. But if you can advise Spiritual, that would be helpful. Will update the question. And thank you for the link. – Rhonda Jul 2 '16 at 16:16
  • Yes I assumed it was physical, which is why I thought that Outdoors.SE might likely be a better site for this question. My uninformed guess is that a problem is the altitude. When I was teenager I climbed a 10,000 foot mountain: I was panting at the top of that, and still panting after a 20 minute rest (i.e. even at 10,000 foot I was affected by the "thin air"). So maybe you need to get acclimatized to the altitude. And I suppose the answer depends a lot on e.g. how quickly or how slowly will you be doing it, and how much you will be carrying. – ChrisW Jul 2 '16 at 16:18
  • @ChrisW Great perspective. Will have to consider altitude as well. – Rhonda Jul 2 '16 at 17:47

What type of physical and/or spiritual training do I require? I understand this can take years, even decades.

I work as a physiotherapist in Greenland. We have large mountains here too. I hike in them now in summer where the snow is gone.

When hiking in the greenlandic mountains there are complete stillness. One can only hear the ocean, wind and animal sounds. There is such silence so one can hear when to ice blocks are drawn together by the wind and make a peculiar cracking sound. One naturally enters meditation with very little effort.

It is indeed a great way to support ones spiritual practice to undertake practice in Nature. It becomes very evident why the Buddha recommended that monasteries and hermitages were build in nature.

If you like I can give you some advice/exercises on how to train the physical body and some tips regarding clothing and gear, when hiking in the mountains.

It would not be considered on-topic to give such information here so if you are interested we can talk in one of the chat-rooms on Buddhism SE or via email.

Take care.

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    Hello! I shall email you at your address. Looking forward to receiving such helpful info. Thank you!!! – Rhonda Jul 3 '16 at 16:52
  • Your welcome. I will get back to you with an answer on email this week. – user2424 Jul 4 '16 at 10:21
  • Your exercises are quite helpful. Is there an alternative to Backward Lunges? I love this exercise, but perhaps I bent too deep and now my right knee hurts when bending...resting from exercise a few days .... Thank you! – Rhonda Aug 6 '16 at 14:28
  • Hi Ronda. I'm happy it could help you. Let me take a look and see if I can find an alternative exercise for you. Also try to decrease range of motion so that you do not bend that far down. Instead only bent until just before pain arises. – user2424 Aug 9 '16 at 17:58

I don't know much about Mount Kailash but I trekked in Nepal over 100km with my 18 year old sister when I was 24. My sister was not particularly athletic but we did fine. While I was an athlete, I had been meditating full time for the previous 5 months so I was not exactly doing vigorous exercise. One day of the trek included walking up the very steep 3200 stone steps at Ulleri. We made it fine.

69 Surya Namaskar shows a lot of fitness. Sounds like you will do fine. Maybe walk up a few hills to tone up the leg muscles.

The 'spiritual' part is having an open mind to take in the culture & atmosphere. Just go! With faith!

I always enjoy looking at the old photographs. Very warm & wholesome memories. It was a very worthwhile experience. Below is the Tibetan side of the Himalaya.

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    So beautiful, so breathtaking!!!!! – Rhonda Jul 3 '16 at 16:40

Before you walk all the way around the Mt. Kailash try to read everything that you can find on the internet about this very storied mountain, the equally storied lake and the storied flower in it. Mt. Kailash is the mythical Mt. Meru. Read about it in the "Saptha Suryodgamana Sutta" The Sermon of the Seven Suns (Anguttara Nikaya VII. 62). In it the Buddha explains in detail about the events that would unfold, and in it, this monarch of mountains will get consumed and burnt, that neither ashes not soot will remain.

The Lake Anavatapta is said to be so sheltered and covered that the direct rays from the sun would not fall and the lake would not dry up until the day this world would come to an end, as per the Saptha Suryodgamana Sutta. In this "Sermon of the Seven Suns" the Supreme Buddha, tells us about the end of the earth due to the expansion of the dying sun.

Lastly a bit about the storied flower that is found in its forest. It is the Kadupul flower - said to be the world’s most expensive flower. It survives around the Lake Anavatapta, because it is sheltered from the sun’s rays. The flower is said to be a midnight miracle, surviving during the night, and fading to nothing at dawn.

The Kadupul flower, Sri Lanka’s native blossom, is said to be the world’s most expensive flower

  • Lovely story and beautiful flower! – Rhonda Jul 5 '16 at 19:18
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    There are a couple of beautiful stories about this mountain and the flower in the scriptures. They are not really stories but incidents that took place at the time of Supreme Buddha. I tried to recall one of the suttas but couldn’t. It is about King Kosala who was a Casanova. He wanted to get another’s wife, and gave him the impossible task of fetching a type of clay & Kadupul flowers from Mt. Kailash….. Here’s an interesting clip of the legendary flower of the Celestial Nagas, for you.. youtube.com/watch?v=bDrVmjI7PkA. – Saptha Visuddhi Jul 6 '16 at 0:43

Circumnavigation of Mount Kailash won't lead to Nirvana if we are going by what the Buddha taught. The Buddha never taught anywhere in the Suttas anything about this.

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    Ok, it isn't so much for nirvana, but one of those things I wish to do in my life. Perhaps it will give me perspective on how I realize nirvana, or inner-peace for myself. – Rhonda Jul 2 '16 at 17:49
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    @Rhonda We don't have to attain Nirvana to benifit from the practice. I am so grateful someone showed me how to practice. It's mind boggling how much we are all asleep to the fact that we are all asleep. Too bad you couldn't practice right now. That's the best time to practice. That's the only time to practice. – Lowbrow Jul 2 '16 at 21:07

Circumambulate once to wash away sins, circumambulate 108 times to attain nirvana

In Rohitassa Sutta: To Rohitassa

"Is it possible, lord, by traveling, to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away or reappear?"

"I tell you, friend, that it is not possible by traveling to know or see or reach a far end of the cosmos where one does not take birth, age, die, pass away, or reappear."

  • I agree. But physical/spiritual training for this can lead to nirvana. Physical activity helps to remove negative energies, to channel energy properly, etc. – Rhonda Jul 4 '16 at 16:05
  • "And when he had thus spoken, Kassapa, the naked ascetic, said to the Blessed One: ‘How hard then, Gotama, must Samaṇaship be to gain, how hard must Brāhmaṇaship be!’ ‘That, Kassapa,** is a common saying** in the world that the life of a Samaṇa and of a Brāhmaṇa is hard to lead. But if the hardness, the very great hardness," The Lion’s Roar to Kassapa – Shrawaka Jul 4 '16 at 16:28

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