Climbing Mt. Everest: An Energetic Journey
Trekking in Nepal for three weeks in May 2001 — the trip of a lifetime — was a study in synchronicity.
Ann is the founder and owner of a company that represents adventurers and mountain climbers who are at the very top of their field. She had an opportunity to travel to Nepal and trek to Mt. Everest base camp to meet up with a good friend, Nancy Feagin and her mother, Martha Feagin. Nancy is a world-class climber who was on her way to be the eleventh American woman (out of 50 worldwide) and among only 1,300+ total humans in recorded history to summit the highest peak in the world.
But Ann had a problem. Her travel partner plans fell through and she happened to mention this to Dia.
Dia: I am anything but an “outdoors” person. I work out at a gym, but I do not camp and “the great outdoors” has always been foreign and frankly a bit frightening to me.
Although I didn’t then know why, I had always had a lifelong interest to go trekking in Nepal. I thought it only fair to explain my physical and emotional fitness levels to Ann, but I was not certain she heard me well. That was probably because we barely knew each other; our entire relationship at that point consisted of five or six meditations together.
Dia + Ann: A We decided to meditate together to discover the trip’s possibilities for obstacles, for fun and for healing. Ann was fairly new to the process and kept her cool throughout. Dia expected to see an image of herself falling over a cliff (and therefore choosing not to go on the trip), ending up in some political unrest (which did happen although not until two weeks after our return), or making some cultural faux pas that might land her in jail. At the very least she expected to see many problems with altitude and a very high level of Fear.
We did see issues with altitude and cleared out some past lives dealing with mountaineering accidents for us both, but our working relationship was very good, our level of commitment was excellent, and our resourcefulness as business women and modern mystics looked like it would serve us well.
Dia: I was prepared to receive a big “NO! Do not go!” but it was yes, yes, yes all the way. Through every step of the process I was in disbelief? ME? Travel to a third world country with another woman with no way to bathe for days on end, unfamiliar food, language, currency, customs, and to put myself through hikes of up to 10 miles per day on rocky trails with sheer cliffs within inches of my footsteps and all a million miles from anywhere in the Himalayas? The highest place on Earth? ME??
Ann: I was surprised when Dia asked if I’d consider having her come on my trek to Everest Base Camp. I’ve always traveled to the mountains with friends who are very at home in those surroundings. Going with someone who I didn’t know well and was new to third world mountain travel would certainly be different, and yet it sounded – good, different – an interesting offer. Having taken the undergraduate classes and just enrolled in the Masters in Intuition Medicine program, going on this trip with a faculty member from the Academy seemed like a total bonus.
Preparation to Go
Dia + Ann: Since Dia had never camped or hiked outdoors she had no tent, no sleeping bag, and no hiking boots. Ann provided much of the needed gear except the boots which were purchased 4 days in advance and worn for only 3 hours before a trip which was basically about hiking for two weeks straight! The trip was three weeks away by the time we decided for certain to go. It was a hurry-up time to read guidebooks, assemble gear, and make energy preparations.
Dia: And the energy preps were not insignificant. Many people are compelled to travel because we have “unfinished business” in another country. Through karma or other types of agreements some of our energy (or a lot!) could be held ransom there. We have all heard of people going on vacation and getting sick while there – sometimes extremely ill. Sure, it can be the unfamiliar food or unsafe water, but it can also be this “unfinished business”.
I spent important time during those three weeks to understand as much of these agreements as possible so that the trip could be enjoyable. The altitude was the biggest bugaboo. I have fear of suffocation and the unpleasant and unsafe side effects of altitude (difficulty in breathing, nausea, intense fatigue, disorientation) above 12,000 is quite intense. I also had some spiritual lives, which had not gone very well in that part of the world and wanted to get as much of that resolved before we left San Francisco.
Ann: It was fun to work with Dia as she transformed herself for this trip. I was so impressed by how easily she picked up on everything – what she needed to bring (and what she didn’t!), shots, logistics. I hardly recognized her when we met at the airport for our flight out. I was glad Dia had done “energy preps” for our trip. Although it was all new to me, I had been at the Academy long enough to know it would pay off. It was becoming quite clear that we’d be learning a lot from each other over the next 3 + weeks.
Dia + Ann: The flight took 25 hours over two full days and nights (we crossed the International Dateline). We did energy work about the flight itself – making sure it would be on time, smallest amount of turbulence possible, etc., and we had great luck. For several legs of the trip, the plane was quite empty and we even got upgraded to Business Class! Now THAT was a good Intention!
Being in Kathmandu for several days got us used to being at about 4,500 ft. Compared with where we were headed – 18,500 ft. – that is not very high, but it was a step up for us who live at sea level in the Bay Area to acclimatize for the coming weeks.
In Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, we purchased rugs and jewelry, pashmina, hand embroidered items, and visited Buddhist and Hindu temples.
Dia: Ann was amazing! She made friends instantly because of her close connection to well-known mountaineers who spend lots of time in the Himalayas. It was so fun traveling with her!
After four days we flew by helicopter and small plane to Lukla (11,000 ft.) to begin the trek. Landing at that altitude was no problem for Ann, but I became quickly and unpleasantly ill. And we had six hours of hiking ahead of us that afternoon!
Ginger tea and a grounding meditation later, we were on our way. I told myself that there really IS Earth energy here – it just feels different than it did at home where it lies between two bodies of water. True, the center of the Earth is a bit further away and yet it still exists and Mother Earth is a great stabilizer.
Dia + Ann: We met our porters at the Lukla airport. We had hired them through a friend of Nancy’s via email prior to arriving. One was Nepali and spoke very little English and the other was a Sherpa whose English was good enough for him to double as a guide.
We stayed in teahouses – rudimentary wooden structures with no plumbing or heat. Of course it was cold there in the Himalayas – the highest mountains on earth.
Ann: It was very impressive to see the tools we learn at the Academy in action. I’ve traveled a fair bit to third world countries and was prepared for the crowded streets, pushy merchants and beggars – and for things to never go as planned. At first Dia was a bit overwhelmed by the intensity of Kathmandu – but no problem, she’s an Energy Professional! She swung into action setting up grounding, boundaries and intentions – everything shifted. We weren’t mobbed as much and the days went unbelievably smoothly – just as we intended them to in our morning meditations. Anyone who has traveled in strange corners of the world would be amazed at the impact of this work. I was impressed! Our days in Kathmandu and arrival in Lukla all transpired with ease.
After being in Kathmandu, I was delighted to arrive in Lukla and finally be in the mountains. The air was crisp; it was quiet, and overwhelmingly beautiful. In Lukla we got word that after a strong start Nancy had been ill on the mountain and had come down to evaluate her situation. It was possible that we would see Nancy in just two days in Namche where there’s a medical clinic – rather than in another week when we arrived at Base Camp.
Meeting Nancy and Martha
Dia: I did a lot of energy work around the altitude illness, which was a constant companion. I was a bit disoriented and tired and my head and stomach never felt good. One night when we were nearing Namchee Bazaar (so named for the huge flea market held there once each month) where we were to meet Nancy and Martha, I decided to ask in meditation what would make me feel better. I was told to give some energy consultations.
At last! Familiar territory! But who in this foreign land would submit to some magical ritual by an American blond woman? I asked Ann, provider of all answers, if she would be willing. She said yes and then I asked if her friends Nancy and Martha might be willing too.
Dia + Ann: Nancy, world-class athlete, and her mountaineering mother Martha were very good sports. “If it will help Dia, then sure we are willing to do it.” As remarkable as it seems, this happened just a few hours after my having met them!
Dia: I’ll admit to having a bit of pre-performance anxiety. The sessions went very well and I certainly felt great afterwards. Everyone at dinner that night remarked upon the return of pink to my cheeks and how talkative I had suddenly become! Yes, I was definitely on the mend. “Give a healing, get a healing” is absolutely true.
Dia + Ann: Nancy had contracted a life-threatening pulmonary (lung) condition that can strike at high altitude. The summit of Mt. Everest is at 28,500 ft. – the highest place in the world. She had spent months between 14,000 and 20,000 at various Camps on her way up the mountain. The doctors gave foreboding prognoses and ordered her to “stay low” (around 12,000 ft.) for 10 days. That was why we got to see her at that altitude. They told her that there was a good chance she would have a relapse if she attempted to go to higher in her condition.
Dia and Nancy worked together in energy sessions to clear and heal her lungs and to reset her energy and grounding for the grueling ascent ahead if she chose to continue. She was a real trooper as she watched the consultation, an unfamiliar process, happen before her eyes.
We all made it to the next stop along the trek – Tengboche – home of an important Buddhist monastery and temple.
Dia: I felt as if I’d come home and had a great spiritual experience there. I attended Buddhist ceremonies and arranged for a private class with the Rinpoche (abbot) on Compassion. Because I was still the most altitude-weak in the group I elected to stay at Tengboche while the others plunged ahead for Base Camp which was the original goal destination for Ann and me.
Nancy, Martha, Ann and I said our good-byes. Nancy and I agreed (as part of a continuation of our energy work) to stay in Spirit-to-Spirit communication on her way up the mountain. When we got back to Kathmandu, we had an email message that Nancy had made it back to the high camps on the mountain and was feeling strong and breathing well enough that she was going to attempt the summit as soon as the weather cleared.
Ann: I was a little uncertain saying goodbye to Dia in Tengboche, but she assured us that she was happy and content to spend the next week on her own. By then I knew Dia well enough to know that time alone in small Himalayan villages would suit her just fine. I was grateful for one last energy consultation from Dia before I left and listened carefully to her advice on how to manage my energy during the rest of my trip to Base Camp and back.
We continued on to Base Camp. I took a side hike up to KalaPatar (18,500 ft) to get a good look at Everest. Base Camp is a good vantage point to see Pumori, but not Everest – it’s too big and you’re too close. It was great to arrive at Base Camp, over the years I had heard so many stories from there – it was like a postcard coming to life. I spent two nights with Nancy’s expedition, wished them well, and headed back down the mountain.
It was great to meet up with Dia again in Namchee and catch up on the adventures we each had over the past eight days.
Dia: I energetically retrieved a lot of my personal energy, which had been bound up in a past life in Nepal; and I have many lovely textiles, paintings, and memories to hold and enjoy from this present lifetime experience. The best thing that I received in Asia was the beginning of a wonderful friendship with Ann. How very lucky I am to have met her and to have experienced the synchronicity that lead to this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Ann: A Great trip to Nepal! When I returned home, I received a call from Nancy’s boyfriend saying that she had indeed reached the summit of Mt. Everest – with a remarkable 7 a.m. summit time (most climbers summit at 1 or 2 in the afternoon)! Looking back at the trip, I have to say that the mountains, the people, and the culture were all magnificent. It was quite an education to travel with someone who understands how managing energy systems, grounding, boundaries, and staying in present time can work to your benefit. It was impressive to see how the training can impact day-to-day events — very advantageous!