Nestled peacefully on the side of a valley, beneath the looming icy majesty of Minya Konka (Gongga Shan), known locally as the “King of Sichuan Mountains,” lies Konka Gompa, a small Tibetan monastery wreathed in shifting clouds.
Life at the monastery takes place at its own studied pace, the patient observation of ages-old Buddhist traditions undisturbed by occasional visitors from nearby villages or further afield. My companion and I were welcomed by the lone Buddhist monk in residence, who tolerantly entertained our questions and allowed us to spend a couple of nights in the rude comfort of one of the monastery’s guestrooms—a welcome refuge after days of trekking.
During our brief respite at Minya Konka, we relished the clean stillness of the mountain air, which offered a quiet veil of solitude that encouraged introspection, savoring the delicious sense of isolation from the everyday cares distantly waiting in the outside world. The local Tibetans say there is no more beautiful spot on earth and that one night spent on the mountain is equivalent to 10 years of meditation and prayer.
Images © Craig Lewis, new light dreams