I Dream of Master Fwap

Snow was falling all around me as I walked alone down a Himalayan mountain road, through a sunless valley. I saw a figure in the distance approaching me. As the figure got closer, I recognized that it was Master Fwap. When we reached each other, the two of us stopped and stared at each other.

“Are you ready to come back to the Himalayas and resume your quest for the secret of the missing dimensions with the Oracle and me? You still haven’t solved the riddle yet, or have you forgotten about that?”

I didn’t know what to say, so I remained silent.

“Come back to Nepal. Los Angeles has provided you with what you would call a ‘reality check,’ has it not?”

I still said nothing.

“It is necessary to compare and contrast things, in order to know if they are true or not. Buddha said that we shouldn’t believe any of his teachings until we have personally validated them through our own experiences. Now that you have returned to your old life in Los Angeles, it gives you the perspective you need to see if your experiences in the Himalayas were worthwhile.”

I still remained silent.

“You cannot lie to yourself. You know that you were much happier in Nepal than you have been since your return.”

“Yes, but Master Fwap, all of this enlightenment, meditation, Tantric sex, past life memories, karma, and all the rest of it, I mean, why me? I’m just a jock. Nadia wants enlightenment, you and the Oracle say I am destined to become enlightened, but I still don’t even know what it is that I want,” I said in an unhappy tone of voice.

“You worry too much. In Christianity, what you are now experiencing is referred to as the ‘dark night of the soul.’ None of us really choose our own destinies; it is simply our egos that cause us to think that we do. Our destinies are chosen by a higher power, nirvana. It is only our egos that make us think we are the doers and the deciders.

“Do whatever makes you feel happy,” he continued gently. “If staying in Los Angeles pleases you, then remain there. But if your experiences with Buddhism in the Himalayas made you happier, then return.”

“Master Fwap, I was happy with Nadia, but to be honest, you and the Oracle scare the hell out of me. Will I ever see her again?”

“Perhaps you will. Life is not always predictable. If you return to Kathmandu now, you will discover that she has left. She has to follow her karma, just as you do. My advice to you, as your spiritual teacher, is to fulfill your karmic destiny by returning to the Himalayas and solving the riddle. Then you can go back to America, or go wherever you like. Do not let your fears deter you from doing what is right. Also, if I am not mistaken, there are still many mountains in the Himalayas that you have not yet snowboarded.

“Return to Nepal at once. Come to my monastery, and join me and the Oracle on our journey deep into the Annapurna range. Come home to Nepal. By the way, the Oracle likes you quite a bit. He told me that no one has made him laugh quite as much as you have for several incarnations!”

The dream changed, and I was alone again on the road, with the snow lightly blowing around me.

The next morning when I awoke, I lay in my bed for a few minutes, listening to the sounds of the busy L.A. traffic outside my window. Los Angeles was alive and on the prowl.

I got up, showered, shaved, and dressed. I had made a big decision. I called my low-budget travel agent and booked a flight for the next day to Kathmandu. Master Fwap was right, I could feel it in my gut. Running away had never been the answer for me, nor would it be now. I had to return to the East to finish what I had started.

There was a difference this time. On my first trip to Nepal, my goal had been to surf the Himalayas. While that hadn’t changed, I now had a second goal as well—to solve the riddle of the missing dimensions, and to see, as Master Fwap claimed, if it was possible to turn my snowboarding into a form of Buddhist meditation.

If I could do that, then I would not only have succeeded at surfing the Himalayas, but I would also have taken a shot at perhaps the wildest ride in the universe—snowboarding to nirvana.

As I mentally prepared for my return, I silently started to repeat the American snowboarder’s mantra, “No guts, no glory,” over and over. The snowy ranges of the Himalayas were waiting for me on the roof of the world.