It’s forbidden, but you can still walk to Heaven

In my previous post, I shared some hiking views taken while visiting my parents in Oahu.  Yet, I feel that the best vistas are taken from a hike I will never ever do again.

First of all, it is illegal so being at the site at 3 AM is a must in order to avoid the guard — and I am not a morning person.  Secondly, there are moments when one is literally climbing a narrow ladder on the ridge of a mountain and even though I am not afraid of heights, I became dizzy with fear seeing that inches from each of my sides lay the distant lands below.   Thirdly, due to the moisture of trekking in the high altitude, the metal stairs become slippery.  Along with visions of slipping on a step and falling between the railing down to my death, my friend above me slipped and pushed both of us several steps down the stairs (twice!); so I still cannot believe I was courageous enough to continue.  At the end of the excursion, I finally felt the pain of several bleeding cuts on my hands in which fear had originally numbed.

only the beginning….

I ascended the “Stairway to Heaven” (a.k.a “Haiku stairs”) with eight others, yet the six “gentlemen” decided to accelerate up the ~4000 steps leaving us two girls behind nervously chatting during the approximately 5-6 hour trek.  Also, I tried to keep my mind positive by thinking of a book I just finished called “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff.  Right before this book, I read J.D. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey”.  Both books analyzed religion, but I was especially delighted by “The Tao of Pooh”.

Whilst sharing my photos during my “steps to Heaven”, I included some inspirational bits from “The Tao of Pooh” which is basically about:

how to stay happy and calm under all circumstances!

“I have certain limitations, and I know what they are…The wise know their limitations, the foolish do not.”

“Listening to the birds.  And that squirrel over there.”

What are they saying?

“That it’s a nice day” said Pooh.

But you know that already.

“Yes, but it’s always good to hear that somebody else thinks so, too,” he replied.

The easiest way to get rid of a Minus is to change it into a Plus.  Sometimes you will find that characteristics you try hard to eliminate eventually come back, anyway. But if you do the right things, they will come back in the right ways.

An important principle of Taoism is described as “Pooh” or actually “P’u”, the Uncarved Block. “The essence of the principle of the Uncarved Block is that things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, power that is easily spoiled and lost when that simplicity is changed.”

“When you know and respect your own Inner Nature, you know where you belong.  You also know where you don’t belong.”

People are easily led away from what’s right for them, because people have Brain, and Brain can be fooled.  Inner Nature, when relied on, cannot be fooled.  But many people do not look at it or listen to it, and consequently do not understand themselves very much.  Having little understanding of themselves, they have little respect for themselves, and are therefore easily influenced by others.

How can you get very far,

If you don’t know Who You Are?

How can you do what you ought,

If you don’t know What You’ve Got?

And if you don’t know Which To Do

Of all the things in front of you,

Then what you’ll have when you are through

Is just a mess without a clue

Of all the best that can come true

If you know What and Which and Who.

A safer way to relish in the mountain views — from the backseat of the car while my parents drive. Only three waterfalls from a half day of rain. After several days of rain, there can be fifty waterfalls rushing down the ridges.

I’m choosy about what I want—or in this case, enlightenment, or peace, instead of money or prestige or fame or any of those things – doesn’t mean I’m not as egotistical and self-seeking as everybody else.

— Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger.


Current read:  “In Praise of Idleness and other essays” by Bertrand Russell

I hope everyone is having a splendid summer!