Skip to main content

Daily Life

4 Keys to Ascending Our ‘Mount Everest’

Photo by DanielPrudek / Getty Images.

Ikeda Sensei: “Scaling Mount Everest was without a doubt an extremely arduous feat. The peaks are unbelievably cold, with temperatures dropping to below minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The winds are fierce, reaching more than 87 miles per hour. Tenzing Norgay described the wind as ‘roaring like a thousand tigers.’

“Even a moment’s carelessness could be fatal. Such were the extreme circumstances that the British expedition braved.

“Why did they succeed?”

“They arrived in the Himalayas two months before the ascent, acclimatizing themselves to the high altitudes and training themselves adequately so they would be ready for the rigors ahead.

“Advance preparation is very important. Whether you are heading out for a discussion meeting or to introduce Buddhism to others, or whether you are going to work, it is the person who prepares in advance who succeeds. The most important and fundamental preparation is gongyo and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Chanting to the Gohonzon with a strong determination to succeed is the best preparation of all. No matter how clever you may be at improvising, certain victory will not be yours with a hit-or-miss approach bereft of any prayer or preparation.”

“The course of their ascent was an extremely treacherous route that several previous expeditions had rejected as far too dangerous. But through careful investigation, they discovered in that course [that] others had rejected a new ascent path that turned out to be their route to victory.”

“Another crucial factor in their success was the expedition leader’s firm determination to make it to the top, which sustained all the members of the party. This is the Buddhist principle of ‘three thousand realms in a single moment of life’ in action. The leader’s strong spirit to succeed without fail kept the flame of hope alive in the hearts of all the expedition members.”

“[The expedition team] all got along well with one another and were able to work together closely as a team. The head of the British expedition, Sir John Hunt (1910–98), declared proudly: ‘We have shared a high endeavor; we have witnessed scenes of beauty and grandeur; we have built up a lasting comradeship among ourselves, and we have seen the fruits of that comradeship ripen into achievement.’ …

“Comradeship, friendship, is an eternal source of strength.”

March 15, 2024, World Tribune, p. 11

Read more