Gabriel Mazur is IFMGA/UIAGM qualified mountain guide. Aside his love for the mountains he is interested and involved in Tibetan Buddhist practice. His story…
In the beginning
Growing up in the north of Slovakia I was lucky to be surrounded by people who were the change they wanted to see. Nourishing of each other, we all pushed for more than just study-work-buy-consume-die.
Taking my first step
I started to learn about the mind, discovering Zen meditation at the age of 14. Eventually, four years later, in 1997 I met a Tibetan teacher and inspired by his warmth and simplicity I decided to visit his monastery in central France. I embarked on a traditional contemplative training that took me 9 years. During this time I accomplished the traditional 3 year group meditation retreat. The time in such a protected environment creates an idea of development. However, the real test is to leave the bubble and to see whether any progress has been made.
Next step was to return to regular life, partnership, job. And see how much impact and reality the mind training has in day to day life.
Applying it to the real world
I reignited my passion for climbing and mountaineering. I followed the IFMGA guide’s training, engaged in a long term relationship, worked in mental health domain. Day by day, the benefits of working with one’s mind became more and more obvious. Mountaineering brings long lasting moments of stress, fear and objective danger. These mix up with boredom(plodding on endless snow slopes), short moments of intense satisfaction and accomplishment, the prospect of long and sketchy descents. Likewise a long term relationship brings up endless play of emotions, possession and the fear of loss.
Attraction, aversion, indifference. All of these emotions are the perfect playground for mind training.
Bringing it out
This rich mix of experience has become a resource that taught me how to cohabit with fear and yet not be paralyzed by it. How to feel the despair and yet separate from it and take appropriate decisions. To be under pressure and yet gather the mind together to take Just the Next Step. And with all of that, develop the skill of happiness.
Climbing mountains, whether outer or inner ones, developing personal well-being regardless of circumstances is where I like to play.