Published: September 24th 2008September 24th 2008
signs like this are everywhere!
Dharamsala Part 2-
There is lots to do in such a small town!
Yesterday I went hiking to an amazing waterfall with some new friends, Etta and Peter, who are from Prague, Czech Republic. It was about an hours hike, fairly easy, but through dense forest and over lots of rocks, and thru streams. Very peaceful and we were the only people there for at least an hour. After the hike, I packed up my stuff and moved hotels, down into the main town (called McLeod Ganj) at Hotel Tibet. The room is about 12 USD per night. Insanely cheap, and kind of ghetto, but everyone is very friendly, and I bought some incense to ward off the interesting smells wafting up from outside.
Next I went to the main temple complex, and walked around, where i saw monks debating in the courtyard, and they have this incredibly complex system of debate where they snap, clap, and stomp their feet at one another as a way of discussing a particular topic. Very strange but interesting!
Then i went inside the temple itself (make sure to take off your shoes!), and sat in front of the Buhhda statue
and meditated for a bit. I was the only person there, except for 2 monks who were practicing their chanting, which only added to my meditation experience. Om shanti Om!!
I walked through the main bazzar area, where store owners try to sell you anything they can... I bought a few things (a long shirt, some yoga pants, prayer beads) and had a late lunch. I ended up taking to a very famous monk who sat next to me, he has written many books about Tibet and the Chinese occupation (he was in Chinese jail for almost 4 years!) I did not realize who he was until I looked up and saw his face on one of the books for sale in the shop!! Oh the people you meet.
I am very happy because yesterday was the first day that I did not take an afternoon nap! I think this means that i have adjusted to the time zone here, FINALLY!!
Today, I read my book in the sun for a while on the rooftop deck of a restaurant, then had a long conversation about spirituality and politics (random) with a French Canadian, Jonathan, while having lunch.
It was very interesting, although somewhat opinionated... It has been quite interesting meeting people here, everyone is quite a character. I did some more exploring, looking at other guesthouses, and making more travel plans for later in my trip online. I also did a little more shopping, because I will be attending a 3 day teaching by the Dalai Lama himself beginning tomorrow!! I got a mat to sit on, and an FM radio (so I can listen to the english translation of the teachings, it is all in Tibetan)... also picked up some literature on the topic (Buddhist meditation technique).
For dinner tonight, I am going with some tradtional Tibetan Cuisine, noodles and Momo (dumpling like thingies) and veggies. Oh, and I have been totally vegetarian since being here, which is actually surprisingly easy. There are TONS of options as far as food goes, so that makes it easier too.
I will be here through the weekend, before heading back to Delhi on Tuesday to regroup, restock my bag with clean clothes etc... and heading out again... Where? not quite sure yet! There are so many options, and I am taking things as they come... I imagine
I will either go to Benares, or alternatively expore some stuff around Uttar Pradesh (Agra, where the Taj Mahal is - Udaipur in the desert state of Rajastan - and maybe this Lake up closer to the Himalayas) I head off to start my Yoga Teacher Training on Oct 14th, so I have at least a few more weeks before I am doing down dog all day long!!
Check out some of the pics (I only put up half of them, the internet is not exactly high speed here and quite spotty most of the time) Ahhhhhh India!
Lots of Love....Michael
There are more photos below