Edit Blog Post
Published: September 12th 2009
Prayer Rocks and Flags
This is the general scene all along the temple walk
Just Another Day in Paradise
It really is a paradise here. Such a change from Delhi. The days are all running together now as I have somewhat settled into this area. I've gotten used to people trying to sell me things and lure me into there shops for tea and talks so the awkwardness of telling them no has worn off. The last few days have consisted of many walks up and down this mountain we're on, spending three hours a day with my learning partner doing various things; helping her set up a Facebook account, researching ESL programs in the U.S., making momos and hiking up to the waterfalls. We get along so beautifully, I am sure we will remain in contact after my departure. Meetings and debriefings/reflections usually fill our afternoons. One day we met with Ama Adhe, a Tibetan woman who served 27 years as a political prisoner of China (one of three to survive out of 300). Her story was very powerful as I am told her book, The Voice That Remembers, is. The following day we visited the Tibetan Children's Village which houses a couple thousand children whose parents remain in Tibet
Hike to the Waterfall
Choetso, Mandy, Sunam and Myself; pausing on the path for a pic. We tried to get out trusty dog-guide in the pic, but he was camera (and goat) shy
or are no longer living.
Free time doesn't seem so free as we have been trying to maneuver streets to complete errands such as getting passes to see the Dalai Lama. The quiet streets of Dharamsala are becoming more crowded as people from all over the world are coming to see the Dalai Lama. It is so odd to me that I will be sitting before a man that thousands (perhaps millions?) of people regard as a living god, Buddha. I knew this journey would be as much spiritual as physical and emotional, but I've been caught a bit off guard. Surrounded by so many religions, these people's faith is so apparent. The Tibetans (mostly Buddhist) make at lease one trek around the Dalai Lama's temple every morning. They herd all the cows around the temple as well. Holding their rosewood prayer beads you hear in all different volumes and tones "Ohm mana peme ohm" over and over. The older Tibetans barely separate the syllables. As they pass the prayer wheels, the give them a spin, sending the prayers upward....or outward? As the winds do the same for the prayers hanging on the multitude of flags. When I enter
Sitting down...literally...for some palak paneer (a spinach and cheese curry) and chapati (flat bread)
the temple I see others bring their palms together; touch the head, the chest, the stomach then go prostrate, stand and repeat. They touch their heads to rocks with prayers painted on them and to the shrines. Its all a bit stunning.
Interestingly, before I came to India I had been meditating on my own reverence for God. Though He is my Best Friend, I sometimes forget He deserves to be shown a humble and deep respect. Then I witness the scene I just described for you. Perhaps this is confirmation; my God deserves just as much (more) adoration and respect as these gold statues and rocks.
I look forward to hearing the Dalai Lama speak. I have always percieved him-- like Gandhi or MLK-- as a person promoting peace, unity and compassion. Despite how foreign some things seem, in some ways I feel very comfortable here. I don't know if it is my adaptability or the mountains, but as I sit here typing all seems so normal. I guess I'm only half way through. Who knows what else might send me reeling. Right now, I'm on solid ground.
Love and miss you all!
Tot: 3.035s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 9; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0441s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb