I recently revisited Chapagaon village and the monastery I will move into in about a month. It is going to be a very good situation, there is a monk who knows Tibetan very well and will help me with my translation. The 33 young monks are very energetic. The photo to the right looks over a rice patty to the sacred Vajravarahi grove, which is across the road from the monastery. The grove surrounds an important Vajravarahi temple that is about 1100 years old. The photo was taken about a 5 minute walk down the road east from the monastery, looking southeast.
Leaving for Delhi in a few hours, cant wait for the smog and mess of humanity. In India, real life seems a little too real sometimes, but usually just real; a good contrast with the monotony of routine. Perception of reality also gaining a sharper quality lately, as I have given up all intoxicant for the next 10 months. I promised the Lama of the Chapagaon gompa (monastery) that I'd forego even the taste of liquor from now until I move out of the gompa.
Intellectually the last few weeks have been more stimulating that expected, thanks to Chris, Re and Sarah, three graduate students that have been living in Ram's House with me, our discussions about Tibetan, Nepali, Chinese or Indian culture planting many new ideas for inquiry into my clearing brains.
One possible masters thesis project I've thought of is a compare/contrast the preliminary practices for the Longchen Nyingthig (Heart Essence of the Great Expanse) cycle and the Lama Tukdrub Barche Kunsel (Guru's Heart Practice, Dispelling all Obstacles). These are two popular tersars (New Treasures) of the Old School of Tibetan Buddhism, and the White Monastery in Boudha is a perfect place to write it up, as the lamas there are lineage holders for both cycles of teachings.
Yesterday Chris, Gaeline (a dready Swiss student of Tibetan), and I taxied across the city to the huge Nagarjun forest, and hiked up to an amazing veiw of Kathmandu looking towards the southeast. Had a few leech run-ins, and it was very muggy, so I was happy. After a couple minute car ride and couple minute hike, it was as if we were in the woods days away from civilization. Very worth the 10 rupee (15 cent) entrance fee.