Yesterday grabbed a bus out of Dharamsala with my two other Nepal Fulbrighter friends, and made our way over to TashiJong, a Tibetan settlement of about 100 families up the side of a mountain. We visited the mummified body of a deceased old yogi, who had apparently lived the majority of his life in the hollowed out part of a tree practicing the "Six Yogas of Naropa" (Naro Chodrug). On the way down the hill we were randomly granted an audience with the Khamtrul reincarnate lama of the local monastery, a shy softspoken 26 year old intellect.
My intention on going to Tashijong was to find a difficult to locate manuscript, the biography of the great Kargyudpa master Rechung Dorje Drag (Rechungpa'i rNamthar). The librarian said they were all out (there was a printing done in town in 1972), but gave me his number...
We spent the night in Bir, and were excited to learn that at the Chokling Gompa they were performing the Tsegar Drupchen, a 9-day ritual devoted to the mandala of the Buddha of Long Life (Tsepagme, Amitayus). The Chogling Rinpoche (who I have met a few times before), recognized me, and invited my friends and I to his house for dinner. We had an amazing feast of rice, redbeans, okra, etc., and I felt like they knew we were coming, having cooked so much Louisiana food. Dinner conversation was lively and I am once again beyond impressed by the Neten Chokling Rinpoche and his wife Tenzin's hospitality and good humor.
Today I went back to TashiJong and the librarian found an old copy of the Biography, so I bought it for 500 Indian rupees ($11). It is 696 folios short and includes his songs of spiritual realization. Years of fruitful translation awaits!
Back in Dharamsala and looking forward to the beginning of His Holiness' teachings tomorrow.