A Day Off

January 1st 2009

Not much to say about today. Everyone slept in a bit and the monastery was as silent as silent can be except for the noises of Jinpa getting gyaling lessons in the morning. Members of the Dzogchen retreat are gradually packing to go. It is sad to be saying goodbye to new and old friends. Frank and Katrin Stelzel are headed to the Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya while Siobhan Pathe returns to Europe.

Activities today included for some a small excursion to a nearby waterfall. Many of us did laundry. Kusung Christoph Schoenherr divided his time between editing video and guarding the Sakyong’s suite from three busloads of Indian tourists surging through the monastery, trying to open every door they could. The Ripa Monastery, the waterfall and a nearby hot springs are the three major tourist sites in the region. Indians, mostly Hindus, wander through the abhishekas daily. About once a week westerners appear in the shrine during the break after tea and take a lot of pictures.

Today it struck me how amazing it was that the Vidyadhara could receive the Rinchen Terdzo at 12 years old and bestow it for months on end only two years later. Most of the westerners today have found they really needed to rest after the exertion of just staying present in the shrine room for for so many hours each day. And we are not under much pressure to stay on the ball.

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