For a few weeks there, we were all fooled into complacency as we thought Spring had definitely sprung! The sap was rising anyway… Over the weekend, we got a light dusting of snow and freezing temps set in, again…
arriving Friday, congested drive – avoid rush hour if at all possible! Doh!
sleeping in, monastic schedule avoided, freshness of abundant restful mental clarity
meeting Durga the Cat – a friendly, eccentric feline (is there another type?)
much accomplished on the Day of Rebuilding the Bookstore – moving furniture, cleaning, re-arranging. Now the bookstore has bright white walls, overflowing openness, is well-organized and more beautiful than before (actually, coming from dark paneling, dim lighting and old furniture, anything might have been an improvement! Yes, it seems the flooded basement was a blessing in disguise). Some old timers, some new faces, eager to chip in, Yay!
visiting the Lama House, trying on some new Tibetan words, exploring old verbal associations, getting one-on-one time with Khenpo Chophel (precious and rare indeed!), eating Chinese food and drinking Indian Chai, topping the evening off with British comedy on PBS 🙂
[For some reason, watching TV with Tibetan monks is the most relaxing activity, but when I watch with friends (non-Tibetans) or on my own, I swiftly get anxious. A curious phenomena.]
arriving at TMC for Lama Chopa and Tsok, who forgot to turn on the heat? Oh right – Khenpo Tsultrim the resident monk is out of town. Is it 28 degrees in the shrine room? OMG!!! Khenpo Chophel gives Chris and I a last-minute-lightening-quick transmission of how to play the conch shells correctly. [Just giving the conch a long trumphet is not right – rather Khenpo said that first, we need to play a brief note followed by 34 tiny puffs of air (representing the 34 Sanskrit vowels and consonants) and then do the long trumphets. For those though, we needed to start low, build to a crescendo and then finish low.]
Lama Chopa starts, there are about 10 new students there from a local college; am I seeing my breath coming out of the conch shell I am playing… It’s cold in here!
connecting with the locals and then purchasing texts and books for people back in C’ville – driving the Dharma mobile back to Charlottesville (listening to VCU upset Kansas in March Madness – fun fun!)