2 weeks in the Himalayas

dsc_6636.jpgJust got back from two weeks in Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery in the Kullu valley where the Ven Dagpo Rinpoche was giving teachings to a mix of his foreign students from Europe and Asia and the monks at this newly relocated monastery, inaugurated acouple of years ago by HH the Dalai Lama. Rinpoche was taching two texts from his lineage simultaneously, it was certainly an in depth transmission further enhanced by various explanations which are only found in the oral tradition. Besides the fact that any internet connection was either incredibly slow or a minimum half an hours drive away, I have to say it was refreshing to be without the net for a while. It was wonderful to to watch the monks interact with their Lama, as Rinpoche spends most of his time in France these occasions are doubly precious for them. They showed Rinpoche their skills in debate (quite a lively affair, no quarter given!!!):dsc_6238.jpgdsc_6405.jpgdsc_6441.jpgOne thing I did discover (not that I didn’t know it before but it really came home) is that the Nikon D3s I am using, which despite having fantastic response and great image processing in radical light, are very large , obtrusive and noisy in intimate situations. I do miss my old film contax G2 rangefinders which were perfect for that kind of thing. In any case the new monastery is thriving, and the monks’ education is going well and nobody minded my camera too much (or were polite about it). Meanwhile Rinpoche has insisted that the kitchen only serve vegetarian food, and the head cook, who despite being mute is pretty fierce, keeps the younger monks in line. dsc_7100.jpgdsc_6056.jpgbut this monastery has always been famous for its discipline, especially in the old days. Everyone does their share of work.dsc_6081.jpg In what felt like no time at all the two weeks were over, then it was back to Delhi and the heat for a day, then the afternoon flight to Bangkok.

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