Monday, November 29, 2010


It is 6:48, a Monday morning, which means for this nunnery, the one full day off. The anis are back in their rooms with chapati and tea and I am sure, resting after their morning prayers. Yesterday, after the half-day of class, we spent the rest of the day cleaning. They go at this job as they do every chore, with devotion and hard work! The gekko, who is the disciplinarian, and the ani director are out there working just as diligently and the screeching sound of the sweeping was heard throughout the gompa (monastery). Plants were watered and the grounds renewed with weeding projects. They worked until dark.

I had my own clean up. The fixture below the sink was acting up for days and trying to signal this concern, I had finally gotten the store keeper’s attention as the leak was increasing in pressure and I had a vision of the pipe bursting behind the wall! We went to Tashi’s house, who lives on the grounds with his wife and daughter, to see if he could turn the water off, but he was sick and it was decided we would have to wait for a plumber. With some unease, I returned to my room and was reading when I heard the terrible pop from the bathroom and water gushing from the wall poured across to the opposite wall and began to flood the room! Who came to my rescue but Sangay Chodon again. This nun from Aranchal always seems to be there when I need her and with a singleminded strength, she went at it, eventually putting a large branch into the pipe, temporarily stopping the flood. However, we were laughing that now I had this potential javelin to worry about! Now, the water had to be turned off as 3 suites were affected. Out come the water buckets and the refillable water jugs from the filter pump by the kitchen and storeroom and the adventure of bathing with the bucket and a bottle of water. Having been here in 2008I knew that this doesn’t constitute an emergency; this is just India! It’s no big deal, no matter what the mind tries to make of it! The plumber arrived in the afternoon, as the switching of brooms made of twigs continued on the grounds and my own cleaning began as soon as he left and pouring hot water with lysol, my own interior cleaning once again ensued!

Having the leaks fixed so easily, I felt as if I was now at the Hilton. Living so simple, the simplest can be enough to bring contentment and I look across the still shiny floor, that will demand attention again by the day’s end, and smile at the absurdity!

I finished my breakfast in a wonderful solitude, as most of the other teachers are gone visiting for a night and the lamas that remain will come to eat around 7 a.m. Jenna, the volunteer English geyla (teacher) from California, left for Dharamsala with Claude, a young German woman who is staying at the nunnery deeply emmersed in her own program of mastering Tibetan. Jenna, only 20 years old, was happy for the break and the adventure of teachings with H.H. The Dalai Lama and off they went, getting the bus from the Tibetan village down the road, called Dykliling.

The nuns are off and I might join a few if they go downtown to Dehradun and splurge with a latte at LaVazza Barrista, the shop in front of the English Book Depot! The adventure continues as we prepare for the Ladakhi New Year, called Losar, and as each of you turn toward that madness of Christmas! No matter what we do, it’s nuts, but we can resolve this year to carry into each task of buying and shopping and traveling and visitng - a sense of Joy and of Peace. Why not! God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change -the madness there in the malls. The Courage to change the things I can - just my own approach to this season of Light. And the Wisdom to know the difference - herein lies the dilemma! I can change so little but it can mean the world to someone else. I can only change the motivation behind my own thoughs and actions, thinking of others with compassion and with love. It sounds so simple!

Winter is upon us as the days darken sooner and remain so longer, but the Truth of Who We Are, not diminished, shines ever in each of our Hearts.

With Great Love
and Appreciation!

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