Saturday, October 18, 2008

Om Mani Padme Hum


Yesterday we emerged from Tushita after ten days of intense learning and contemplation. I feel saturated and tired, inspired and happy. Along with the mystical aspects of Buddhism, there is so much powerful, logical goodness. What I saw as the heart of the Buddha's teachings simply felt like a summary of my upbringing.

Last night everyone who did the course, about 50 of us, met for dinner. It was really neat getting to speak to people for the first time after feeling like I already knew them through the silent experiences we shared.

For the next few days Pete and I are gonna hang around here. The mountains are beautiful and never seem to escape our sight, the place is colourful and compact (I keep running into people I know which is a great feeling being so far from home) and the Tibetan momos (dumplings) are delicious. Dharamshala is a place with a predominantly Tibetan population: this is where the Dalai Lama came for refuge and has called his home for the last 49 years. It is only since I've been here that I've really gained an awareness of the tragedy happening in Tibet. We visited the Tibet Museum this afternoon where there is an exhibition called "A Long Look Homeward". Eleven Tibetan refugees shared their recollections of the Chinese violence and oppression against their people, their fear that Tibet's history and culture will be erased, stories of their escape and their hopes for the future. It's very upsetting. I am very interested in talking to some Chinese people about the issue.

After that we went to the temple out front of His Holiness' abode. We went at a good time; we got to see a whole bunch of Buddhist monks debating. They pace back and forth and are extremely animated, one monk lunging at his opponent and smacking his hands together in front of his face, shouting something so profound, I suppose.

"Om mani padme hum": a Tibetan Buddhist mantra that generates compassion. Of all the mantras I've been introduced to, this is my favourite. (Mantras are a big deal on this side of the planet.) I will sing it for you when I'm home. I hope you're all well. Peace and love!

3 comments:

bob said...

It sure is great to hear how and what you two are doing. It's good to have your eyes open and your heart open. (Please note that I am not speaking here in my role as a survivor of open-heart surgery.)

I look forward to when you'll be coming OM. (Sorry).

Peace and love, Dad

Steph said...

Good one, dad!!

Nate said...

Great to hear that you're doing a-ok and more :).

Greetings from the Loo,

Nate