3 States, One Blog Post
Hey everyone! Tashi Delek! I know its been awhile since Iv last blogged (I think that can be taken as a good sign, Im so busy doing interesting things instead of spending my time in an internet cafe).
Jaipur: My last week in Jaipur was just as good as the first. We actually ended up staying in Jaipur a few more days then we originally planned, and I remember when Saloni and I found this out at the farewell dinner we both started bobbing up and down in our seats(out of joy). Its easy to say I was very upset when the day finally came that we had to leave. I ended my ISP by teaching one yoga class for shivani, scary yes, but it made me realize how much I actually knew (even though there is still a lot I still don't know).
The Golden Temple: absolutely mind blowing. It was really incredible to see such a large group of people working together and efficiently. We were lucky enough to stay within the temple complex and although we were foreigners I still felt very welcomed. Going to eat in the mess hall was an experience within itself, its something you really have to see to believe: 1,000s and 1,000s of people being fed for free throughout the entire day and night, 24/7. The last day when I was feeling better I helped wash dishes for awhile, and it was really interesting to be standing there washing a dish and realize that non of the hundreds of other people around you also helping wash dishes are required or even asked to do so. I feel like I learned just as much about people in general as I did about Sikhs during our stay in Amritsar (I promise that statement makes some level of sense in my head).
Dharamsala: Tushita, what a way to start off our stay in Dharamsala. I've never had to THINK to such a great extent in my entire life. I think there were lots of "ah-ha" moments for everyone accompanied by many "I would like to rip the hair out of my head I'm so confused." regardless of how much we learned about Buddhism it was impossible not to learn something about yourself during those 10 days (considering we were asked to observe silence). All and all I think it was a really important part of my trip so far.
Now that we are back from Tushita our days have been pretty busy (and awesome). I have moved in with my new homestay family and they are great. We've had a few days of Tibetan classes so far and I have decided that the most challenging word thus far would be "I": Nga. For some reason I am unable to pronounce this word correctly and I hope that by the time we leave that will change. Besides that small glitch it seems to be going rather well. For Buddhist Philosophy this week I am working from a root text "The Three Principle Aspects of the Path" By Je Tsong-Khapa and hopefully next week we will begin "The eight verses of the Training of the Mind" by Geshe Langri Thangpa. Emilie and I went to yoga together a few days ago and our instructor sean is a beast (in a good way). Right now I am waiting to hear back from students for a free Tibet which might take the slot of my yoga class but nothing has been decided yet. We have a private audience with the 17th Karmapa tomorrow and I can not wait!