Monday, April 20, 2009

This is Standing Red Tara. She magnitizes people to practice the dharma through love and compassion using her flowered hook, noose, and bow and arrow. She's like the equivalent to Cupid.
In Tibetan Buddhist temples, there are always a lot of paintings on the walls and ceilings. This one is of the Buddha with Shariputra and Mogdalyana, who are the two foremost disciples of the Buddha.
Here is another statue next to Padmasambhava, and I'm not sure who this one is. These statues are massive, in case the pics in the picture don't show the scale.
Another angle...
This the central statue in the temple, Guru Padmasambhava. He's a reincarnation of the Buddha that brought buddhism to Tibet, and is particularly revered by the Nyingma sect.
This is in the entryway to the temple, and the pic is of two of the four guardian kings of the four directions.
And here's the temple itself. All the rooms here are already taken, otherwise I would have possibly stayed here in order to have opportunities to speak Tibetan, and to go to morning or evening practice with the other monks.
Here is the entrance to the Nyingma templey that was just consecrated here. The Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa came for it, and they had the whole town decked out for the event. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me that day, or I would have some pictures of all the flags and arches they put up along the roads.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We get some pretty great sunsets here too.
And here's Tashi again with Gundun, who's also from Amdo. They're both massage therapist, and spend a lot of time hanging out at Nick's, as their massage space is just off the patio there.
Here's Roberto with my friend Tashi while were sitting in Nick's Italian Kitchen in McLeod. Tashi's from Amdo, which means his Tibetan accent is so strong, we have to talk in English.
Rob took this with my camera, and just loved the way the foot of the mountains disappear in the mist layer by layer.
Also took while walking through town, some women picking through some grain.
And then the cow herd lady smiled for me.
I took this while I was walking through town.
There are a lot of these butterflies around, and this one day they all seemed to be doing mating dances.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I saw this dog that looked just my dog Baby, except this one has longer curly fur. I miss my Baby!
This one of some wild roses growing by the stream is for my mom. Hey Mom! I always used to give her birthday cards with roses on them, she loves them so much.
I don't have much to say on some of these wildflower pics. They speak for themselves pretty well.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

And here's a pic of the mountains from McLeod Ganj, which is further up from where I'm living, about a half an hour away by bus. You don't see the snow-capped mountains so much from McLeod because other high mountains get in the way. I'll put some more pics of McLeod up soon too.
Some of these pictures I took today just so you all could see some stuff sooner than later, and today was a rather grey day. Here is a new Nyingma monastery to the north. They're going to be opening it up on the 12th of April, and the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa are expected to attend the consecrations. I'll be putting pictures of it up soon too, and some of the Norbulinka as well.
And here's Funky Town, to the west of me. I just saw a sign for them on the way to the internet shop today saying that they have ice cream and pool tables. !!!!! The stream I cross for school that you saw in the first photo is down the road to the left. I also like the contrast of the Tibetan monk walking in front : )
The next three pics I took from the roof of my place. This one is to the south, and is a place for mentally handicapped kids. A nice space for them, like a palace.
And here's the view from my window looking east, and the sun rises in the morning just over those mountains.
And here's the outside of my building. My window is on the bottom floor to the right of the garage door looking thing. That's not actually a garage...someone actually lives behind it.
And here's my front door and my bed. I'm going to get a bed frame soon from the nunnery where my school is, and then my clothes and other stuff will go under it, but I'm pretty comfortable for the moment.
And going clockwise from the kitchen, here's my window and yoga mat. On the left is the backdoor, and to the left of that is the bathroom. What you see there on the right is some palm leaves wrapped together to make a broom. Only 15 rupees. They don't have regular brooms here, and always use some sort of grass leaves bound together to sweep floors.
Here's my kitchen, with most of what I own on the counters. You can't see them, but the countertops are green marble.
Here's a pic of some of the wildflowers I mentioned. The internet shop where I'm uploading these has pretty fast internet, so I'll be able to put up a lot more pics soon, so keep coming back to see what I've put up lately. I think I'll be able to get to all the pics from Boudha, Varanasi, Darjeeling, and Sikkim that I've been promising everyone to get on my blog.
And here is the path I take to school, just after the wheatfields, and the some of the mountains on the northern horizon. Pretty spectacular, eh?
This is another of the innumerable little streams that are all over town, this one again on my way to school. I imagine I'll be spending a lot of time reading books by some of the places with gurgling little waterfalls.
Here's one of the many wheat fields I see around here.
Here are four cows I pass every morning just after the stream. One of them is kind of bold, and will walk towards me to push me back.
The first pictures I'm putting up here are all taken on my way to school. Just after I pass Funky Town (the pic for that is coming up), I have to cross a stream by walking over some rocks. I hear that during the monsoon, it gets pretty deep, and people wade through up to their waist to get through it. Luckily, there's another place to cross when it gets like that.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The reason Nicolas and I went to Tashiding was because of an old monastery from the sixteenth century on the top of a mountain near the village. On the way up, we saw vast spiderwebs with up to 20-30 spiders in it. Nicolas said he heard about these spiders on a documentary. They are social spiders, and when they're done eating what they can get in one area, they move on as a group and make new vast webs somewhere else. This one here was one of the bigger ones, at least three and a half to four inches big.
Here is one of the many mountains we were surrouned by there in Sikkim. Like I said before, there's no way for a camera to take in the vast scope of the mountains surrounding us, but here's a slice...
This is the room Nicolas and I stayed in in a village called Tashiding. The room was so nice, I had to get a photo. Hardwood floors, clean, and nicely painted, with a nice view of the mountains.
This pic I took on our jeep trip through Sikkim. It's just a little stupa, all by itelf on the river, so idyllic looking, I had to have a photo. Everywhere we went in Sikkim, the road ran along the most beautiful river. Most rivers in Nepal and India are polluted and trash lined, but in Sikkim everything was clean and well preserved. There was a lot of road construction everywhere, which you also don't normally see, and the roads were pretty flat and unbumpy, also quite unusual. They are very environmentally conscious there too.
This is a sign that is just before the bridge. Here in Darjeeling and in Nepal are many Gorkhas, who are famous for being fierce warriors in the British Army. They are fighting here for a separate state within India, as they aren't happy being a part of the state of West Bengal. They have a lot of ethnic pride, and you see people here all the time wearing the traditional Gorkha clothing.
Here is the bridge that takes one into Sikkim. Whenever a car would go over it, the street underneath would dip down, kind of weird to see, but traveling over it in the jeep, we didn't feel anything special.
Here's Sam and some friends in Rajgir, where the Buddha gave some important talks. I will be putting up all my old pictures like this one, including some pics of my trip to Thailand, but until then, there were a couple pictures of friends that I wanted to get posted in the meantime. To the left the little guy there is Josh, a close friend of Sam's who I was glad to get to know and be able to hang out with for a while, and Beatrice and Matthew, a very nice couple, both of whom went to the shedra I attended in Nepal. They were also teaching and translating at a shedra I was attending in Bodhgaya. I had Matthew as a teacher for an intermediate classical Tibetan class there, and he was excellent, and I wish he was still around (instead of going off to, was it Norway?), because I would love to take another class from him.
My friend Sam in front of the Dalai Lama's temple in Dharamsala. He's another close friend I made in Nepal/India. We traveled around a lot in India together, and had a great time doing it. Here he's in full mountain man mode. He's since cleaned up his act a little bit and gotten himself a girlfriend.
And a few other pics I want to put up from the past, before I move on to my Sikkim trip pics. Here are my friends Rasmus (who we all nicknamed Moose) and Ryan, who's getting his hair dredded by Moose. There was a lot of this sort of thing going on while studying, listening to music, or watching movies. Moose dredded a number of people's hair while he was here. They would use tiny crochet hooks to pull the hair into each dredlock. It's fairly easy to dred hair, I learned, but takes a lot maintentance, so there was a constant twirling of crochet hooks at almost all moments of the day.
And here is my kitchen. Nice green marble counter, sink, stove, and to the right with the magnets on it, my fridge.
Here is a pic of my old place in Boudha. It was pretty nice. All new furniture, completely renovated, nice carpeting. Most of the pics I took of it didn't turn out too well, but here's two that did. This one shows my wardrobe and the bamboo shelving served as my pantry and dish cabinets.
Here's Nicolas and Mark, another student from my school, studying in a cafe. When I'm in this cafe, I can almost forget that I'm in India, it's so western. The coffee is pretty good, but expensive by Indian standards. We pay $1.50 for a latte or some such concoction, and love to complain about the high prices, knowing full well that in the west we're going to pay four or five times that price. And the place is warm, almost too warm, which is so nice in a cold place like this that rarely has any heating. My school in fact is usually like an ice box, because the floors are all marble corridors and staircases, or concrete walls and floors in the classrooms.