Dharamshala

Dharamshala

• The construction site scene is fascinating in so many ways: first it’s visually stunning, then I think about: the construction method, the women’s role, the carrying technique, the cost of labor versus machinery. And if I start feeling sorry for them, I want to remember what Tashi our driver said to us on a different but similar context: “it’s a job”, by which he meant that there is pride and appreciation in having a job, any job.

Geshe Lhakdor was my teacher for the last ten days in Dharamshala. He is a top Buddhist scholar whom the Dalai Lama in-trusted with the Tibetan in-exile most critical mission: preservation, dissemination and continuation of their unique culture. With me in the audience were 35 university students from all over India; they are smart and inquisitive, it’s a pure joy to see and listen to their minds in action. Geshe Lhakdor handled us with grace and wisdom....Continue reading

• It was a change of pace from the intensive sightseeing phase to a more introspective and scholarly experience. I am grateful for the enrichment and the deeper understanding of Buddhism.

• Every day there is at least one heavy rain storm for about 30 minutes to an hour after which the air feels like it has been cleansed from the smog and pollution. The misty clouds are very low, sometimes below our hotel, which is on top of McLeod Ganj Hill, sometimes we are just in the mist. All the while the temperature is high 70 to 80f and so is the humidity. It’s my first time experiencing this kind of weather for more than a day, feels strange.

• The Kashmir Valley is under curfew, in the last week separatist riots caused 37 deaths, and it seems like the number is rising every day, thus Srinagar is off our plan. Now on route to Amritsar, to learn something about Sikhism.

• During the stay I wrote a few proverbs and sayings associated with Buddhism and the Dalai Lama, the themes of death and forgiveness were dominant:

• Living properly is about preparing for death.

• To whom emptiness is possible everything is possible. Buddhist proverb

• Don’t make your mind like feather, don’t get excited too much of good news and despair deeply of bad news. Buddhist proverb

• People with strong purpose leave strong imprint. Buddhist proverb

• Meditation is habituation with positive emotions through which one becomes a compassionate person. Buddhist proverb

• THE PARADOX OF OUR AGE

We have bigger houses but smaller families
more conveniences, but less time
we have more degrees, but less sense
more knowledge, but less judgement
more experts, but more problems
more medicines, but less healthiness
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet
the new neighbor
We built more computers to hold more
information to produce more copies than ever,
but have less communication
We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality
These are times of fast foods
but slow digestion
Tall man but short character
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It’s a time when there is much in the window
but nothing in the room
.. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

• Let go…

of everything that

hurt you, but never

forget what it taught you.

• Forgive others…

They may not

deserve it,

but you

deserve peace.

• Six Ethics to Life

Before you Pray – Believe

Before you Speak – Listen

Before you Spend – Earn

Before you Write – Think

Before you Quit – Try

Before you Die – Live

• Meditation on Dying

It is true to say that most of us

dislike thinking about our own death.

We spend most of our lives amassing

possessions of embarking on

an endless number of projects,

as though we were going to live forever,

as though it was not absolutely certain that

one day – tomorrow perhaps,

or even in the next moment-

we will leave everything behind.