Hello from D'sala
We arrived in Dharamsala yesterday at 3 pm, after traveling since 10 pm the night before from Delhi--after a broken alternator, games of gin rummy at fluorescent lit truck stops, many on-the-side-of the-road mechanics, then finally abandoning our private bus to the public bus, then rickshaw drivers taking our things over to the four jeeps we alternatively hired. On the way up the mountain, monkeys coolly watched our ascent from side posts on the road. Still, so very much easier than the journey the Tibetans made to get to this place.
This morning, we arrived at the temple just after 6 am for the morning prayer. How many maroon-clad monks filled the space, it was impossible to say, along with the bright orange robes of the Indian monks, former "Untouchables." I was struck that they are still set apart, but I need to find out more about that. Monks busily served butter tea out of big silver kettles, and giant flat muffins, which we dipped into the butter tea. They also came around with rice with sweet beans. Such hospitality for such a tremendous crowd.
David translated the meaning of some of the morning prayers--mantra of purification, the Mantra to call the Lama from afar, or the veneration of the guru mantra, and another naming the lineage of teachers.
Everywhere I looked would have made an incredible picture--the beauty of faces and richness of color. And the sound was exquisite, the richness of the bass chanting swelling up form the depths of gravity itself, and holding us with the same sort of strength, and complemented by the occasional cymbal or resonance of horns, and then bits of conversations and people settled into their spaces, greeted old friends, got their tea, or coddled a grandchild.
So much more, but this is just glimpse from this morning. Afternoon malaise is taking over, and I want to get off internet before it shuts down or something.