My thoughts and activities in Dharamsala

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thrown back into it…..

Summer vaca is now done son and as many of you have noticed I have not written a god damn thing since school has let out a little over two months ago. At the beginning of the summer vacation I was not sure if I will write anything or not thinking that this blog should be mostly about my activities with class and not about my lame ass summer musings. Thus, I wrote jack shit. But on the other hand, my internet access was minimal throughout the summer and it has continued to be so. My friend who had kindly let me use his USB internet drive has moved on and as many of you know unless one purchases one of those expensive ass USB internet drives web access at Sarah fucking blows. It seems to me that the frequencies of blog updates this year might be diminish as compared to the previous year but I will try my best. I definitely would like those who were regularly reading this blog to please continue to do so. You have no idea what that means to me. Unfortunately, since I have not been writing for the pass few months this entry is bound to suck due to lack of practice.

On the recapping side of things, my vacation began rather shitty due to my usual problems of being smitten over a very uninterested female. Ooohh!!!, my sour emotional woes knew no end for a time. It seems to me that if I fall for one, I fall for the one that wished that I was a eunuch. Thanks to kindness of my friend Cynthia, I slowly licked my wounds and was back to normal (whatever that means!). Sarah had a Geshe ceremony towards the beginning of vacation, where the first female ever has received the title of Geshe or to be more precise in this case of Geshema . If you remember Geshe is a degree that a student of Buddhist dialectics receives after they have successfully completed all their studies, which at Dialectics School consist of sixteen/ seventeen: it has been compared to a Doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. The German nun Ani Kelsang Wangmo has now received worldwide notoriety with the awarding of this degree. The degree that she and her fellow classmates have received is called a Rime Geshe degree lit: Non-sectarian degree. This is a degree that is allotted by I.B.D.

Normally, if one wanted to become a Geshe, regardless of where one studies the exam and classes for that degree most be taken at one of the three big monasteries; either Sera, Drepung, or Ganden monastic colleges and nuns are not allowed to study there. One needed to be a fully ordained monk in order for that to happen. Nuns in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition are not fully ordained, though some revolutionary nuns, Ani Thubten Chodron etc, have started one but outside of the fold so to speak. Because of this, many do not consider Ani Kelsang Wangmo reception of the degree as a true Geshe degree. But you know what! Fuck all you haters out there. This nun is one of the most qualified persons I know who is deserving of the degree. Folks love to get all caught on the dumb minor technical details that don’t mean shit when one considers that the depths of her knowledge and her realizations and the clarity she brings when she teaches is what counts. People tend to be all hating for the wrong things. Many including myself have benefitted from the knowledge which she selflessly gives. That is tremendous and I am glad that regardless of the conservative factions that exist at Dialectics School that that first step in empowering female scholar practitioners has finally been taken. Hopefully this is the first step with more empowerings to come, Inshallah!

For one a few days I was hanging out in Bir, to attend the teachings of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, on “The way of the Bodhisattva” (Bodhisatvacharyavatara, spyod ‘jug), which I owe to my friend Apey who kindly provided me a phat ass crash spot. I also participated in a one week camp for 8th grade TCV students to help them with their English skills which was very fun, though I was very reluctant to go because I hate teaching English with a passion. The camp was at a newly founded monastery called the Dorzong monastery. It was in an isolated and beautiful place not far up the hill from Gopalpur. The rest of my summer was boringly spent at Sarah watching a shit ton of movies, a friend loaned me a 265 gig hard drive packed full of movies. Sarah was hot and it fact it still this though the monsoon is in full effect.

Classes started last week on the 7th of July and thus a full week has passed, a full week of doubts and frustrations. I have already had two migraines back to back this week due it. I get flustered because I can not pick it up as good as my classmates and I wish that I was not so fuck stupid. I know that that is my insecurities talking but it drives me mad. I just might not be meant for this, but everyday a Korean nun in my class encourages me and that has been so helpful I so appreciate her advice. She is older and she sees that the younguns in class have fresher minds that us geezers so they are more fluid with it but we will get it eventually she said. It still have my doubts, I have never been a philosophical inclined person to beginning with.

We are currently wrapping up our lesson on the “Presentation of Mind and Awareness” mainly dealing with the section of mind and its accompanying emotions, which is a bitch to grasp. Soon, we will be moving on to study “The Ornament of Manifest Realization” (mngon rtogs rgyan, abhisamayalamkara) our first look at an Indian Buddhist root text alongside with the massive commentary on that text by Panchen Sonam Drakpa, the 3rd Panchen Lama. We made some offerings to help remove obstacles and to provide us with the mental imprints so that we can correctly understand this text. We will be studying this root text for the next six years. Though the actually root text is only 33 pages long, which most be memorized, the commentaries on it are some thing to be reckoned with it since they are mad huge thus taking all those years to study. Well, everyone I will stop here. I hope that this finds you well, to those that I personally know, though I might not be in contact much if ever I still love you and I think of you often.

Pax

1 comment:

sociosound said...

Thanks so much for posting - it was nice to see this pop up on my google reader. I'll never understand Tibetan ideology in regards to women.. it's the one thing that stops me from committing to it.

Keep posting - when you can! :)

Namaste -

D