Systems Archive 4
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Posted by gehrig on 5 March 2002, at 9:53 a.m., in response to Why I hold you in such high esteam, posted by Clarke Cant on 5 March 2002, at 4:43 a.m.
walking east of kathmandu, some several kilometers, i happened on a large swale in the path. at the bottom, some 5m. down, was a nepalese bicycle rickshaw driver with a fair sized trunk aboard, the property of an aged visiting lama. they were stuck and both could not get the rickshaw ("renliqi" mandarin), out and up. the two of them together weighed in much less than 200#. with ease, i pushed the "taxi" up the bank. then began a worthy experience.
the lama motioned with the universal hand move, to follow him. he led me to a monastery not on the "map". it was as we've all seen in films, high whitewashed mud, stick, and stone walls with the traditional double gate. into the courtyard i followed, to the temple. therein i met two tibetans who had english. one was an elder teacher, (as the pope has a confessor), and his young, 19 year old student, whom i later found to be of significance in tibetan buddhism.
each day i'd sit, cross-legged, one shallow step down from the lama's platform as is the custom for visiting guests. stooped lamas continually replenished my wooden bowl with tibetan tea. oaf that i was, we'd speak of trivial things, though my new friend seemed excited to learn about american baseball and football. i recall outlining football plays with a dampened finger on the temple floor.
conversations would be often interrupted by tibetan pilgrims. my friend would most quietly excuse himself as though he were embarrassed (!) the humble pilgrims, clearly road weary, abysmally poor, would crawl into the room to the lama's platform, seeking his blessing. he'd bless them, place the traditional scarf about their necks and receive their tribute....usually a small bit of dried fruit.
forest/trees...though i had access to the essence of tibetan buddhism, i simply wasn't bright enough to ask significant questions. those that i did proved interesting. one question i recall...i askd "can you see auras ?". he said "cannot you ?". he was genuinely amazed that i couldn't. this was a time when few westerners had visited nepal and he had not been exposed to western society. it was as if he lived in a color world and i in a black and white one. we concluded that westerners have such senses but have created a screen or filter comprised of layers/years of "experiences"/preconceptions. likely this is explained well by others.
questions today might focus on the predecessor to tibetan biddhism, "bon". recently i encountered such a practitioner, the grand niece of a bon priest. again, i miserably used the opportunity. next time...
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