plwk wrote:If not mistaken, Mt Kailash is sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Bonpas....
Indeed. However, it is on the Chinese side of the border which means getting in is either difficult or expensive.
The air and food here in Leh is nourishing my mind and body. The allergies I was suffering in Tokyo are gone. I also just feel much more healthy and energetic. The locals here are also quite nice and honest. I don't get ripped off like elsewhere in India. I pay the same price in the bazaar as everyone else.
I rather like the Himalayas. I'm living at above 3500 meters above sea level ... I think the stupa is at 3800 meters. I had mild altitude sickness the first day, but recovered quickly.
The cold weather is starting to set in and fewer and fewer visitors are coming up the mountain to Shanti Stupa.
I spend most of my day doing meditation and reading extensively.
I'll probably be offline again for another month or more. I hope all my Dharma Wheel friends are healthy and doing well.
stay healthy and well It's fantastic to hear from you. Is the stupa a Nipponzan Myohoji one? What kind of meditation are you practicing?
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
I'll be leaving Leh a few weeks ahead of my original schedule for Dharamsala.
Unfortunately, Leh is not suitable for meditation. I was told it was quiet. When I got here on August 31st the tourist season was in full swing and I was told come November the place would be silent, but this isn't the case at all. Almost no tourists now, but still during the day the army helicopters, planes, noise from the valley (drumming, renovations, parties, etc...) provide plenty of disturbing noise easily heard up on the mountain, and at night more often than not the hoards of dogs play capture the castle, sometimes with some dog barking right outside my window.
I'm disappointed, but what the hell, that's life. I was promised a silent place to meditate, but in reality the residential area in Tokyo I lived in was quieter.
I've managed to get a lot of readings done and had some insights as a result. I also have gotten -some- solid meditation done and progressed, but not to the extent I had hoped for.
So, December 7th I head for Dharamsala. I'll be there for maybe a month or so before going to Delhi to do some translation work at a temple there. If by chance anyone will be in Dharamsala, let's have Chai.
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"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
kirtu wrote:So how much would renting a room and eating in Leh cost for a person who showed up not knowing anyone?
To stay in a room at Shanti Stupa is 150 rupees, but the agreement includes that you're going to practice, not go sightseeing or smoke pot with your hippy friends playing guitar until all hours of the night (that used to happen apparently). There's no running water and you get an outhouse, but you'll have a room on the mountain.
Guesthouses in town can run from 150 rupees for the cheapest room (you'll get a bucket of hot water for bathing) to much more expensive plush rooms in upscale joints. The tourist season is from spring until late September, when half of Leh looks like Thammel in Kathmandu. Many many options for rooms in guesthouses.
Leh is expensive because of its remoteness. A bowl of thukpa is anywhere between 50 to 80 rupees, with a plate of momos usually around 80 to 100 rupees.
The place is backpacker friendly, so coming on a tight budget is possible. I think with $10/day you could cover your room and board. There are buses to outlying areas like Chonglamsar (the Tibetan community, also where HHDL summer residence is located). Taxis are expensive. WiFi is available, and 70 rupees / hr on average. It is unreliable though.
Clarence wrote:What is the quietest place so far in India/Nepal where one could do retreat?
Nice pics btw. What are your new plans?
If you want quiet, you need to get away from any roads or streets because on the subcontinent most automobiles and trucks are very loud and using the horn around ever corner and bend is considered polite.
I've come to the conclusion a cabin in the woods, anywhere in the world really, would be best.
Next year I might end up in Kathmandu with a teaching position at a Buddhist college. Failing that a PhD program in Shanghai.
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Here's the other thread:
I have a few photos, but unfortunately they didn't turn out so well given the lighting inside the shrine room.
greentara wrote:Fabulous, My last visit to India was in 2009. India is changing fast hurtling towards materialism.
Yeah, it is. Especially in the big cities.
Most young people I speak to (in English) just talk about economic development and money. I try to talk about history, art, religion or something else, and they have next to no interest.
Strangely a lot of people recognize this as problematic, but still carry on getting trained to become business experts or engineers with the hope of owning a home and car in the big city regardless of the effect it has on the environment. Fixing the environment is the government's responsibility, not that of the people.
Western consumer culture is new and appealing, perhaps even exotic to many people yet still possessing a degree of normalcy because of advertising and the media.
I think there will be a lot of disappointed people in the future nevertheless because technological and economic growth is coming to a halt and we can expect to see permanent recession as energy costs cripple economies.
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