Here, have a bunch of random pictures of the center that are pretty that I haven’t managed to post yet. Also, have some ramblings about life these days.I got a bit caught by surprise at how time is passing. I’ve been in India for nearly two months. Classes end in two days.
Even though I still don’t super love Delhi, I’ve gotten used to this place. I guess this post might benefit from a few pictures of the city, but instead it’s pictures of KIBI, a testament to how little I venture out. And the thought never strikes me to take pictures when I am outside. I go out to buy snacks and be elsewhere for a minute, rather than to adventure and catalogue. I’ve done very little sightseeing, but I’m okay with that. Two months is not a long time, especially when weekdays are jam-packed and by the weekend all I want to do is read a book and eat a treat somewhere sunny and green.
I don’t know what the long-term future holds, but coming back here is definitely a possibility. It’s difficult to find opportunities in the West to study Buddhist philosophy this intensively with teachers this advanced. There are PhD programs, but they are often geared away from practice to maintain their critical academic position. There are opportunities for shorter study, though, and many for retreat, which is its own unique blend of study and practice. Exploring these possibilites is the purpose of this voyage, to discover where to be. I study Dharma for my own development, and I also have a thought in my mind to be able to share it with others. For both those purposes, the main goal is to find a course that will allow me to nurture the deepest understanding of the teachings and myself. So, the journey continues. Literally and figuratively.
Once classes wind up, every week is a new adventure. This coming week, we have ceremonies on Monday in honor of the founder of our lineage, Marpa. Tuesday evening, we leave for a place called Tso Pema, somewhere up toward mountains where great masters meditated in caves. This will be my first pilgrimage, and I have very little idea what it will hold. Travelling to sites where important events happened is a strong part of Tibetan Buddhism. It helps us develop connection to the tradition and our own practice, but I don’t know much besides that. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write more once I’ve actually done it.
Then there’s finals week, which is a week to study with a day of exams at the end. This may involve some overdue exploration of the city. It’s technically not time off, but, you know, a person needs inspiring study spots. After that, Karmapa comes for a huge week of public teachings. By huge, I mean that the population of the center will jump from about sixty to three hundred. I’m mentally steeling my nerves for the influx of human energy. But we’ll all be receiving blessings from our teachers during that time, so people will probably be in a good mood. After that, I have another two weeks of travel to important places in the Buddha’s life, and then it’s off to France.
This segment of the journey feels as though its end is nearing, yet I’ve only just settled in. Which is fine with me, actually. I appreciate the quickness of pace, though I hadn’t expected it. When I arrived, I thought I would have three straight months of class, period. These added journeys and new experiences are a welcome surprise. You’ll be the first to know what the winding road yields.