Could we help build a monastery? | Touchstones of the Sacred | Touchstones of the Sacred

Could we help build a monastery?

Later that afternoon we are taken to see Nangsong Rinpoche, who is 24 years old. No one seems to know the actual English spelling of any of these names, so Tashi and I do our best with it. Anyway, he asks Jeffrey and I to sit next to him on the floor. I am to his right, Jeffrey next to me. Thank goodness, Jeffrey had just asked for instruction on how to properly greet all of these Lamas and Rinpoches we keep having the great blessing to be with. It is a new and different culture for him, as it is for Mr. Jain.

Tashi interprets as Rinpoche and I speak with each other. We are there for a long time and ask many questions of each other – mostly me of him. Coincidence?  Dear Jeffrey directs large non-profit building developments for a living.  I knew from the beginning that he was the person that I wanted to come on this journey with me, even though he isn’t a professional videographer.  So here we are sitting with Rinpoche.  I ask him what the nuns most need.  He tells me that, for the 600-800 nuns that are part of this nunnery, there is only housing for about 450 – 550.  They need housing!  Jeffrey and I look at each other.  Is this why he has come?  Later we tell Rinpoche and Jeffrey begins getting information about his vision of a new monastery where all of the nuns can live and pray together.

We will meet again tomorrow morning. He welcomes us graciously and says we can stay for as long as we like. Tibetan hospitality never fails to make one feel as though you are family.

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1 Comments to “Could we help build a monastery?”


  1. I suppose then, the most of us, for the betetr part of the day are under false refuge and are extremely attached. There was something else I remember that I wanted to share. It started happening about 6 or 7 years ago, about 3 years into being a nun. I would tie up my nun’s skirt in this unique monastic folding way that Tibetan monks and nuns do, and as I was doing it I would take my vows every morning with each fold I put into the skirt. I was only under the first five vows, of no killing, no stealing, no lies, no alcohol, no sex. I began to get this sense or hunch that each one of these vows was just the tip of the iceberg, that on some deeper level they applied to the nature of the mind as well. They weren’t just some restrictive behavior code to make me be a betetr person, even though they were that too. I don’t know maybe I will be severely corrected here but it was like no killing tied into why kill any thoughts? They are all the deity anyways. No stealing felt like it was linked to don’t get caught up in past or future thoughts; don’t steal your time away, no lies seemed to be connected to being totally authentic, being totally in the moment, and no alcohol seemed to be connected to not being attached to the bliss that comes with meditations, but the funny thing was I could never and still cannot connect into what no sex could possibly mean. It’s like a blind spot. Which is so funny because almost everyone of my Tibetan Buddhist picture or thankas, well the deities are in union. It is so in my face but I completely am dumb to it, the deeper meaning that is. Yeah, sure, I can read the books and get the text book meanings but to experience it on a personal level, seems to be a very slllowww dawning. More Vajrasattva’s for this one.

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