Tuesday, February 22, 2005

mcleod ganj

hunter s. thompson killed himself yesterday.
my last day in delhi i saw a funeral (where the body is paraded through he streets) and charlie arrived with an awful story about being tricked by his taxi driver. The train station was so exciting,packed with crying children, rats, and eyes, tiny jewels, heaven's ocean of humans reflect pain and suffering... we got there two hours early and sat with insanity for over two hours, and then, you wouldn't believe it, but who do we find already sitting in our sleeper, two tibetan monks! one 33 and the other 72, the former laughed all the time and the latter picked his nose all the time. he also tucked me into bed like a grandfather. i felt healed and whole. i meditated with them in the morning.

Oh, and the train ride was enchanting...i had no idea trains were this alive! the swaying, the rhythms, the rhythms! the family in the sleeper next to us wore all yellow (must be on a pilgrimage, i think); a photographer's dream, considering the monks wore all maroon and the morning sunlight streamed through the windows, wet, chai and coffee mugs steaming in the fresh morning sunlight...it was so cold, everyone wrapped in blankets (yellow blankets sit next to the windows, what a sight!) i took plenty of pictures.

at our stop we met young newlyweds from Israel, both studying massage and alternative medicines, and both glowing with joy to see us and the indian countryside, rolling hills of bright green, with flowers and trees, roads winding up and up,...we shared the cab our new friends and laughed all the way, stopping at a restaurant where we met a couple of women who own an ashrum and have met the dalai lama many times...did i mention they were animal rights activists...they hugged us and fed us like mothers, and, some monkeys stole their omelets right off our table!

and then we set off to Mcleod ganj (up the hill from dharmsala, and actually the place where all the action is) it was literally swarming with monks and nuns, more bald heads than i have ever seen before in my life, each and all gleaming like suns, tibetans are the most beautiful race, the lepers are there too,and they walk with prayer beads passing through their fingers, (not the lepers) i have never seen so many happy people in one place before, it was also flooded with foreigners, a sea of happy faces, i assume everyone really wants to be there because this town is nestled deep in the countryside, snuggled up into the mountains, the Himalayas standing like gods in the distance. it is a long and difficult climb by car, i prepared for death many times.

Charlie and i are staying at a guest house right outside of dharmsala, about a thirty min. walk to the teachings, and, i am not kidding, the guest house we are staying at cares for a baby cow named bonnie and sits next to a mountain perfect for exploring. a glorious stream runs right next to our room, down the rocky mountainside, and into an orchard of cherry trees and a quilt of green meadows that streches out into the remaining foothills...Ridiculous, i know. i tear up. i am so fortunate to be here, in india, again, and to be surrounded by such honesty, and such divinity. thank you mom. thank you dad. Believe it or not, i miss you both so much.

breathing out,
may all beings everywhere be free

for those who are interested, the train ride was 12 hours, the cab ride was 3 hours, and the website to guesthouse is www.freewebs.com/vidyaniwas.

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