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Slow train coming

  The space is pervaded with green, with the chirping of birds and the sweet smell of pollen. We are in the countryside of Dordogne, and it would be difficult for anyone to find a more idyllic setting. In general, I try not to read the news, especially here, but whenever I do, that idyllic image is replaced by another one: the slow train, picking up speed downhill. The machine engineers are incompetent and instead of stopping it and repairing the faults with care, they keep on loading it with coal. Its lights are on in the darkness; they illuminate only the small patch in front, so the passengers could see the end, but only in a fashion.  Why are we in a such a hurry to destroy our civilisation? Do we have so much that we are bored with it? There was this boredom in the air before the epidemic in 2020. I had the feeling that people, especially the young ones, were waiting eagerly for something to happen. Anything. Just not that day after day boredom. They were trying to shake it off –

News from Nangchen

This is a report from Kunga Gyaltsen, a friend of mine, who is at the moment in Tibet with Lama Karma Thinley Rinpoche and I thought that his story might be of interest for you. Here it is:

'Today KTR made the long journey over some very high passes (4,700 metres), to visit his birthplace.
Rinpoche was born in the Bongsar Palace at a place called Yeyang Sumdo, in the high mountain grasslands of Nangchen, Kham.

The palace no longer exists, and the Bongsar family have recently erected a large stupa there to mark the spot. 

Behind and above the palace there was a retreat centre, for monks, nuns and family members to do long retreats. This has recently been restored by Beru Khyentse Rinpoche.

The highest and most powerful mountain on the ancient Bongsar lands is the Jowo Menpa Tsesum, the three-peaked Lord of Medicines. It is famous for the many medicinal herbs that grow on its slopes. 

This picture shows the stupa built on the very place where KTR was born. His birth was marked by a white rainbow appearing above the house. In the background is the Jowo Mountain in all its glory.

The altitude of this place is about 4,000 metres!

KTRs neice Onyo, handing out the tsampa and yoghurt.

Our picnic was in a carpet of edelweiss.

Close to the site of Rinpoche's birth is an inconspicuous hillside, behind him in this picture. This is the site of the monastery called Sharyak Dorje Ling. It was the monastery that belonged to Rinpoche's previous Sakya incarnation, Beru Kunrig. It had already fallen into disuse in the 1950s. Rinpoche plans to build a small commemorative stupa here.

The road passes through a long narrow gorge. This roadside shrine has been recently installed by locals. The Mani wheels are water driven. The images are carved into the rock and painted.


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