Tuesday, June 24, 2008

himalayan monsoon

since my last post so very many months ago, i've relocated to dharamsala - or the kangra valley in the shadow of the mountains just below dharamsala, to be precise. here i've found a home in a small international nuns' community called thosamling. we are nuns from malaysia, venezuela, australia, korea, holland, mexico and elsewhere, and just down the road in one direction is gyuto monastery, where his holiness the karmapa lives, and in the other direction lives the only tibetan geshe i have met who has actually read the entire root vinaya, the text my thesis is on. i am in a very good place right now, in many ways.

thosamling faces the snow-capped peaks in which dharamsala itself is nestled, and on its other sides by terraced fields of grain. both during and after a good rain - which means most days now that the monsoon is nearing - the rice terraces fill to capacity and water cascades from one level to the next as the mountains above shed their abundance on us. it is like living within a huge natural fountain, and the slopes that tower above and fields that spread out below are as voluptuously green as can be. it is truly lovely and for the first time i appreciate classical sanskrit poetry's recurring trope of the monsoon season as a site of beauty, joy and reflection.