Sunday, 2 December 2018

Group Photie and Two Titles now

          These were the folk who had to put up my Scottish accent for a month. They are from the back left:
Joachim, Marieanne, Me, the wee lama Rinchen Palmo, Eric the organiser, Olaf, Catherine the German, Hannah the Pole, Alexandre the roommate, Brigitte, The driver.
Front row from the left:
Carol the Qi Quong teacher, Catherine of the Baldy Heid, Francoise, Cecilia the German, Natalie and the drivers and helpers.
         I don't know the name of the drivers because I hardly spoke to them, but that's no excuse. In fact, I hardly spoke to anyone I could stay away from all trip. I wasn't there to enjoy myself. Though I enjoyed it immensely.

         I seem to have half changed the title of the book. Or it seems to have two titles now. I can sort this old by going to editing, but life is too short at the moment. I should make them available in paperback so I could give myself copies for Xmas. Maybe some day I'll do something when I feel like I've got time to waste.

         I don't remember a bad word passing between anyone in the whole month. That's good going.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Reflections on the Pilgrimage

          This is the last day in India. We don't have to leave the hotel till four in the afternoon for a flight at seven, and I am very happy to spend most of that in this hotel room away from the pollution outside. And I thought I'd like to say something about the last month.

          Well, it's improved my tai chi since I've been trying to teach it to someone for about half an hour almost every day.

          Most days I've just been eating breakfast and getting by the rest of the time on fruit and the odd biscuit. I'm happy to have lost a bit of weight, maybe half a stone, and if that's the case, I'm very happy with that. Of course, I haven't been drinking or taking drugs or doing anything you shouldn't do on a pilgrimage, but I want to keep losing weight and I think that shouldn't be too difficult now that it's started to come off. I'll just have to stay clear of the beer and the off-licenses most nights.

          The meditations and the visualisations have come on a ton what with all the practice, the inspirational places we've visited, and purification of body, speech and mind. I feel a lot more confident now about being able to progress the visualisations until things become a bit clearer. I know how much effort I'd need to put in, but that's something I'll have to take responsibility for.

            There's something about the mind becoming "single pointed". That means that if you place your gaze on an object, it'll easily stay there, I think. Well, that happens. I deduce that for the visualisations, what you have to do is visualise a symbol, say in your navel chakra, and become single pointed with that. The symbol should be "clearly present".  I cannot do this at the moment and it is really going to take a lot of sitting and purification to get there, but it is doable now. Before it seemed nearly impossible. I think this is when mental "clarity" and calming come into their own.

            Well, I'm sixty seven now and should be deid when I'm seventy. I could easily have been deid already. Tempis fugit. The deficiencies of of samara are right in your face as soon as you step into the street around here. At home maybe you can think being reborn might not be so bad, but if you had to gamble of that around here .... Life, in a way, would be much better if you only had to do it once!!

            Anyway, when I get home, I'd really like to boost the meditations up to six hours a day. I've done that before and I'd like to do that again. We'll see.

Stumblebumming on Kindle

          This blog is not supposed to be a repository for photies, which is what it really is, but is suppose to be something about writing, and keeping some kind of internet presence because of the eleven books I have on kindle.

          Anyway, on this pilgrimage one of the pilgrims read the three books with the strongest Buddhist connections i.e The Buddha and the Big Bad Wolf, TheBlissBook, and Stumblebumming towards Enlightenment. To my surprise, she liked the Stumblebumming book the best. But didn't like the title. On my last night in India, I've just tried to change the title to Bus Stops and Buddhism in Ecuador, but screwed it up. Well, I tried to edit the title thinking it would appear on the bookshelf with a new title, but me and the machines .... you can still buy it under the old title, I think. Dearie me. I get nervous touching anything to do with the computer and these books, and that's why. No patience for it at all!! So Stumblebumming by name, stumblebumming by nature. Should have left well alone. Another half hour out of  this precious life with bugger all to show for it!!

Maybe the last Indian photies.

          We went to a temple complex beside the Deer Park yesterday. A bit of a tribute to the Sri Lankan guy who revived the Buddhist places. Below is a photie of some of the worst monumental sculpture you'll ever see. It's the Buddha giving his first sermon to the five yogis who gave up on him when he packed in the austerities.

          The first sermon was printed out on the stone and I found reading it quite moving.

The temple on the site with the inside below.

The temple in the monastery we were staying at - how much better the guest house was, being part of the monastery, with the lovely Tibetan temple on the grounds. The two photies below were in the temple "foyer".

I spent a couple of hours meditating in this spot, the first time the mossies loved me. I repelled them next time with repellant provided by the lama. 

We had breakfast three mornings with the wee monks. Burny beans and steamed bread every time, with milky sweet tea.

         We had a twelve hour overnight train to Delhi from Varanasi, which took seventeen hours. This is a bad photie of the lama fixing her sheet. I had the bunk across the way.

She dozed off reading with her head lamp on. Below is the breakfast I got. Chips, two burny vegetarian sausages, and a portion of tomato sauce I could not open. But the chai was good. 

Monday, 26 November 2018


Varanasi seems like a long time ago, but it was only yesterday. We went for a dawn boat ride. We did not see any bits of human beings floating passed, but I did see an almost submerged dead dog. However, there were big fishes jumping, so the river cannot be as polluted as they say. I don't remember any big or little fish in the Calder River when I was a kid.

There's a cremation going on in this photie, the only one I saw. Beside it, the building with the two chimneys is an electric crematorium, which is apparently cheaper.

The sun rising is red due to the pollution which is all over every bit of North India we have visited.

Piles of wood for the burnings.

Narrow streets and slums near the golden temple to Shiva, which we were told was the most sacred Hindu site. The queues are enormous and soldiers stood around with guns, here and there. There is a mosque nearby and this causes problems (probably due to everyone being an intolerant bastard.)

Breakfast started with chai.

Then rice porridge with banana.

Then four slices of toast with bananas and cheese. Great breakfast, but it's the only meal I've been eating. so they are all great.

Considering the other lifestyle choices around in India, painting yourself and sitting around getting wasted all day looks like a smart move. Any other visit, I'd have asked for a go of the boy's big chillum.

The tuk tuk back to the Deer Park took nearly an hour. My eyes were stinging from the fumes from the traffic. The driver was on the beetle juice. At the railway barrier he had to stop, but the bikes and motorbikes ducked underneath. Not British!!

We're staying at the Vajra Vidya Institute. It's one of  Thrangu Rinpoche's places. This is the temple. I took the photies before seeing the sign saying not to. 

I was sitting meditating here for a couple of hours. First someone came out with tea. When they reckoned I was meditating for a bit, someone put down a container of mossie repellant, but I didn't know what it was and didn't move. Then someone put on a light when it got dark. Bitten to hell of course, but it was worth it.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

More Indian Photies

The bed in the Monastery. Brilliant bed! Hard and so is the pillow, and the blanket you put over you must be some kind of classic.

Out the bedroom window.

Getting the shrine sorted in the Deer Park.

You cannot take mobile phones into the Stupa park. Terrorist precaution.

                                                             Deer Park ruins.

Breakfast for future Rinpoches.

Adaptor problem solution.

In the Monastery.

For peeling fruit. Didn't know it was a flick knife. Honest. Serious chib!!