Saturday, January 29, 2011

a poem from Tsongkhapa

"If... you knew how hard it is to acquire,
Living the average life would be impossible.

If you saw its great benefits,
You would be sorry if it stayed meaningless.

If you thought about death,
You would make preparations for your future lives.

If you thought about cause and effect,
You would stop being reckless."

this poem really speaks to me. it is really quite impossible for me to live the average life now. i sometimes joke to close friends that i am leading 'half an ani (meaning nun in tibetan) life' now (still very much attached to my long beautiful hair... oops not shy.. hahaha). joking joking... a modern yogini's life maybe...

next tues i am leaving for nepal to take my first year thangka exam!! oh girls wish me luck... i have learnt everything i need to learn for the exam, which consist of: 8 items (leaf, bud, lotus, 2 types of clouds, fire, decorative pattern, and draping) plus 3 Buddhas (one close-up face, one full body meditation position without robes, one with robes). the most difficult one would be Buddha without robes, thats when the teachers can check to see if you get all your measurements right, and the proportions accurate. ooh... just writing about it, i feel nervous... last night i even dreamt that i took exam and drew the wrong thing, and i forgot to bring my most important ruler or something! haha... this is one of the final-year exam pieces (6th year exam). right now, my exam is only on pencil lining. no need to colour. phew....

i am going to use 30 days to get into the peak of 'meditative-drawing' mode, haha and sit for exam before tibetan new year (which is 5 Mar) then i will leave for delhi to attend Geshe-la's teaching and then straight to Dharamsala to learn tibetan. this trip i will try to stay there for at least 2 months. i have 1.5K sin to survive for 2 months in dharamsala. it would be a challenge. i have made all contacts with my tibetan friends to see if i can bunk in with any family, or friends at a very very cheap rate.

i am also looking to stay at dolma ling nunnery near gyuto tantric college. with a quiet place, i hope to do at least my first serious 10-day retreat, to start my 'ngondro' (preliminary practises) to kick off the inner preliminaries which consists:

1. taking of refuge in the three roots in conjunction with the performance of 100,000 prostrations (purifying pride)
2. cultivation of bodhicitta (purifying jealousy). In some formulations this is included under 1.
3. 100,000 recitations of Vajrasattva's hundred-syllable mantra (purifying hatred/aversion)
4. 100,000 mandala offerings (purifying attachment)
5. 100,000 guru yoga practices (purifying delusion)

sounds very technical? haha... its ok. i hope to complete the above list within 3 years. maybe this time i will start with prostrations and recitations first. i will have to consult my teachers first. any serious retreat should be done under the guidance of teachers.

OK! let me go pack my small luggage, its filled with instant noodles x15 pack, beehoon x10, tea bags, coffee packs, seaweed, soya sauce (the light sauce in nepal and india tastes wierd), my father's home-made chilli, mini cooking pot, haha.. my mom said this time i looked like i am 'zou nan' (walking disaster), i am a very tight budget, quite fun yeah! haha....


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