I don’t think the world will end on December 21st, 2012. That being said, I haven’t posted on this blog of mine for… oh dear, eight months! So, taking the possible end of the world as a lame excuse, here we are:
This has been a weird year. I found out early on that I would have be having’ visa issues’, and so a great deal of my energy was directed towards working through them.
I attended class and struggled to memorize fifteen pages of Lonchenpa’s amazing text, “Resting in the Nature of the Mind” also known as “Kindly Bent to Ease Us” (sems nyid ngal gso).
All too soon, it was time for the ever challenging debating exams during the annual rainy season retreat. I took part in both of my classes’ debates. I thought we did really well, but our standings told a different story (average on one, second to worst on the other). This reminded me that sometimes my view of the world is wildly out of sync with the actually nature of things. An important lesson.
Not long after the end of the rainy season, it was time for me to take a little ‘visa holiday’. I spent two months in Canada, mostly at my mom’s house. Keeping in mind that I would be returning to India just five days before the first exam, I studied as much as I could. It wasn’t too hard to focus in our quiet house, and my wonderful family was very supportive. I particularly enjoyed studying with my favourite cousin, D. Our study method was:
- Go to a coffee shop (usually Starbucks).
- Set a timer for twenty minutes – study.
- Set a timer for ten minutes – chat.
- Repeat four times.
I had a good time. Unlike all previous years of preparing for exams in India, this time I was not at all tempted to ‘quit and go home’ because, well, I was home.
Ironically, the visa restriction which prevented me from returning to India for two months seems to have been lifted on my sixtieth day out of the country.
I made it back to India, even studying in the airports, planes and taxis. So far, I have already written three of my five final exams and am preparing for the fourth one. It will be on December 22nd, but I figure I had better be prepared just in case the world doesn’t end.
But if it does, let me say this: I am deeply grateful to everyone who has made it possible for me to come to Namdroling and receive this education.