Looks like coming back to Namdroling after a 10 month absence is what it takes to get me writing again! Being here, now, feels very special. It is clear to me that this is a blessed place, where practice and Dharma life arise naturally. I feel lucky to be here, and determined to spend my time well.
In January of this year, I returned to Rigpa Shedra East to translate for the tantra class. Our text was Resting in the Nature of Mind (sems nyid ngal gso) by the Omniscient Lonchenpa. I had planned to use a rough translation which is available on the web, but I quickly discovered that it wasn’t useable for my purposes. This meant a tremendous amount of preparation for each class. Furthermore, since it is quite a long text, our classes lasted three hours per day! So, although I enjoyed the text, and the illuminating explanations provided by our teacher, Khenpo Gyatso, the whole three month experience left me pretty exhausted.
I stayed on in Pharping for two more weeks, teaching an overview of Ascertaining the Three Vows by Ngari Panchen. I used Sangye Khandro’s English translation as a basis, but brought in further explanation from the commentaries of Khenpo Yonga and Lochen Dharma Sri. I really enjoyed researching and teaching about the three types of vows – Individual Liberation, Bodhisattva, and Tantric Samaya. I hope the teachings will inspire people to take a deeper look at conduct as a form of Dharma practice. After all, most of us spend more time off the cushion than we do actually meditating and there are many ways we can benefit others by crafting out physical, verbal, and mental activities.
I’ve been back at Namdroling for not quite two weeks, and while I did have some time to recover from the exhaustion of the work in Pharping, I am already busy with new activities. I haven’t found out what I’ll be teaching at the nunnery, but in the meantime I am tutoring a couple people. One of my responsibilities is to teach Aryadeva’s Four Hundred Verses to someone who doesn’t know very much Tibetan, but, thankfully, knows English. We started today and I feel really happy about it. It’s nice to revisit the text which I taught as a Kyorpon while in my eighth year of shedra.