The Inborn Characters 從小見大

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拍這張照的時候,看著這三位的互動,覺得甚是奇妙。

這張照片也確實如實傳達了他們各自獨特的性情。

虛空金剛仁波切的一舉一動就像個國王,很明確,氣勢十足。從我第一次看到他,連話都還不會講的時候,就是如此。

悉達多金剛仁波切沈穩堅決地不理會虛空金剛叫他一起玩的各種比劃,目不轉睛地看著台上的藏族傳統吉祥舞蹈——而且是雙手合十地觀看。肯定是位不得了的修行人,從前世流續至今的氣質。

祿頂霞仲仁波切則是一直默默地觀看身邊的這一切。生為未來傳揚戒律的接班人,天然具有默然出離的特質。

雖然前世來生是看不到也摸不著,但是我每次看到小孩子們,就會更加確信那些前世習氣延續至今的印記是如此深刻地烙印在我們內心,影響著我們的一舉一動。

Whenever I see young kids with strong inborn characters, it always reminds me of how our habitual patterns from past lives can continue affecting our behaviors and thinking patterns.

Akasha Vajra Rinpoche has always been like a king, since the first time I saw him—that is, a baby could not even utter a word yet acts as a king, centered, decisive, giving clear orders around with charisma and leadership.

To Akasha Vajra Rinpoche’s repeating requests to play, Siddharth Vajra Rinpoche simply shrugged them off, and continued to one-pointedly watch the auspicious dance performance on the stage, even with palms folded together at heart level! He must have been an amazing practitioner.

And Luding Shabdrung Rinpoche, he simply observed all this silently. A good quality for someone born to be a future vinaya holder, I guess.

The continuum…

May we cultivate positive habits to bring forth even greater positive habits for proceeding on the path of benefiting others.

 

更多登基大典的照片 / More 2017 enthronement pictures at:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10158716254780727.1073741850.886060726&type=1&l=8e169df2fa

 

 

West Guru Rinpoche Cave of Sikkim

And I thought I would die in the mountain this time…

We only had less than a week’s time in Sikkim so took off shortly after arriving at Gangtok.

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First was taking the shared jeep to Geyzing, then to Namboo which was said to be the closest village to the West Guru Rinpoche Cave. Shared jeep is the main public transportation around Sikkim, with high chassis to pass through rocky roads and seasoned local drivers for the windy mountain trails. It is also super cost effective — only 300 Rs per seat for this 5 hour journey. We paid 3 seats for two of us so that we only need to sit with one more person in the row (otherwise usually they squeezed 4 persons per row). On the other hand, there is no guarantee for the desired space. As long as people want to join the ride, sometimes even half way on the road, the drivers would always try to fit in as many people as possible. Therefore, 4-5 passengers per row is common. I even saw 6 adults squeezing in a row once (or stacked one on another, I should say).

In Geyzing bus station, we found that the road (simply dirt road, not the proper roads you would imagine in developed countries) now goes to a village named Thingle which is even closer to the West Cave.

So we managed to find a shared jeep to Thingle. (Lesson 1: no plan is the best plan in this par of the world. Lesson 2: keep asking the locals. Lesson 3: accumulate merits as much as you can and pray for things to unfold smoothly without obstacles.) That was quite fortunate as there are probably not many vehicles commuting to that small village and this one happened to be waiting for some Thingle people to return to the car after finishing their town errands.  

The driver loaded our luggage to the top (the above picture) and, after learning that we had not had our lunch yet, told us to have a quick meal nearby while he waited for the rest of the passengers. (That is another phenomena here. People are very trustworthy. We often left our luggage around–sometimes just lined up by the road, asked a grocery shop owner or fellow passengers waiting for cars to keep an eye, then went into a restaurant for meals.)

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I was told the journey to Thingle should be 2.5 hours. There were 4 passengers per row in the jeep, including the front row (and guess which one was driving the car?) We got the last two seats on the last row — definitely the bumpiest seats, but probably with slightly spacious leg room, except you have to climb in from a small side door.

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After two hours, in this small village named Darab, we were told to get out of the jeep for tea or a walk because they need to drive the jeep to another place for gas.

What I never figured out was who drove the jeep away as apparently the driver was having tea (and momos) with us in that tea place. 

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Anyway, the jeep did come back. We were back on the road, and shortly after that, a tire went flat here.

(Yes, those were four layers of eggs on the hood, tied to the two wipers. Despite they shifted from the center to the side at this point, they actually survived the trip, unlike that rear tire…)

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The driver must know his car really well. With all the passengers and goods it carried, he decided to drive a few miles further to stop by this bridge to change tire.

Unfortunately, the spare tire did not work somehow. We spent quite a long time there, with some drama from a young local couple of passengers holding their baby – both parents were so  drunk, especially the mother, who could hardly walk without tumbling down.

Finally before it was going to get dark, another jeep passed by and we managed to proceed with  a borrowed spare tire.

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So this is Thingle. This is the main road for the jeep.

Our driver found us a local to serve as pilgrimage guide. And his house is like 50 meter down from the left – literally vertically down.

It was raining and we walked down this steep slope with our luggage… a deja-vu like the trip to the North Cave, except that time we were walking uphill.

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(From the map, Thingle is very close to another pilgrimage site Yuksom, probably just over a mountain. Further northeast is Labdang the village where we stayed for two nights when visiting the North Cave. )

The house of our guide was quite small. He, his wife and daughter offered the only bedroom for us guests. On that day there was a young lama from Mindroling Monastery who just visited the West Cave and still stayed with them, so three of us stayed in this bedroom.

Lama was very lucky. That day was a mostly cloudy day. According to West-Sikkim weather forecast, the following days would be all rainy days. (Although I only saw that West Sikkim weather once. Other times iPhone only found Darjeeling weather as “nearby" with similar verdicts.)

I was too tired to think of the weather. After some simple food provided by the family (rice, fried potatoes and dal), we all went to bed. The sleeping bags we borrowed from Chorten monks were quite thin so I topped it with a thick blanket from the family. The guide said we should leave at 6am the next day.

***

Next day it was indeed raining. I thought of giving up as I clearly remember how harsh it can be by going into the mountains in the wrong season from the North Cave trip. Nevertheless, the guide thought we can make it and my friend also thought so. (Now I know the guide was using Mindroling monk as measurement although he let the monk take off at 7am that day.)

The young monk took 4.5 hours to go up to the Cave and 3 hours to come down so he did a day trip. However, he was from Nepal so he probably walked almost as fast as the locals. That means I would need double time and better stay a night up there to ensure we have enough time in the cave. But the guide also thought we can make it without a night up.

It kept drizzling. I was the one who initiated the trip so could not insist we drop it. While we were packing, I kept hoping the other two guys would change their mind, but they did not… Or maybe the guide know the weather here, he know the rain will stop shortly?

So we took off.

 

We went up that steep trail back to the main road. Then went up an even steeper trail though the crops of the next family up the hill, then through the crops of another family uphill. After 10 minutes of my “breathless" journey (for him it was probably a stroll in the garden), the guide quickly decided to send back my friend for packing our sleeping bags.

(Of course I had not been fit for some time, but for any city dweller, to go through the trails where you thought only goats would tread on, at an altitude of 1780m and keeping going higher, I am sure most people would need some time to recover the breath every now and then.)

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So the guide brought me walking further through more families’  crops to this family. (Yes, we walked from the crop at the left and there was always another family higher along the slope.) He left me at their kitchen and went back home to pickup my friend and our sleeping bags.

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The hospitable host offered me a mug of hot water — freshly boiled from the fireplace, with the unique smoke flavor of firewood.

When the guide came back, he arranged for a porter and a bamboo weaved bucket, stuffed with our sleeping bags, covered with some cut-open plastic bag atop. That was such a multipurpose useful thing to have. You take a huge garbage bag, cut it open and turned it into a water-proof sheet. We got distributed one each. Tie it around your neck, then it becomes a rain coat. Somehow this batch of bags are all green. So we were all walking in the mountain like big green flies. (You can see that bucket and green sheet at the left of the above picture.)

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So four of us (the guide, the porter, my friend and myself) kept walking up through various families’ property uphill in the rain, until we reached this family — they also run the only grocery shop in this village.

We bought a full box of instant noodles (my favorite brand YY, yeah!) and some cookies.

Why do we need a full box? I did not think we need so many (30+?) for just two days. My friend said there is a lama living alone by the cave so we should bring him some necessities since we are going up. (That is a great quality of this friend. He always thinks of helping others. My mind is usually only centered around my stomach.)

7:50am, finally packed with all necessities and formally began our journey.

 

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Within an hour, we had climbed over 600 meters of altitude. (If I were not there, they probably would have done so within half an hour.) I continued my special way of walking – breathless,  with a short stop every 5 steps, while getting worried of having altitude sickness.

Though it has never been a real problem for me, I still recall how my guide in Lhasa warned me to stay put on the first day for acclimatization–even taking a shower was forbidden. And here I am, no time for acclimatization at all, but a constant physical stretch. 

Every time when I was out of breath, the face of that Indian man in the Everest documentary would surface. He suffered an acute altitude sickness, with a swollen brain, lying by the trail. No one passing by could help him as everyone was only able to manage one’s own survival. So he just lied there, waiting for death.

 

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This was my green fly costume.

I resisted putting it on for quite some time until the rainfall became too heavy and my yoga pants was about to get very wet —yes, yoga pants. I was told that India would be very warm in this season so I did not even have a sweater. Only some light weight t-shirts for Southern Californian weathers.

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And not only did the rain not seem to be stopping any soon, but it went worse and worse.

After the altitude passing 2200m, with the declining temperature, what fell from the sky was not raindrops any more, but hails.

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At first it was amusing. But when these endless heaven-sent ice started to make your hands really hurt, not amusing anymore.

 

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10:30am, after walking for 4 hours, we arrived at a half-way stop.

This is a rest hut for local farmers who do seasonal trail maintenance works. Our guide should be one of them on a normal day, except that day he was taking care of us.

He used the public oil, salt, and vegetables(!) and started cooking the instant noodles we brought along. Added two fresh eggs we got from the tea family, it became a luxury meal in the middle of no where. He must be a pretty good cook.

 

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After lunch, we kept on walking in the hails.

Before long, the guide told us he had to rush up to the cave area with the porter. They must collect firewood before it gets too wet, otherwise we might not be able to make a fire. So my friend was left to watch over the slow walking me and make sure I do not get lost – I know how silly it sounds. But whenever these people say, “There is only one way, you just keep walking," somehow in every corner the trail would always look like leading to multiple directions than being “only one way."

 

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The higher we got, the more hails accumulated on the ground.

This was 12:50, altitude of 2900m.

And it was freezing cold.

 

When being above altitude of 3000m, it started snow heavily. No more tiny hails, but snowflakes flying with winds going at all directions.

About 1 something,  I was exhausted. The guide returned. They had collected the firewood, made a fire, and boiled some hot water. He brought us a thermo of hot water. (They are just amazingly nice and kind people!)

And he said, we had to rush because the weather was going to turn bad. (And I thought it was bad enough!)

You should always trust people living in the mountains when they talk about weathers. Within 5 minutes of his words, a strong storm started. Wild winds, heavy snow, we can barely see anything beyond a couple of meters! 

 

Here I was, cold and exhausted.

Although I had put on all the clothes I had, which consist of a Uniqlo heat-tech underwear, a thin long sleeves T-shirt, a short-sleeve T, Uniqlo ultra light down vest, my all-year-round in-flight fleece jacket and the Columbia rain jacket borrowed from my friend, they were surely not enough. (And big thanks to the dharma brother who arrived at Puruwala earlier warned me it would be cold there at night, otherwise I would not even have that down vest with me. Although it was indeed ultra light, just barely thicker than a piece of paper…) The wind and snow blew through my yoga pants (yes, they are supposedly to be breathable for hot yoga) and my socks were also half wet (having said that, I would still vote for Timberland boots. it could have been much worse.)

And all of a sudden, a very strong belief arose: only if I could sleep by the road for a short while, I would become very warm and settled then.

That was such a non-sense fantasy, but somehow I really clung to it and firmly believed it.

Probably everyone died in a mountain snowstorm had held that thought before death.

So after each step, I would tell the two guys in front, “Why don’t you go ahead? I’ll follow slowly…" (Actually what I really meant was you guys go ahead, I just want to sleep here…)

Since the weather was really bad and so was the visibility, they two were very determined in not letting me stay behind, and waited for me at my halt after each step.

Eventually I thought I had to keep moving up as I could not drag these two guys dying in the storm with me…

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And then we had to walk through very narrow paths along the cliff, like only 1/3 width of the path in the above picture. Ain’t I happy that the guide came back for us? It would be truly risky to try to make it by ourselves.

 

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2pm, finally we arrived, with all the blessings from buddhas and bodhisattvas!
Nub Dechen Phug, at an altitude of 3200m.

 

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The actual cave was further up. Our guide brought us to this shelter right below the cave. This was where we were going to spend the night.

 

When I approached close enough to actually see the “house", I was utterly speechless.

First of all, the “door" was only the door frame you saw on the right of the picture.

A door without door, how zen…

The entrance to the “door" was a few stones stacked up, right by the cliff together with the “door", where with one slip, one can go down directly for a rapid entrance to the next life.

And after entering the “door", the “house"was completely open to the valley, no wall at all.

On top of it, half of the roof collapsed already, with only a few wooden beam barely supported the structure called roof. It would be really romantic to sleep here while gazing the Milky Way in the summer sky—but not in a storm!!

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I sat by the fire to get myself a bit warmer. My hands were really red, swollen and hurting.

With all the breathless “walk", my heart beat was at a mere 61. Must have been in some hibernation mode by then.

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The lovely “door".

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The  advantage of having not wall in front was that you get a great view, and very fresh air… and every breath of mother nature.

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To the other side of the shelter, this little green hut below was the toilet.

When I realized that, in order to pee, I had to walk another 100m down, I really felt like crying…

Within these 2 hours, there was already over 5-6 inch of snow covering everything. I can hardly see where to put my feet for walking down. And someone insisted I had to go there to pee…

 

With all these heavy snow, I really had no idea how we can go down the next day.

Very diligently I did a Guru Rinpoche tsog, and praye to all the dharma protectors I can think of…

And the storm just got stronger and stronger, even lightening and thunders joined.

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Around 5:30pm, the guide said we better started cooking dinner before it gets dark. (Of course, there was no electricity there. Even all our portable power packs were frozen to death and stopped working at all. )

Our porter by the fire was really cute. He said, “Well, with all these snows, it will be as bright later. You will not be able to tell the difference between day or night…"

Having said that, he still went nicely to somewhere even further than the toilet to fetch some water for cooking the noodles.

After dinner, 6pm, bed time.  

 

Before the guide went on sleeping, he took my bamboo staff cleaning away the snow fallen on those beams without roof. There must have been over 12 inches of snow on the beams then. I sincerely prayed that the quickly accumulating snow on our side would not make the remaining roof collapse on us at night.

In the house, there were some pieces of public foam pads and thin weaving cotton rags. We put the foam pads over the ground, then our sleeping bags and covered with the cotton rag.

The sleeping bag was so thing, even with all my clothes and fleece jacket inside, I can still feel the cold air invading my lower back—no matter which side I turned, except the shavasana (corpse) pose, but then I cannot bend my legs so the legs would become cold. And once I lied on my back flat, I could not keep my arms straight because then my hands would be freezing. So most of the time I slept with my hands crossed at my chest, exactly how people were put inside a coffin.

So I was in my coffin posture, extremely cold, so cold that I would wake up every hour, watched my watch, lamented how slow the time had passed and tried to sleep again, while praying I would live through the night and the roof would not collapse on us.

My friend on the other hand, slept like a baby, judging by the sound of his snores. Somehow in his impression though, I was the snorting one and he was the one who woke up every hour. (The only few times he did not hear my snores, he would feel so worried that he had to put his fingers under my nose to ensure that I was still breathing and did not pass away in my sleep due to altitude sickness.)

 

Midnight, I got up once to answer the usual call of nature. The snow stopped. And indeed as what the porter said, it was bright; the moon and stars shown peacefully, everything was even brighter than the earlier storm time.

Went back to my freezing shivering attempt to sleep, kept consoling myself that if the guide and the porter can survive, I surely can—they don’t even have sleeping bags!

 

4am, the porter got up first. (Probably it was too cold for him too?)

After he made a fire, we all got up.

(And I finally figured out how they managed to sleep last night. They used that almighty cut-open plastic bag which served earlier as raincoat and later as a sleeping wrap. How smart!)

 

5:30am, the moon was still high in the sky. As in the night, it was bright.
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The greatest thing was: it was a sunny day!

Although I still had no idea how to get myself out of the mountain, at least there was a glimpse of hope, unlike the day before.

Words cannot describe my gratitude to Guru Rinpoche and all the dharma protectors…(in tears) 

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5:50am, the sun rose.
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On the cliff to the right of the house was the residence of the lama who lived here. Before him, there was a senior nun living here all alone. She passed away three years ago. Then this monk came. They must be amazing practitioners, to live in such remote places all alone. Yesterday we could see some blue textiles in front of his hut, but now we could barely see the place with all the snow.

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6:50am, the visibility turned better. The guide told us to go to the cave first to do our things, then come down for breakfast and packing.

First time hiking in snow, at first I was not sure where to put my feet. There was no way to tell whether you would step inside the snow or on a rolling stone and going together with the stone…but actually the powdery fresh snow made the path smoother and hence easier to walk on.

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Except that the path to the cave was quite steep, I often relied on the guide to give me a hand.

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Where we came from—looking back was always beautiful! (Both photos plagiarized from my friend’s phone)

I prayed that we could get down the mountain before the trail becomes icy. I remembered how slippery the roads could be when living in Munich. I could barely manage walking on properly paved pedestrians. I definitely do not want to try my luck on this 10000ft mountain.

 

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The entrance to the cave was these 2 logs bridging these two cliffs.

Good that it was covered by snow, otherwise I might feel even more frightened to walk on it in the mid air.

 

 

West Guru Rinpoche Cave

It is a relatively spacious cave facing the valley.

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We did our practices and asked the guide to help hanging up the prayer flags.

I did not understand why my friend was holding a metal cooking pot to the cave. It turned out to carry some burning firewood for making sang offering.

 

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The cave was very deep. Passing by the Guru Rinpoche statue, you can continue to walk inside until reaching a very narrow point, where you had to kneeled down to crawl further—with a long slate of 20 cm high right between your legs. No better way to show your surrender.

Then you would reach a slightly wider area, seeing the 2nd Guru Rinpoche statue and this one blocked the way to go further.
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But looking further, there was a 3rd Guru Rinpoche statue behind the 2nd one, so I believe the cave extended much further.

It was said that these four Guru Rinpoche Caves at the four cardinal directions of Tashiding are all connected to Tashiding.

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The guide was super patient. We spent 2.5 hours in the cave.

My friend brought along this big Guru Rinpoche Prayer book that Sogyal Rinpoche gave him in Puruwala and he must have read all the prayers inside, while I was feeling hungry and also worried about not being able to get out of the mountain in time. Praise Padmasambhava, finally he completed everything at 9:30am.

The consequence of the delay was, when we got back to the shelter, the guide advised us to skip breakfast and set out to leave asap. So we quickly packed and at the same time asked the porter to sent our offerings to the lama.

The porter came back and reported that, Lama said, the storm yesterday was the largest snow this year—meaning winter was better than this. How fortunate I was!

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That was certainly a brilliant decision by the guide. Within an hour, after passing the section where I seriously wanted to sit by the road and die, the mountain top was again covered in storm. We could have been stuck up there if we left half an hour later.

 

Sometimes the guide also needed to cut out a passage in the thick woods.

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While the storm continued howling in the mountain top, hail and rain continued to bless us along the way down.

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A cute puppy greeted us on the half way. We fed him all our crackers.

Then we were back to the half-way house. Since the weather was bad, all workers left and they sealed the entrance with a long wood board. We got in from the gaps and had our brunch. I was too hungry and tired to take any photos at this point.

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Continued walking down the mountain.

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For a second I really thought turtles in Sikkim could climb bamboos.
An weariness induced illusion.

 

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Finally back to the farm areas, again walking across the crops, but soon to be home.

(The right photo above was very close to the house of our guide already, down from the rock I laid my hand on to the rock I stood on… every resident in this area can make a good kungfu practitioner)

 

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It says 5 Km, plus about 2 Km in the crops, but a mobile App recorded a total 9 Km on the day up. From an altitude of 1780m to 3200m, we climbed up 1400m within a few hours, in the mountain range right next to the Sikkim-Nepal border.

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From the raining bamboo groves, to the hailstorm woods, to the strong snowstorm on mountain top… fortunately we got that few hours of sun to allow us walking out of the storms.

We moved to Tashiding shortly after back to Thingle. People said the whole region experienced unusually harsh weather during those two days. Darjeeling was having the largest snowstorm in the past six years and many tourists got stuck in the mountain. So we were really very lucky.

That was Mach 18, 2017 (the 21st day of the 1st month in Tibetan calendar), the 124th parinirvana anniversary of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.

Sarva Mangalam.

錫金 · 西蓮師洞

幾度以為自己這次要死在山上了……

因為在錫金只有不到一週的時間,所以也沒什麼日子好選,安頓下來後立刻就啟程了。

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首先是搭公共吉普車去給興(Geyzing),然後從那裡搭車到南布(Namboo),據說是離西蓮師洞比較近的村子。公共吉普車是錫金的主要公共交通工具,底盤高,司機都是跑固定線路的當地人,走山路比較可靠。價錢也非常實惠,從甘托克到給興要五個小時吧,一個座位才300盧比,我們兩個人包了三個人的座位,這樣這排只要坐三個人,比較舒服(不過這個也沒有保障,只要路邊有人想搭車,司機通常不便拒絕,還是會硬塞人進來,三人坐變成四五人座也是常事)。

然後在給興找下一趟公車時,被告知現在公路(其實是土路,只是車子開得過去而已)通到了一個叫做聽列(Thingle)的村子,那個村子離西蓮師洞更近。

我們找到了去聽列的車子,是上午從聽列開過來的,還在等搭車過來的村民在城裡辦完事回車上。司機幫我們把行李拿到車頂,留了兩個位子,知道我們還沒吃中飯,就叫我們在公車站旁邊的小飯館趕緊吃飯。這也是鄉下特色,沒有什麼固定時間表,我們匆忙吃完飯後到車上坐著,還等了一會兒。

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車程據說是兩個半小時,每排都擠了四個人,因為我們沒有提前買票,自然是擠在車子最後面、顛得七葷八素的那一排。

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開了兩個小時後,在一個叫Darab的小村子叫我們下車去喝茶,因為車子要去加油。

很神奇的是,司機竟然和我們一起在喝茶。沒能明白是誰把車子開去加油的。

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再開沒多久,這台車子就在路邊爆胎了。

(是的,您沒看錯,那兩根雨刷上綁了四排雞蛋。真是了不起的運輸,途中還下了點雨,於是本來綁在正中間的蛋兒已經移位到旁邊去了。但是它們確實在一路顛簸之中倖存了。我們的車胎反而沒能存活。)

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司機又強行把車子往前開到一個橋邊,換了備胎,貌似不管用。

總之折騰許久,好不容易對面來了一台吉普車,把他們的備胎給我們換上了,快傍晚時才終於把我們帶到了聽列。

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這個路是車子走的路。司機幫我們找了一個當地農民當我們的嚮導,他家就在這個“大路”左邊往下走五十米的地方——是直直地往下走哦。

下著小雨,還拉著我們的行李……無言地哭泣。IMG_8925

聽列這個地方,看地圖是再翻個山就到另一個聖地玉頌(Yuksom)了,再往東北的那個拉當(Ladang)則是我們上次爬北蓮師洞時留宿的村子。

我們的嚮導家很小,他把唯一的一間臥房讓出來給客人。這天有位敏珠林寺的年輕喇嘛上西蓮師洞朝拜下山在這裡,所以我們三人共住這間房。

喇嘛運氣很好,今天是陰天,明後天我看西錫金地區的氣象預報都是大雨,看似不太妙。不過後來都只搜到大吉嶺的氣象預報,好像離得太遠了,不見得作準。

累了,鑽進秋登寺借來的睡袋裡,再蒙上嚮導家的厚毯子,倒頭就睡,也沒多想。嚮導叫我們明天六點準備出發。

隔天果然是下雨的天氣,我頓時起了退堂鼓之意,但是嚮導覺得沒問題(現在知道他是以敏珠林喇嘛的標準來衡量我們,雖然他是讓敏珠林喇嘛七點才出發),朋友也覺得應該要上山——因為是我說要去西蓮師洞的,所以到了口又說不出下雨就算了吧,可能他們山裡人知道雨待會兒會停?

敏珠林喇嘛是上山四個半小時,下山三個小時,所以是當天來回。不過喇嘛是尼泊爾人,基本上也算是山上的人,所以按我的腳程應該是要乘以兩倍的。我們說要帶著睡袋上山,下雨天慢慢走,到山上過一夜,隔天再下來,但是嚮導覺得不用過夜,所以我們就上山了。然後……

然後,才走了10分鐘,嚮導看我上氣不接下氣,三步一喘,五步一停,立馬叫我朋友回他家打包睡袋去了。

這也不全怪我,他們家這邊雖然海拔才1780米,但是這十幾分鐘的路我們基本上是直直地沿著山坡往上走,穿過他們家的田走到上面一家的田,再走到上面一家……各位想像山羊是怎麼爬山的,差不多就那樣吧。城裡來的人,能不喘嗎?

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於是他帶著我再走一陣子,到了這戶人家,把我留在他們廚房裡(是的,我們就是從左邊綠綠的田裡走上來的),等著嚮導回家去把我朋友和我們的睡袋帶過來。

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熱情的屋主給了我一杯熱開水——用木柴生火煮的水,照例是一股煙熏味兒。

嚮導回來後,找了一個挑夫,拿了一個籮筐,把我們兩人的睡袋塞在裡面,上面罩上了一個大垃圾袋剪開的塑料防雨——後來知道這個東西可有用了,嚮導給我們每人發了一件,脖子一扎就是防雨的斗篷。正巧這一批塑膠袋都是綠色的,我們每個人都成了綠色的旋風小飛俠。(籮筐就是上圖左邊那個覆著綠色塑膠布的東西)

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於是我們四個人(嚮導、挑夫、朋友和我)就在淅瀝瀝的小雨中,繼續上行於各戶人家的田裡,到了這戶人家——這戶人家兼任這裡的小商店。我們批了一箱泡麵和餅乾——我看到挑夫拿著一整箱泡麵時有點愕然,我們四人是有那麼能吃嗎?朋友說他們說蓮師洞旁住了一位喇嘛,所以我們順便供養他一些食糧。他的這點是我一直很欽佩的,走到哪裡都想著別人,我想的通常只有自己的肚皮。

七點五十分,我們終於備好食糧,正式上路。

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短短一小時內,我們就爬了六百多米。(沒有我在的話,他們應該是半個小時內就爬六百米)我繼續我的三步一喘,五步一停,同時擔心自己可能會有高原反應。

雖然我號稱從來沒有高反,但是這麼短的時間內這樣直直上爬,還是有風險。

喘不過氣時,心中浮起了以前在那個珠峰紀錄片裡,看到一個印度人高反腦積水,就在路旁等死的狀態——因為路過的人,不管是往上或是往下,都沒有力氣能把他抬下山。

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這是我的科學小飛俠裝扮。

本來我是不願意這麼搞的,身上穿著朋友的Columbia防水衣想打發過去,但是雨下的太大,不披上的話,瑜伽褲很快就全濕了。(沒錯,瑜伽褲,這次來印度前聽說天氣很溫暖,連件毛衣都沒帶,以為就是在炙熱的印度大陸走走……還好先到普魯瓦拉的師兄說那邊入夜很冷,經停上海時抓了一件uniqlo極輕羽絨背心)

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說到雨呢,完全沒有要停的跡象,繼續嘩啦嘩啦地下著。

所以山民並不是因為覺得雨會停才帶我上山的,應該是他們對此不以為意吧?

 

等到過了2200米的時候,隨著氣溫下降,已經不是雨滴落下,而是小冰雹了。

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一開始還覺得好玩,等到打在手上很疼時,就覺得一點也不好玩了。

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上午10:30,走上四個小時候,我們到了半路的一個小屋。

這是他們維修步道的當地農民的休息站。我們嚮導平時應該也是一份子,不過今天接下我們這單生意所以沒有來賺這公家的修路錢。

嚮導拿他們的油和青菜炒了湯底,煮起我們帶來的泡麵,還打了兩個在早晨喝茶人家那裡買來的新鮮雞蛋。荒郊野外的最豪華版午餐。

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吃完飯,再走走,嚮導說,他和挑夫得趕緊上山去撿柴火,否則晚了木柴濕了,會沒法生火。於是他們兩人先行而去,留下朋友陪著繼續走走停停的我慢慢上行。

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愈往上走,地上積攢的冰雹愈多。

這是12:50,海拔2900米左右。

等過了3000米,雪愈下愈大了。這時已經不是小冰雹,而是細細的飛雪,伴著向各個方向席捲的風。

1點多的時候,我已經快走不動了。這時嚮導回來了,說他們撿好木柴,生了火,煮了水。

他給我們送上裝在朋友保溫壺裡的熱水。(當時我真的覺得天下怎麼會有這麼好的人!)然後說,我們必須盡快上山,因為天氣開始變壞了。

山民說天氣果然神準,他說完這話不到5分鐘,就開始狂風大作,能見度不到幾米。

我這時又累又冷。雖然已經把所有的衣服都穿在身上了,也就一件uniqlo的heat-tech內衣、一件薄薄的長袖T-shirt、一件短袖T、uniqlo那個羽絨少得不能再少的極輕羽絨背心(真的極輕,跟紙一樣薄)、常年跟隨我上飛機的抓絨外套和朋友的columbia風衣。風雪透著瑜伽褲進來,鞋子裡面也濕了。

頓時,我生起了很強烈的執著,覺得只要讓我在路邊睡一下,就是最溫暖幸福的事情。

這想法毫無道理。但是那時真的覺得只要讓我睡在路邊,我就會變得很溫暖。

我想登山在風雪中死掉的人大概都曾經抱持過這個莫名其妙的想法。

每走一步,我就跟前面的兩個人說,你們先走吧,我慢慢跟著(其實我是想說你們走吧,我睡在這裡就好了。)

不過因為天氣太惡劣,能見度又差,他們堅決不拋下我。而且我一步一停,他們也跟著我一步一停。

於是我想說,我自己想死,也不能拖著別人跟我一起死吧,只好努力繼續跟著,連哀怨的力氣都沒有。

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接著走過了不到上圖一半寬度的峭壁,還好嚮導有回來帶我們。

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兩點整,謝天謝地,諸佛菩薩保佑,終於到了。

海拔3200米,正式名稱是Nub Dechen Phug。

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洞還要往上走。嚮導把我們帶到洞正下方的“屋子”,也就是我們要過夜的地方。

看到這個“屋子”的時候,我震驚到無語。

首先,“門”就是大家看到相片裡左邊那個門框。

無門之門。非常有禪意。

進“門”的兩階踏腳石就是兩塊你腳一滑,就直接往懸崖下面去投胎的石頭。

進門之後就更驚異了。進門這邊只有半面牆,進門左邊完全沒有牆,所以這個“屋子”實際上只有兩面半的鐵皮遮風。另外,屋頂已經塌了一半,所以是名至實歸的透天瘄。

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就著火堆坐下來取暖,手還是凍得通紅。

心跳竟然只有61,可能進入冬眠狀態了。

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我們可愛的門。

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前面沒有牆的好處是視野極佳。無敵山景房大概就是這樣。

不過,現在是無敵雪景房。

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下面那個小綠屋是廁所。

當我發現上個廁所要往下走100米的時候,真的很想哭。

才兩個小時的時間,雪已經下了幾十公分厚,根本看不出路在哪裡,腳要往哪裡踩。

 

看著茫茫大雪,我實在不知道明天怎麼可能下山。

很認真的做了蓮師薈供,把我能想到的護法全都修了一遍。

結果,雪愈下愈大。

根本是場暴風雪。狂風咆哮,最後打雷閃電全都來了。

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5點半的時候,嚮導說,應該要做飯了,否則天黑了就不方便了。(當然是沒有電燈的地方)。

我們這位烤著火的挑夫很可愛的說,現在雪下的這麼大,白晃晃的,根本不會分得出什麼時候是白天、什麼時候是晚上的。不過他還是走到比廁所更遠的地方去打水。

嚮導再度給我們煮了YY泡麵。這次是簡易版的雞蛋炒麵,沒有山腰屋子的佐料了。

吃完飯,6點鐘,大家就寢。

 

嚮導很細心,拿我的竹杖把屋頂塌掉那半邊露出的幾根樑上的積雪給清了一下。我琢磨著,才四個小時就有三四十公分的雪量,這一晚上下下去,我們這半邊可別塌了好。

屋裡存放著幾片公共泡棉墊,拿來墊在木板地上,上面鋪著我們的睡袋。

借來的睡袋實在很薄,所以我堅持再蓋上屋裡公家的布(是那種粗棉織成,看得到洞眼,比一般浴巾還薄的布),聊勝於無吧。(我堅決地說臭也沒關係,保暖比較重要)

我穿著全身的衣服鑽進睡袋裡,果然很冷,而且不管往哪邊側躺,冷風都會從背部灌進來。平躺的話,腳沒法縮起來,也很冷。

最扯的是,兩隻手要是伸直放下去,會太冷,最常用的姿勢就是交叉在胸前,比較溫暖。於是我深深覺得自己跟躺在棺材裡沒兩樣。

總之就是怎麼睡都冷。每一個小時就醒來看一次手錶,發現時間進展緩慢。繼續我的棺材睡姿,同時祈禱自己能活過這一晚,屋頂也千萬別塌下來。

我身旁的朋友睡得呼聲大作(不過按他的說法是我呼聲大作。一旦我沒有聲息,他就會有點擔心,怕我有高原反應掛了,必須伸手探探我的鼻息,確定我在呼吸了,他才能安心繼續睡。其實他比我更慘,他的睡袋比我的更薄。)

 

半夜我起來上了一次廁所。雪停了。而且確實像挑夫說的,白晃晃的,在月亮和星星的照耀下,和白天沒有兩樣,甚且比暴風雪的時候更明亮。

再回去凍得瑟瑟縮縮地睡。一直安慰自己:“嚮導和挑夫都是上衣和外套就睡了,連睡袋都沒有,人家不會凍死,你肯定也凍不死。”

 

清晨四點多,挑夫先起床了。(估計他也是冷到不行吧?)

看他生好火後,我也趕緊起來取暖。

(終於發現他們兩昨晚是怎麼睡的了。他們就寢時,一直聽到淅淅簌簌的聲音,原來他們是拿那兩個遮雨的塑膠袋把自己裹了起來。)

 

五點半,月亮高掛在天上,和半夜一樣,明晃晃的,完全不覺得是白天。

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最偉大的重點在於:今天是個大晴天!

雖然我還不知道怎麼從雪地裡下山,不過至少有了一線希望。

真的是蓮師加持,護法保佑。(眼淚快要流下來了)

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5點50分,太陽出來了!

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右側山崖中間有個凹處,唯一常住這裡的喇嘛就住在就著凹處搭起的“屋子”裡。昨天上山時還見得到藍色的遮雨布,現在完全被白雪遮掩起來了。

之前有位年長尼師獨居此處,三年前圓寂了。後來這位喇嘛不知從哪裡來這裡。他們的意志力真是超凡絕倫,真正的修行人。IMG_9036_LR1

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6點50分,天色比較亮了,嚮導叫我們先上洞裡把正事辦掉,再回來吃早飯和收拾行李下山。

第一次在雪地裡登山,一開始有點不知道腳要往哪裡踩,深怕踢到一顆滾石,就跟著石頭一起下山了。驚喜地發現因為昨天下了那麼大的雪,粉粉厚厚的新雪堆在地上,反而路變得好走,有點像是在滑雪場一樣。

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上去洞裡的路很陡,幾乎一路都是嚮導把我拉上去的。

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回首來時路。(這兩張相片都是從朋友手機裡剽竊來的)

根據住在德國的經驗,雪融地表結冰時,走路會打滑,很危險。雖然有點擔心下山的時候會開始化冰,但是相對於昨天茫茫暴風雪的天氣,至少看起來是有下山的可能了。

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通往洞口的“路”就是架空的這兩根木頭。

還好現在有雪遮掩著,不然我大概會更害怕。

 

西蓮師洞

相對寬敞,背山面谷的岩洞。

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我們修法。請嚮導幫我們去掛背上來的風馬旗。

之前沒明白他們兩人幹嘛捧著一個鐵鍋上來,原來是帶了燃燒的木柴,做煙供用。

 

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岩洞很深。越過最外面的蓮師像,還可以往裡面走。

然後有個很狹窄的地方,必須跪下來匍匐進去。跪下來的時候,兩腿中間還正好卡著一個狹長的20公分高的岩石,真的是完全強迫五體投地才能前行。

然後就到一個稍微大一點的石室,再往前行的路就被這尊半人高的蓮師像封住了。

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向前望去,蓮師像身後還有一尊較大的蓮師像,洞穴一直延伸下去。

據說札西頂四方的這四個蓮師洞都能通到札西頂。

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嚮導很有耐心。我們在洞裡待了有兩個半鐘頭。在普魯瓦拉時,索甲仁波切剛好給了同行友人一本本覺會新出的蓮師祈請文集。這位仁兄不辭辛勞地背上山來,在洞裡把整本書能念的祈請文全念了一遍。我肚子很餓,又很擔心拖久了下山會有問題。還好他到九點半,終於決定收工了。

等我們回到夜宿的寮房,嚮導說,不吃早餐了,先下山比較保險。

我們趕緊打包行李,同時請挑夫把我們供養給山居喇嘛的糧食搬上去。

挑夫回來時說,喇嘛說,昨天是今年下過最大的一場雪——意思是冬天都沒有那麼誇張。就給我撞見了。

 

 

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嚮導英明。下山不到一小時,經過昨天我很想坐在路邊去死的那段路後,再回頭看山頂的部分,又籠罩在暴風雪之中。晚半個小時下來可能就困在山上了。

嚮導和挑夫有時還得砍樹闢路,很辛苦。

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山上繼續暴風雪,我們這裡下冰雹、下雨也是沒停過的。

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半路上遇到好可愛的狗狗。把剩下的餅乾全都給他了。

回到半山腰的工房,因為天氣不好,修路的人全下山了,門口拿大木條釘起來不准閒人進出。我們鑽進去煮了泡麵當早午餐。這時已經餓到沒力氣拍照了。

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繼續下山。

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一時以為錫金的烏龜會爬樹。爬山爬昏頭了。

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回到農民區,再度在各戶人家的田裡垂直穿行,不過就快到家了!!

(看看右邊那張照片,是從手摸的石頭到腳下的石頭上,山裡人到上面鄰居家喝茶,就這麼去的……都是武林高手)

IMG_8968_LR1說是5公里路,加上農田裡的2公里路,不過我用APP記錄,上山那天共走了9公里。

從嚮導家的海拔1780米到蓮師洞的3200米,垂直爬了1400米。離尼泊爾邊境好近。

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從小雨靡靡的竹林,到下冰雹的深山老林,再到山頂的暴風雪。

還好隔天早晨是個“雪晴天晴朗”的艷陽天,雖然只有短短幾個小時,恰恰夠我們到洞裡修法和走出暴雪區。

下山後我們在傍晚移居札西頂。聽說那兩日整個區域都是冰冷天氣,連大吉嶺都發生了六年以來最大的暴風雪,很多登山客被困在山上。我們算是不可思議的幸運,有那幾小時的艷陽天。

是日2017年3月18日(藏歷正月21日)適逢蔣揚欽哲旺波的124週年圓寂紀念日。

一切善妙吉祥。

All Alone for 27 Years

I can completely understand Knight’s preference to stay away from people–all people. What he described was exactly how I felt when being along on the Silk Road so many years ago. I think some experience does change your life forever. Especially when you have a drop of the taste of being completely free. 

If I had his courage and skills to live by myself, I’d properly do the same. Although capturing wild animals for food or stealing from other people will never be something I want to live by.  But time all for yourself, perceptions away from all human noise, how precious!!

🌈"…when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. There was no audience, no one to perform for. There was no need to define myself. I became irrelevant.” 

The dividing line between himself and the forest, Knight said, seemed to dissolve. His isolation felt more like a communion. “My desires dropped away. I didn’t long for anything. I didn’t even have a name. To put it romantically, I was completely free!" 🌈

Into the woods: how one man survived alone in the wilderness for 27 years – the guardian

https://apple.news/A9m1XxE3sRyGjnQJfEJQlbw



Photos at Tso Pema, India, March 2017 © Bella Chao

Flower Juice 紅花汁

Flower juice. Lama said these tree flowers have medicinal properties for curing heat related ailment such as dizziness, headache, nose bleeding etc.

They used to eat these flowers for fun as kids. Juicing is more a modern day phenomena. 

A lot of work to come up with little juice and only 120 Rs per bottle. Quite refreshing taste. 

花汁,據從小生長在比爾的喇嘛說,可以治熱病,像是頭暈、頭痛、流鼻血之類的。

他們小時候常到山上摘這個樹花,吃著玩,把舌頭染出紅紅的。他還是第一次看到有人在賣這個汁。很費工,要把白色花心剝掉,花瓣榨汁率很低,一大捧花瓣也就一點點汁。才120盧比一瓶,可以兑水或加糖,原味也不難喝。

@Kangra, India. On the way from Bir to Tso Pena.  印度比爾到措貝瑪的中途

藏曆猴年的最後一天 Last Day of the Monkey Year

奔波的猴年到了最後一天,還是很折騰。1323453334

先是出於各種因緣,昨晚只睡了三小時。

然後,開車本來就已經很不行了,睡眠不足的情況下還要飆一小時的車去聚會,完全是一路自己嚇自己,搏上性命去念經的感覺。

In short, the very end of the monkey year is as unsettling as the 2nd half of the year. With only 3 hours of sleep and then 2 hours of driving for the sutra resounding, it was such a stretch.

還好這是猴年的最後一天,要是大年初一這個光景,就太悲催了。

晚上再衝回家繼續爬格子,終於完成了今年的主要工作。從不丹布姆塘的庫傑寺開工,到猴年的最後一天收工,非常珍惜有機會和這部教法結緣,過程中還有諸多順緣助益,感謝師兄們。

Fortunately, safe travel marked the end of the day. And just now I completed the major translation project of this year! It started in Kurje Bumthang and got completed on the last day of the Monkey year. What a blessing to be able to connect with Guru Rinpoche in this way. May the seed blossom and soon bear fruits. May Guru Rinpoche’s blessings shower on all beings at all times.

今天讀了一部《觀世音菩薩授記經》與半部的《集一切福德三昧經》。

《授記經》的內容非常有意思,有一段講說一位威德王問一童子名字,那個童子慧根十足,尚未發心入佛道就這麼回答了:

一切諸法空 云何問名號 IMG_8424
過去法已滅 當來法未生
現在法不住 仁者問誰名
空法亦非人 非龍非羅剎
人與非人等 一切不可得

後來這位童子,也就是觀音菩薩的前世,發菩提心時又說了一段:

當發菩提心 廣濟諸群生
是則供正覺 三十二明相
設滿恒沙剎 珍妙莊嚴具
奉獻諸如來 及歡喜頂戴
不如以慈心 迴向於菩提
是福為最勝 無量無有邊
餘供無過者 超踰不可計
如是菩提心 必成等正覺

當然,後來觀音菩薩就不得了了,還獲得佛的授記會在阿彌陀佛入滅後成佛。

願大家雞年報曉,共同發心,證悟菩提。

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Love these verses read during today’s sutra resounding. Share with all for the new year:

The Illusory Absorption
སྒྱུ་མ་ལྟ་བུའི་ཏིང་ངེ་འཛིན།
Māyopamāsamādhi:
http://read.84000.co/#UT22084-055-004/title

King Glorious Splendor asked two boys of their names. And even before they entered the bodhisattva path, one boy replied:

Name is empty of name;
In names there are no names.
All phenomena are devoid of names,
And still they are described using names.

Later, the two boys generated bodhichitta with these verses (one of the boy became the utterly famous Avalokiteshvara in later lives):

If you give rise to the mind of awakening
In order to help all embodied beings,
You will be venerating the buddhas
With their thirty-two major marks.
A being may make offerings
By filling as many buddha realms
As there are grains of sand in the Ganges River
With flowers for the protectors of the world.
Yet if a person joins his palms
And bows to the mind of awakening,
His merit will be much larger
And know no bounds.
The one with superior intelligence has shown
The mind of awakening, precisely as it is.
There is no other comparable offering,
And no other similar glory.’

In the presence of the protector of the world,
We make a firm commitment.
Gods and men, listen
To this unsurpassed lion’s roar.

However long it may have been
Since saṃsāra’s unknowable beginning,
For that long, even if it takes many eons,
We shall act for the welfare of beings.

For as many eons as have passed
Since the very beginning, for that many eons
We shall act as you have taught
In order to help beings.

May all generate bodhicitta like these Maha-Bodhisattvas!

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(Thanks to whoever put such lovely food on my plate today. And Tara, the youngest participant in our Tsog gathering.)

好砧板和壞砧板的差別

塑膠的最爛。馬上有刮痕不說,而且痕跡裡都是黴菌。毅然決然地把姑姑這塊扔了。

木頭的貌似稍微好些,不過也很難說,因為這塊我只拿來切自己烤好的麵包,所以沒什麼碰到水的機會。

Epicurean 這塊果然像他們宣傳的一樣,木屑壓成的滑板材質,很堅固,薄薄一片,用過後就很難回去用一般厚重的砧板了。而且材質沒有氣孔,不會長霉,這塊用了一年多,確實如此。據說也不傷刀刃。因為是木屑做的,還很環保。目前是我的最愛。

Husk’s Ware 這個米糠壓的也很厲害,和上面那塊同時買的,也同樣環保又不長霉。缺點是很重,小塊用用還行,大塊就和傳統木頭砧板一樣重。另外因為是凹凸表面的,不適合用有鋸齒的刀切東西。還有,硬度應該比上面那塊高,基本沒有刮痕,所以有點擔心會傷刀刃。目前拿來送給切東西比較暴力的人使用。經久耐用應該這個排第一。 :p

噶舉三祖師《密勒日巴傳》從復仇到證悟,傳奇一生的偉大瑜伽士

這次回台灣才看到2013年翻譯的《密勒日巴傳》已經出版了。密勒日巴尊者,單是想到他的名號都會讓人不由自主地心花綻放,喜悅滿盈,這是多麼大的加持!

順便推薦一下葛莎雀吉演唱的《密勒日巴道歌》:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgNaf24oSzo

缺乏修行意樂的時候,只要讀讀《密勒日巴傳》,聽聽這些道歌,保證馬上會很快樂地找個山洞待著。

A book I translated into Chinese back in 2013 got published in Taiwan. This is the English version:  The Life and Spiritual Songs of Milarepa (https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Songs-Milarepa-Thrangu-Rinpoche/dp/1877294268).

Anything related to Milarepa is always so inspiring. Even just thinking of his name brings so much joy!

Also highly recommended is his songs sung by Kelsang Chokyi. These are the songs I turned to whenever I need to pull myself out of all sorts of distraction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgNaf24oSzo

——————————————————————————————————————————————————

http://www.books.com.tw/products/0010734719

http://www.cite.com.tw/book?id=70388

getImage

噶舉三祖師《密勒日巴傳》從復仇到證悟,傳奇一生的偉大瑜伽士

The Life and Spiritual Songs of Milarepa

內容簡介

◆他戲劇化的人生造就偉大的佛教傳奇,
◆從犯下殺業到精進苦修,一生即得證悟;
◆他在深山岩洞的修行,艱困中安樂自在,
◆珍貴的體悟化為「十萬道歌」傳唱至今;
◆他的故事如此迷人,值得我們一讀再讀,無比激勵!

密勒日巴尊者之所以卓越非凡,即是由於他的證量與泰然自若。他猶如你所驚訝的老者那般苦難而精進苦修;猶如你所敬佩的尊者那般逍遙自在而遊戲人間;猶如你渴仰的上師那般慈憫大悲而傳奇不斷。在西藏佛教史上,密勒日巴絕對是修行最好的典範,並令大手印等教法代代傳承、利益無數的修行者。
密勒日巴留下了十萬道歌,可說是您我非常珍貴的遺產。而本書的緣起來自創古仁波切於尼泊爾寺院的開示。在一九九八年的「南無布達研討會」中,仁波切傳授了關於《密勒日巴十萬歌頌》的一系列十次教學。這些道歌蘊涵著對佛法非常詳細的闡釋,展現出瑜伽士的任運自然了悟。在尼泊爾各寺院中,依然聽得到有人唱誦這些密勒日巴道歌。
《密勒日巴十萬歌頌》有三部分:授予非人眾生的教法、授予主要弟子的教法、授予一般弟子的共通教法。本書的內容主要是創古仁波切所講述的十首道歌為主:從思念上師、修持拙火安住雪山洞、岩洞中教化岩魔女、藥磨雪山教化善弟子、向具緣女孩巴達朋傳授甚深法教、在岡底斯山以神通力教化苯教徒、對加德滿都國王之迎請回應,以及調伏惹瓊巴驕心「進入犛牛角」與納受岡波巴為弟子,到戰勝四魔。故事生動描寫密勒日巴的艱苦修行與神通調伏歷程,令人讚嘆與敬佩;而道歌則一再地揭露從基本禪修到究竟見地的實修心要,極具啟發作用。
或許有人認為這些鬼、神、魔與神通力的故事不過是民間傳說,但今日於某些地區仍可親眼見到這類神妙事蹟。當然,這些故事最重要的層面就是「佛法」,佛法告訴我們應該如何生活,使我們能夠為了利益一切眾生而獲得證悟。

作者介紹

作者簡介
堪千創古仁波切
噶舉派長老,是兼具學養與實證的大師,備受藏傳佛教四大教派的推崇。
1933年出生於西藏。四歲時,被第十六世大寶法王噶瑪巴和第十一世泰錫度仁波切,共同認證為第九世創古仁波切,並於西藏青海創古札西卻林本寺舉行坐床大典。
二十二歲時,仁波切由第十六世大寶法王授予比丘戒。三十三歲時,仁波切順利通過藏傳佛教各派共學之五部大論及噶舉傳承專研之論典的辯經口試,由尊勝的第十四世達賴喇嘛授予藏傳佛教最高的格西學位,正式認定為藏傳佛教四大傳承的合格導師。回隆德寺後,第十六世大寶法王噶瑪巴授予其「堪千」(即「大堪布」)的頭銜,並獲封「三藏總持師」,是隆德寺及所有噶舉派之堪布,並成為隆德寺及其所屬那爛陀學院的住持。
1976年起,應第十六世大寶法王要求至國外傳法,為各種不同根器的佛子開啟佛法大門。2000年,達賴喇嘛任命創古仁波切為第十七世大寶法王的總經教師。仁波切弘法足跡遍及歐、美及亞洲各地,利益各地佛子,不分顯密,有教無類。
堪千創古仁波切的著作甚多,中譯出版的有:《止觀禪修》《直指法身》《轉心四思維》《佛性:「究竟一乘寶性論」十講》《遇見藥師佛》、《成佛的藍圖》《鮮活的覺性》《惹瓊巴傳》《帝洛巴傳》《噶舉三祖師傳:岡波巴傳》《噶舉三祖師:馬爾巴傳》等等。

目錄

前言
堪千創古仁波切簡介
序言
第一章、教文導言
第二章、熱切思念上師的六首道歌
第三章、雪之歌
第四章、嶺巴洞中的岩魔女森姆
第五章、藥磨雪山之歌
第六章、巴達朋的故事
第七章、在岡底斯山與那若苯瓊相遇
第八章、菛地加德滿都王之迎請
第九章、進入氂牛角中
第十章、岡波巴的故事
第十一章、戰勝四魔
【附錄】辭彙解釋

推薦序
兩千五百年前,佛陀教導了一套令人讚歎的教法。在教法中,他主張每一個人都會經歷痛苦,並更進一步教導,為了克服這個痛苦──感受到世界並非按照我們想要的方式來進行──唯有透過明瞭心性才能做到。於是佛陀用他接下來四十年的生命給予教學,教導如何克服這個痛苦以及如何獲得全然的自由,也就是全然的解脫,或説是覺醒。檢視自心,首先是要理解我們為何受苦,接著是思惟造成這個痛苦的原因,最後是透過禪修來檢視自心。禪修對於所有佛教傳統來說都是共通的,稱作打坐,或是梵文中稱為「奢摩他」(止)。
這些教法首先傳遍了印度,接著逐漸傳揚到大多數的亞洲國家。十一世紀,回教徒侵略印度,摧毀了教法起源國的大部分教法。然而,在數世紀之前,已有來自中國和西藏的勇敢朝聖者冒著生命危險來到印度,蒐集這些珍貴的佛陀教法並帶回各自的國家,翻譯成本國的語言。
其中一位就是來自西藏的馬爾巴。馬爾巴帶回了數量龐大的教文,其中不只包括佛陀的教言,也有從十一世紀大成就者們所修持的佛教教法。這些成就者的佛法修行是具有生命力的傳承,從上師傳給弟子,而且只有在上師完全圓滿修行且弟子展示自己已準備好接受教法之後,才會傳給弟子。從多方面而言,都可説這些是最重要的佛法傳授,因為不只是紙上談兵。
馬爾巴獲得了完整的喜金剛、勝樂金剛、金剛瑜伽母等金剛乘修法。此外,他還獲得了那洛六法和大手印傳承。藉由對這些修行的完全掌握,馬爾巴於是能即生獲得證悟。
馬爾巴帶回這些教法,並將它們傳給了密勒日巴。密勒日巴是有史以來最偉大的佛教聖者之一。《密勒日巴傳》講述了他獲致證悟的不可思議故事,這是能夠真正啟發人心的佛教書籍。這份傳記主要講述密勒日巴的生平故事,而關於密勒日巴修行六瑜伽(六法)和大手印禪修的教法,則是在稱作《密勒日巴十萬歌頌》的第二本書中所講述。
馬爾巴獲得了一種特別的禪修教法,稱作大手印,這是金剛乘佛教的一種特殊禪修。大手印禪修不需要小乘的廣大福德資糧,也不需要大乘對空性非常學術性的分析,而是一種直接觀看自心並見到其真實自性的修持。
例如:有一天,帝洛巴要那洛巴在地上攤開一塊棉布。那洛巴照做之後,帝洛巴卻燒了那塊布並問那洛巴看見了什麽。那洛巴看見那塊布變成了燒焦捲曲的織物,便回答説他明白了上師的教示如火,能燒去弟子如布般的煩惱。這使得人對細微現實的信念銷毀,於是弟子便無法再以世俗的方式生活。
創古仁波切是藏傳佛教噶舉傳承中最受尊敬的學者之一,咸認其不只具有極為學術性的背景,而且也具有對禪修佛法的偉大慧觀。從一九八六年起,仁波切每一年都會在尼泊爾自己的寺院中,藉由「南無布達研討會」(Namo Buddha Seminar)與西方弟子分享他的智慧和教法。在一九九八年的「南無布達研討會」中,他傳授了關於《密勒日巴十萬歌頌》的一系列十次教學。這些道歌蘊涵著對佛法非常詳細的闡釋,展現出瑜伽士的任運自然了悟。在尼泊爾各寺院中,依然能夠聽到有人唱誦這些密勒日巴道歌,希望在西藏的人也沒有忘記這些道歌。
由於這些修行道歌往往是一位修行者畢生禪修所得的萃煉精華,故有時也需要論釋以闡明其中的細微意涵。因為《道歌》的數量極多而「南無布達研討會」的時間有限,所以創古仁波切選擇了十首重要道歌來展示重要的佛教教法,並且對其給予詳盡的解釋。
在張澄基(Garma Chang)所翻譯的《密勒日巴十萬歌頌》中,讀者會發現譯文和此處所譯的道歌並不全然一致,這就是為何我們加入了相關部分的道歌翻譯,而不只是單純地請讀者參閱他的書籍。
最後,讀者也許會覺得這些關於鬼、魔、超能力的故事不過是十二世紀的西藏民間傳説。這確實是西方歷史學家的正統觀點。然而,甚至是在今日的遠東地區,仍然有偉大的西藏修行人展現出類似《十萬歌頌》中所描述的這些神妙事蹟。許多喇嘛和在家人,包括西方修行人,都曾經見過這些「神妙事蹟」,所以西方讀者應該謹慎,不要單純地認為密勒日巴紀事不過是民間傳説。當然,這些故事最重要的層面就是佛法,佛法告訴我們應該如何生活,使我們能夠為了利益一切眾生而獲得證悟。

克拉克.強森博士(Clark Johnson,Ph.D.)

My Humble Dance

My humble dance,

In-between the lines and amidst ever flowing air,

As a gesture of obedience and offering,

To you, the supreme one.


(Just realize it’s been 20 years from my visit to Dunhuang. How time can pass and underlying concepts can evolve. @Getty Museum)

從蟹足菇到泥鰍 from beech mushrooms to loaches


炒了一盤蟹足菇後,突然想到小時候祖母跟我說的一道菜。

她說,拿一塊冰涼的豆腐,旁邊放上泥鰍,擺在鍋裡蒸,泥鰍就會鑽到豆腐裡躲避高溫,然後死在裡面。不知道這是她在上海還是福州會做的菜,估計蘭州的可能性比較低。

小時候的我沈迷在古龍《絕代雙驕》等武俠小說的各種珍饈甚至怪異菜餚中,李大嘴連人肉都吃了,所以只覺得這道菜聽起來很有創意。到長大後,才感覺這菜委實殘忍,還好也一直沒人要做給我吃。

今天看到炒好的蟹足菇,就想到吃蟹足菇不是挺好的,人們幹嘛總要去折騰其他生靈。

最近在看美劇Hannibal,愈看愈覺得那是提倡素食人士的另類宣導方法。裡面有一段劇情是男主角讓衣冠楚楚的對頭坐在奢華擺設的餐桌前,每天給對頭(這個狀況下應該是受害者)一頓大餐,只不過大餐的內容可能這餐是對頭的煙燻烤右腿,下餐是對頭的薄片風乾左手臂,兩人還在用餐期間談笑風生。現代人,特別是美國人,要把肉處理到完全看不出是個動物的樣子才來下肚,也是類似的行為,只是粉飾太平的程度不同而已。

Looking at these beech mushrooms today cooked for lunch today, all a sudden I thought of a dish my grandmother described to me when I was really young. 

She said, you put some clean and seasoned live loaches with a block of cold tofu together, steam them. The loaches would go inside the tofu to avoid heat and you end up with a tofu with loaches inlayed beautifully. 

As a child, I found it interesting. Later I always though it’s such a cruel way to cook. Now I wonder why people can’t simply eat plants like mushrooms and leave those poor sentient beings alone. Not to mentioned that, a lot of these weird things chinese people eat don’t even taste good and you actually have to use very heavy sauce or seasoning to cover that meat’s original taste. This is even true for our regular animal protein–if you ask someone who has never eaten port, veal or fish in their life to give it a try, I’m pretty sure they’d find its taste stinking and horrible. This is a common experience for people restarting eating meat after being vegetarian for some time. So really, unlike sugar may be an inbuilt desirable taste for human beings, animal protein is more of an acquired taste. 

I’ve been watching the TV show Hannibal recently. Somehow I really feel it’s an alternative campaign for vegetarian diet. Once you become conscious of what you put in mouth, no matter how seemingly civilized the meal and table setting appears, you’d find it hard to swallow. Vegetarian is really the way to go.