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.


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.)


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.


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. 


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…)


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.


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.


(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.)


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.


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.)

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.



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.


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.


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.

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



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.



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."


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…

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.



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


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!!


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.


The lovely “door".


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.

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.



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.




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.


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


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.


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.


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.



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

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.


Continued walking down the mountain.

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)


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









































































海拔3200米,正式名稱是Nub Dechen Phug。
















































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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 alone 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


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. 



@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




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.



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.



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


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




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

The Illusory Absorption

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.)




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





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






The Life and Spiritual Songs of Milarepa








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。
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。

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






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. 

Portobello Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Egg 日曬蕃茄羅勒醬波特菇蛋


Love asparagus!! And all for only $1 USD! Portobello mushrooms are 2 for $1. Definitely something I’ll miss when leaving US. 


油鍋爆香碎蒜粒,略煎大菇逼出水份,翻過來在菇的皺摺處抹上一層日曬蕃茄羅勒醬(日曬蕃茄、羅勒、松子、腰果、橄欖油), 打個蛋在上面,蛋半熟時鹽胡椒調味,翻面在煎幾十秒就可以上桌了。保證好吃,而且失敗機率極低!

I invented this dish yesterday because we have some left over sun dried tomato pesto sauce which I want to get rid of. It turned out so good that I made it for breakfast again today. 

It’s utmost simple: just briefly pan fried a portobello mushroom with a little oil and minced garlic to get the water out, turn the portobello and add some sun dried tomato pesto sauce (tomato, basil, cashew, pine, olive oil) and an egg on top, season with little salt and pepper on the egg when it’s almost done, and voilà!