好吧，我’ve been back in 达兰萨拉 for a couple days now, and have been going to 的Dalai Lama’的教.。这是三个半小时的事情，下午1-4：30，非常有趣…从非常基础的入门到深刻的哲学，他一次都在许多不同的级别任教。 （它’s impossible to tell how deep since 的higher levels are way over my head, but I know enough about, hmm, logical structures to see that he’在很深的层次上思考问题。它’细微差别，顺序和结构完全对齐是非常不寻常的，但是他做到了。）
Structurally, 的teachings start with chanting Tibetan prayers, then an offering, both of thrown rice, and something more complicated that 的Dalai Lama does. (I have no idea what those are about, since 他们 aren’然后翻译：）尊者教了三个半小时，中间有短暂的休息。 FM收音机提供四种或五种不同语言的翻译版本…the English translation is quite 好, but it clearly leaves out a great deal. I wish I understood Tibetan.
(On 的other hand, a Tibetan friend of mine says that she doesn’不了解他一半的事’s saying, either…apparently a lot of 的vocabulary is specialized religious words, which she doesn’t know–so, oddly, it’s easier for her to listen to 的English translation–more accessible.)
Listening to 的Dalai Lama speak is very different from 读ing his books…这些书是一致的，但没有那么复杂。它’看着他直接离开真是太好了“It’s a 好 idea to practice compassion” into a precisely presented discussion of 的philosophical differences, history, and source of 的split between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. (Actually he talked about much more subtle differences than that, but I can’t cite them, because 他们 went right over my head.) So people of pretty much any philosophical depth can get something out of 的teaching, and I’我肯定这是故意的…他有着复杂而自律的心态。
(I’ve developed 的odd ability to “read” people’s minds–which is to say, 通过 talking to someone for a couple of hours, I can develop a pretty 好 idea of 的world 他们 live in, their internal “rules”以及他们与世界互动的深度。有些人思维复杂，有些人思维相对简单，有些人深入研究事物，有些’t. The Dalai Lama has one of 的most complex, well-structured, and well-balanced minds I’我看了很久…鉴于他的声誉，当然只有这样。尽管如此’听到他讲话很高兴。一世’d喜欢在晚餐时和他说话–not that I’m likely to get 的chance, of course. But you never know. ðŸ˜‰ )
达赖喇嘛也很有幽默感，’t as obvious in 的books…例如，他在讨论无常，特别是年龄如何破坏青春和美丽。他说，“As 的great sage _____ remarked once, 的only thing to be said for aging is that it comes on gradually…I mean, if you were young and beautiful one day and woke up 的next day wrinkled and ugly, you’d可能死于心脏病。所以’s 好 that it comes on gradually.
“In my case, I used to run up 的mountain back behind 的monastery in my youth, and leave my attendants far behind. This worried them of course, because 的mountain was quite steep, and if I had fallen, I might have died, which would have been bad for them. But now, of course, my knees aren’t so 好…my eyesight is okay, at least right now, but then, my hairline is receding, and you can see 的gray hairs coming in…有时我开玩笑说我的白发正在加速我的后退发际线。但是秃顶也可以，因为那里’s a Tibetan joke that baldness, goiter, and [missed 的third] are 的beauty marks of a monk. This makes some sense, if you’喉咙又瘦又修士…”
那’s a pretty 好 example of his speaking style…funny, memorable, rambling, humble, and deep all at 的same time, plus full of illustrative stories. It’非常好的坐着和听他说话。
那’s not to say that 的teachings are all fun and roses. They’绝对*包装*–the courtyard of 的temple is completely full, you have to arrive an hour or two in advance to get 好 seats–and 的sun can be blazingly hot. It’太拥挤了–我不得不蹲了一个小时，因为没有’甚至没有足够的空间坐着。 （幸运的是，我终于找到了一个足够大的空间–我的腿在“杀死”我。）’三个小时也很难引起注意。但它’太棒了，我’m staying as long as I can before flying back to 曼谷. Next year, I may come back to 达兰萨拉, just for 的teachings.
（请介意，我’m still not a Buddhist. The deeper points of Buddhist philosophy make no sense to me. But there is something very powerful about 的Dalai Lama’超越神学的信息…he very clearly and squarely puts compassion first, and 的rest of 的theology is philosophical window-dressing. (Not to say that 他们 aren’t important, but 他们 take a definite second place to compassion.) This dedication to compassion shows up not just in what he says, but in 的way he teaches, and 的way he presents his arguments…he doesn’只是在思想上相信它，而是在各个层面上实践它。非常漂亮。也真的，真的，真的很酷。 ðŸ™，）
我想在这一点上说他看起来也很酷是不客气的。 ðŸ〜‰但是，事实上，他*确实*看起来确实很酷。 ðŸ〜‰
In other news, I went 通过 的Norbilinga Institute this morning to watch thangka being painted…it was, of course, amazing. The artists paint with incredibly fine brushes, and can spend a month or more just laying out 的outlines. They train for at least six years before 他们 are fully qualified to paint for Norbilinga…and 的detail on some of 的thangkas is absolutely fantastic. I was looking at a thangka of 的Dalai Lama today (Buddha of Compassion with a thousand hands and some large number of heads)–you couldn’t get a computer to print at that resolution, let alone paint it with a brush. And 的thangka at Norbilinga are supposed to be 的best of 的best.
我必须说，我真的很喜欢thangka。 （今晚我花了两个小时通过店主看’s private collection…the “good”他在家的那些…woo. I mean, woo. Woo woo woo. Words cannot describe. ðŸ˜Ž ) Thangkas have incredible detail and elegance in 的artistic lines. They’少谈猖self的自我表达（基本构图是固定的），而谈谈绘画固定主题时的优雅。一世’我很想学画画，如果有的话’s anyone teaching in 的Bay Area. (Not that I’我要花六年的时间学习绘画–that outlasts my attention span 通过 a 好 4.5 years, thank you very much ðŸ˜‰ –但是学习有关这种笔法的知识会很高兴。）
事实证明，唐卡实际上有两种…the non-painted kind are made of fabric, and make 的eighteen months I spent on my wedding dress look simplistic. They’re hard to describe, but basically 他们 cut out pieces of silk along 的basic outlines of a thangka, then border 的edge of each piece with a fine silk-wrapped horsehair cord (about 的same thickness as fine florist’s wire), then embroider 的finer details. It takes an incredibly long time and costs 的earth. I watched them wrapping 的silk around 的horsehair, and carefully couching 的resulting cord with nearly invisible stitches in incredibly fine thread…wow.
It looks like 的Internet cafe is now closing, 所以我’m off…more later, if I get 的chance.
I’ll be in 达兰萨拉 through 的24th…I take 的night bus to 新德里 Monday night, and fly out to 曼谷 Tuesday evening. I fly back to San Francisco March 31.
I look forward to 的hot showers. ðŸ™‚