About Me

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I study, and try to practice, Vajrayana Buddhism. My main areas of interest are Chod, Kagyu and Nyingma traditions as well as Buddhisms interactions with the West, pop-culture and engaged Buddhism.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So this is xmas

Having mum and dad visiting me in Boudha has been even more amazing than I could have imagined. It's been logistically tricky with mum in a wheelchair, but she managed the stairs at Swayambhu and a fair bit at Namo Buddha, so she is obviously healing well.

Dad seems to have enjoyed helping out at the Rokpa soup kitchen which he had previously supported financially. I think actually being there in person and feeding people made it all more "real" for him, both in terms of understanding how a lot of people have it here, and seeing donations to a charity actually hitting their target. Visiting Thrangu branch monastery with him was also quite moving.

Tomorrow we are staying around Boudha, just with some local visits and lunch and dinner with friends. Thursday might be a trip to Patan.

Christmas Eve we are doing nothing much and Xmas day we are having lunch with my Tibetan family.

They go back on Sunday and I then have a week off before we start back in Shedra, however the first week back is only two hours of oral translation per day, although I will probably have some more language exchange with my Khenpo friend from Sakya college. I would have liked to do retreat for a few days, but have been told to relax a bit, and after the last seven months feel like I need it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's exam week, so everything has a sense of winding down. Next week we only have two hours a day of translation training/practice, although I might have to miss a day or so for practice reasons.

I've also met a Khenpo from Sakya College who is here for a few months and we are doing language, which so far seems to be the most fun and effective way to improve my colloquial Tibetan.

This week will also see the 900th anniversary of Dumsum Khyenpa, the First Gyalwang Karmapa. I'm not sure what is happening here in Boudha, but will try to do something meaningful.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Virtual Karma

Most of my internet use here is keeping in touch with people back home, or wherever in the world they are. With things like Facebook, I'm noting this becoming increasingly general and less personal than individual e-mails.

Whilst this at first appears to be time saving it's not. Finding out what people I barely have any sort of relationship with on Facebook, or getting distracted by links posted takes up far more time than sending individual and in depth e-mails to close friends and family.

Facebook is also horribly tied into all sorts of crap I don't like, like personal data sharing, targeted marketing as well as potentially being used to spy on people.

Similarly this blog has developed from being somewhere I wanted to share ideas into a narcissistic platform rather than anything of value.

Much in the same way I've gleamed hours of fun from subverting various websites from their intended use, it now seems a lot of my own online habits are showing at similar development.