Wednesday 31 August 2011


The Greenness of Rice Fields
During the early 1990,s i had the good fortune to be able to spend some months each year near the village of Parping.  
This is a blessed place on the southern rim of the Kathmandu Valley.

The Great Dzogchen Master Orgyen Tulku had built and established a small retreat centre on the side of the hill directly outside a famous cave called Asura.  It was said that the Tantric Master Guru Rinpoche had practiced for a time in this cave, leaving behind hand and foot impressions in the rock.

A number of Lamas and practitioners were staying in small houses or rooms all around this location, leading a quiet life and going on with their various Buddhist practices.

I loved this area.  One could climb up past the cave and onto a small knoll just above.  From here there was a wonderful open vista that swept down the valley towards the city of Kathmandu, the view of which, was offset by the white soaring peaks of the Himalayas rising behind in the distance.  T

he fields directly below shimmered with the helplessly enchanting greenness of ripening rice paddies which weaved their way right down the valley between small mud and straw roofed  hamlets of the villagers.

Giant old Papal trees clung to the sides of the hill and in the late afternoon sunshine i would sit, completely mesmerized, by the leaves on these trees, which,  as they were shaken by evening breezes, glittered with effulgent explosions of light.

During one visit in which i stayed for several months i had another Western woman staying next to me.  She was a devoted student of the previous Jamgon Khontrul Rinpoche. At that time he was still very much alive.

We got along very well and it was lovely to have someone to talk with when we were both taking breaks from our practice sessions.

Our rooms were very simple, side by side on the upper floor of a small building that housed below, an old Lama Yogi in one room and a Tibetan woman and her small boy in the other. 

Both rooms had large windows that looked out over the valley and the rice fields above the Parping village, and when the shutters were pulled aside it was just like floating amidst and over a sea of shimmering green.  The roof was made of  large sheets of grey shale, so it was none too water proof, but fortunately the months i stayed there were relatively dry ones.

One day when we were both in our meditation sessions, i was jolted by the sound of a cry and a loud grunt which sounded out almost simultaneously from the room next door. Maria, my neighbour later told me with much amusement, that she had been sitting on her bed at the window, reciting mantras and lost in reverie, as could easily happen on these long and sleepy afternoons, when she suddenly she noticed a movement directly above where she was sitting...

Read more in Tibetan Tales and other True Stories
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