The trip to Namo Buddha had been a fast return to activity, so although my head now felt clear, it seemed wise to rest. Or at any rate to do some shopping.
One of my regular practices calls for what, in the context of Tibetan ritual, is called “music”. Perhaps you have heard it. There are points where it is good for a conch shell to be played. I have had one for a long time, and it was fine. But a couple of years ago I was joining in with the practice of a group down in Sarzana, whose ritual regularly included blowing a conch. I was dismayed – theirs were all bigger than mine. Now was the time to put this right. I was tempted by one of the conches decorated with a greenish-blueish crackle-glaze. I felt, however, that this would look pretentious and grandiose, so I settled for the conventional style of shell with white metal decoration. It’s a LOT BIGGER than the one I had before – but in a humble way. It cost the equivalent of €16. You can buy something similar on eBay for $100 plus p&p.
There’s always something new down at Jarung Khashor! Today it was dancing, not wonderfully organised, but with spirit, and a kind of art show.
After the excitement of shopping, I came back to an earlier question: where can you go and sit in peace apart from your boring bedroom? A prayer-wheel room in Sechen monastery, close to the guesthouse, is one possible answer. It is off the main routes, so while the prayer wheels at the entrance to the stupa are almost always turning, this place is often unused. The wheels are turning because I had pushed them:
Heavy rain made an afternoon of rest the obvious thing. A thunderstorm blew up, which gave the police something to do: moving all the public off the upper levels of the stupa. Some people might see being struck by lightning while being practising devotion at Jarung Khashor as good way to die, but no, the authorities wouldn’t like it.
Oh, the Double Dorje dog (Singha, I think) has had a summer haircut.