This post was written a couple days before we received it. The group has now moved to the village of Yolonshi to start their project work.
Today we started the day by walking across the street to Abu’s house to visit a 1300 year old monastery. We got white scarves*, offered them to the Buddha, and learned about the footprint and the amazing key. Both relics are used to heal suffering. Next, we loaded up in cars and traveled to the nunnery which is home to approximately 600 nuns. There, we saw a cave where a monk mediated for 60 years – from age 25 to his death. We also had the chance to wander around another monastery where a few of us saw goat, a big horned sheep, a yak, and a reindeer-like-creature all laying together in a sand pile. Finally, we departed Tagong and headed towards Tenpa’s house. Along the way we stopped by a rickety bridge that held thousands of prayer flags and was surrounded by beautifully carved and painted rocks. We admired the unique beauty of the art and the way that it transformed a Colorado-like landscape into something very different and magnificent.** When we arrived at Tenpa’s house, we were expecting a home very similar to Abu’s home – beautiful and intricately decorate but without much luxury but instead were surprised to find an open, spacious home with running water. To us, it really reinforced the idea that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. We are looking forward to settling down tomorrow in Yoloshi to begin our work.
*symbolizing purity and compassion.
** by decorating the area with prayer flags and mantras, monks try to preserve the environment with the hopes people will be more inclined to protect the area if it holds religious value