Awaiting my visa…

I wish you a Happy Year of the Fire Monkey, which I recently celebrated while awaiting my visa in New Delhi. The wait, imposed by the Government of India every five years, is always initially painful and frustrating. However, as I apply Shantideva's wisdom of doing what I can if there is something I can do, but not worrying, and accepting that there is nothing I can do if there isn't, and not worrying, I eventually relax and enjoy the wait. Here are some of the pix taken during my wait. 

I lived very comfortably in the rooftop flat of my godfather's home...

I lived very comfortably in the rooftop flat of my godfather's home...

I made my way down the stairs each morning

I made my way down the stairs each morning

Ganshyam took care of us, cooking and serving

Ganshyam took care of us, cooking and serving

with help from Savitri

with help from Savitri

I went for walks, photographing the grand trees of Friends Colony

I went for walks, photographing the grand trees of Friends Colony

and its beautiful wiring

and its beautiful wiring

and watch cricket, which I still don't understand

and watch cricket, which I still don't understand

I'd stop for tea and biscuits

I'd stop for tea and biscuits

and I sometimes went beyond the Colony's walls... to Chhatarpur temple complex where I met the statue maker

and I sometimes went beyond the Colony's walls... to Chhatarpur temple complex where I met the statue maker

visited bookshops

visited bookshops

watched office workers preen

watched office workers preen

stylish youth pose

stylish youth pose

and a Kashmiri lady await her tea beside the grand Jama Masjid

and a Kashmiri lady await her tea beside the grand Jama Masjid

I visited the Buddhist temple of some followers of B. R. Ambedkar, the author of India's constitution who converted to Buddhism in the 1950's

I visited the Buddhist temple of some followers of B. R. Ambedkar, the author of India's constitution who converted to Buddhism in the 1950's

His followers revere him as much as they do the Buddha

His followers revere him as much as they do the Buddha

And of course there was Delhi's the wildlife

And of course there was Delhi's the wildlife

which I shall miss.

which I shall miss.

Hello from South India...

Lovely Karnataka

Lovely Karnataka

With its many ladders to heaven

With its many ladders to heaven

Excellent boarding houses

Excellent boarding houses

with kind room service

with kind room service

Welcoming churches

Welcoming churches

and roadside tire repair facilites

and roadside tire repair facilites

weighing stations

weighing stations

and natural beauty

and natural beauty

where lions roam free

where lions roam free

as children play

as children play

twirling away

twirling away

and frogs delight

and frogs delight

among the deer

among the deer

and holy men

and holy men

young

young

and old

and old

and in between

and in between

Karnataka's a splendid place!

Karnataka's a splendid place!

where women still wear saris

where women still wear saris

and men wear lungis

and men wear lungis

and internet pervades

and internet pervades

Morning inspection tour...

The cows

The cows

and our new young cowgirl, Somali's granddaughter

and our new young cowgirl, Somali's granddaughter

Venerable Tashi Tsering, head of the dairy with our administrators, Ven Zumnyig and Ven Gyaltsen Palden

Venerable Tashi Tsering, head of the dairy with our administrators, Ven Zumnyig and Ven Gyaltsen Palden

The office... Jampa and George

The office... Jampa and George

Head of the kitchen, Venerable Lobsang Tenzin with our wood burning stove

Head of the kitchen, Venerable Lobsang Tenzin with our wood burning stove

Wood and broom

Wood and broom

And all of us

And all of us

Consulting Nechung Oracle...

Early morning departure for Ling Labrang where the Nechung Medium has been invited to go channel the State Oracle of Tibet

Early morning departure for Ling Labrang where the Nechung Medium has been invited to go channel the State Oracle of Tibet

In trance, Nechung Oracle presents a universal offering to H.E. Ling Rinpoche

In trance, Nechung Oracle presents a universal offering to H.E. Ling Rinpoche

They speak

They speak

And ask Khyongla Rinpoche to join

And ask Khyongla Rinpoche to join

Oracular pow wow

Oracular pow wow

Nechung's spirit leaves the medium's body

Nechung's spirit leaves the medium's body

Ling Rinpoche and Khyongla Rinpoche read what Nechung said

Ling Rinpoche and Khyongla Rinpoche read what Nechung said

and discuss

and discuss

and then

and then

relax

relax

Kullu Valley...

Greetings from the Naggar Castel

Greetings from the Naggar Castel

Prayers are said at the Castel Chapel each morning

Prayers are said at the Castel Chapel each morning

Rinpoche says his own prayers on his verandah

Rinpoche says his own prayers on his verandah

and peers over to watch the badminton games

and peers over to watch the badminton games

and listen to the lovely sound of old vehicles warming up

and listen to the lovely sound of old vehicles warming up

This is our other temple, across the street

This is our other temple, across the street

And this is the laundry man drying our sheets before a storm

And this is the laundry man drying our sheets before a storm

His wife and her friend knit sweaters

His wife and her friend knit sweaters

The storm arrived

The storm arrived

and the mountaintop was white with snow the following morning

and the mountaintop was white with snow the following morning

All is well in Kullu Valley

All is well in Kullu Valley

Singapore...

His Eminence Ling Rinpoche, the reincarnation of the Senior Tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, visited Singapore recently. I was asked to translate for Rinpoche, and was not able to resist taking a few pictures... 

Inauguration of a Dharma Celebration

Inauguration of a Dharma Celebration

Rinpoche performs a self initiation before bestowing the initiation on others

Rinpoche performs a self initiation before bestowing the initiation on others

Ritual for removing obstacles to the bestowal of the initiation

Ritual for removing obstacles to the bestowal of the initiation

Blessing the participants...

Blessing the participants...

Preparing for teaching

Preparing for teaching

Teaching

Teaching

And speaking to the Singaporean students of Buddhism

And speaking to the Singaporean students of Buddhism

A young disciple

A young disciple

Rinpoche with monks and the wife of the former Prime Minister

Rinpoche with monks and the wife of the former Prime Minister

A devotee after the teaching

A devotee after the teaching