Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An even littler man...

What do you get when you throw together 10,000 people from various Asian countries, 1100 Westerners, 10,000 Tibetan nuns and monks, a 5 acre area of dirt laid over with plastic tarps, 100 loudspeakers from 1965 shouting things in Tibetan, no instructions about registration or teaching times, 200 Indian beggars all crowding for a Rupee, fog so thick you can't see more than a bus length in front of you, no pre-warning of needing passport-sized photos and photocopies of your documents, three 1.5km long lines side-by-side leading to 1 door half the size of your average Canadian, 2 metal detectors operated by 4 security guards, no rules of engagement for locals selling food, sweets, mats, jewelery, and fm radios, every rickshaw in a 4 million person city trying to make a buck, 9 homemade port-a-potty's, and no talking.............
NOTHING! You get absolute and total cooperation because you're dealing with 21,000 Buddhists who's only concern is listening to an amazing leader half their size and twice as happy!!!
That's about as vivid a description we can give for listening to the Dalai Lama in Sarnath, India (a tiny Buddhist holy site beside Varanasi). The setup was quite incredible and the tent that was erected to cover 5 acres... my goodness, Indians should definitely get into the events business back home! Sitting cross-legged amongst 20,000 others in silence while tuning into your amazing English translator on your tiny FM Radio is something to experience. After the morning chanting ends, which is some of the most unbelievable vocal music you'll ever hear (the best description I can give is it sounds very close to a didgeridoo), the 100-monk-troupe of appointed butter tea and Tibetan bread givers literally take off (yes, full-on sprinting), and manage to serve tea and bread to 21,000 people in 24 minutes flat! Kristin and I walked back one day to the tea hut (or factory if you will) to get a behind the scenes glimpse; the one tea "pot" we could see was laying on its side with 2 monks INSIDE on their hands and knees washing it out! And there were 3 of those suckers!!! And on top of all of that, there he sits, the happiest little monk in the world, simply content with just being, teaching adults about how to be happy and how to make others happy! And even though he's projected over the speakers in Tibetan and you can't understand a word, when he laughs, so do 21,000 others!!!

Namaste friends!
Love K and C

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