It was a scramble getting out of San Francisco but here I am, happily ensconced in my favorite little room at Kashmir Cottage. It was so good to see everyone. It's wonderful to be back even though a little strange being here without my usual cohorts. That said, exploring on my own is a new experience and I'm having a blast!
'Rinchen Khando'la and I traveled up from Delhi together and it was a delight to find Ngari Rinpoche waiting at the airport to greet us. So sweet! For the first few days we had mega storms - brilliant sunshine one minute then violent wind, thunder, lightening and monsoon-like downpours the next.
Thankfully, the weather finally settled down in time for the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa to inaugurate the new debate courtyard at Dolma Ling Nunnery. For many days before his arrival the nuns were busy with their preparations. On the day, under a warm spring sun, Dolma Ling looked spectacular and we were all thrilled to watch His Holiness cut the ribbons marking the official opening. It was a small but joyful event with everyone in high spirits. We all listened attentively as Karmapa shared with us his learning of the struggles nuns seeking a decent education faced in the past, and made encouraging comments on their education and the value of all their accomplishments today.
I thought I was coming for a break but it's been nonstop since I got here. So far a quick visit to the tea garden then meeting and greeting old friends, especially several visits with Ama Adhe and husband Rinchen Samdup, and Dolma Tsering. All are well and as always, eager for news of everyone in the United States. Last time I was here I was concerned that Ama’la was losing one of her front teeth so she was especially proud to flash her dazzling new smile for me.
A few nights ago I screened the final mix of the Tibetan language version of "A Quiet Revolution" for Rinchen Khando’la and Ngari Rinpoche. It was thrilling to watch them watch their own story in their own language. I was even more thrilled that they said it was even better (for them) than the English version. Over the next few days we will have screenings with Ama Adhe and Dolma Tsering and the women up at Voice of Tibet as well as for the nuns at Dolma Ling and Shugsep. Now on to finishing the Tibetan version of "The Great Mother," which has been delayed because of the difficulty in translating the concept of the archetype into Tibetan. Fortunately, Ngari Rinpoche connected me with the most wonderful translator who got what the problem was immediately and I think we will be able to finish the job very soon (funds permitting). I was looking forward to seeing Shugsep nunnery since I hadn't been there since it was a pile of bricks, sand, and unmixed concrete. Well, here’s what it looks like today. It’s FABULOUS! Home to 70 young nuns, with room for a hundred and eight in total, it is quite clearly a joyful place.
Still on the agenda, more photography for 21 Prayers for Peace, a trip to Tso Pema, and several more little adventures.
Sending love and warm greetings from everyone here,