Bob Karboo and Lamayuru

Somehow after leaving Mulbekh I hear a echo inside me. I hear a friend of mine, Elisabeth. It’s a conversation from 15 to 18 years ago, which I never before remembered. She talked in a gathering with another friend about Ladakh. Because they went into detail and I did not have a map with me, I went away from the conversation. Now, walking after Mulbekh, I hear her voice of that old conversation echoing in me, saying: Do you, ….äh, ….mean Mulbekh….? (In german: Meinst du…. äh…. Mulbekh….?) Never remembered this conversation before, now It is present here and there while walking….

It is quite a challenge on the country area to get some fresh fruits. In desperate need of some fruits I arrive in a village after the Namik La pass. The variations of food were really poor and it seems that no tourist stops here. In the only shop here, which provided also a little kitchen, but not very inviting, they offered Maggi soup, I found in one corner good looking tomatoes. I got to know, that are from the gardens here from 3.500m elevation. And the taste was soooo good. With some garlic and salt, so delicious.
In Bod Karboo I was guided to the main temples. The monks there,  just washing themselves, in underwear, welcomed me heartly. The relatively young main monk told me he is from this village. And I was immediately invited to stay 2 days. Some ruins tell stories from monks meditating lonely up in the mountains. This temple is located beside the road, but in the middle of military. Totally surrounded from all sides by army. Because this temple looked pretty new, I asked the main monk, why this location, expecting a answer like, ‚there are quite some Buddhist practitioner in the army‘ ….. or something like this. I witnessed before, that sometimes the army supports group of people, like in that case ‚Sikhs‘ together. But temple normally have also the duty to create beauty around them. But here, with all the army buildings around…… I got a buddhist mindful positive a little bit shy answer: The army is also protecting us, in winter they help us to keep the street clean from snow…. and: we got this property.
Next day all the monks were gone. They also did not show up until the day after until I was leaving. I used the property for a beautiful and long walking meditation, one side nearly had a little forest with small bushes and trees. A side valley invited for a nice walk and I enjoyed looking at the people’s daily work on the fields, the stupas, ‚Om mani padme hum stones‘ ….
Crossing the next pass ‚Fatu La‘ at 4.108m was more easy than expected. I found a lot of joy to short cut the serpentines as well as on the way up then down.
Lamayuru is a famous town laying in a valley, surrounded by big mountains. The monastery itself is situated on top of a hill in the valley. I managed again to stay in the monastery.

My budget was no down to 200 Rupies/3€. I check my account and…… oh there arrived a donation, a wonderful a good donation…. uuuuhh, I can’t believe and I can believe. Thanks so much, Georg….

Monks behave strange when I am in a monastery. Here they nearly avoided to talk to me. Lots of the monks were anyway not present. The last place the monks disappeared completely. I know that from earlier places too. I want to a silent retreat by myself, and the day I arrived the Abbot left…. maybe just coincidences?
I again stay two nights.
Lots of stupas in this village. There is even a whole ’stupa street‘ up to 500m long, combined with thousands of ‚Om mani padme hum‘ stones.  Following that ‚prayer street‘ it leads to a beautiful valley with inviting silence.

In the afternoon I find a nice restaurant who even serve Ginger-Lemon Tea. First time a herbal tea. Celebration……

I realize, since I am in ‚Buddha Land‘ my waking up rhythm kind of normalized. I get up earlier again and meditate…. Before I was always disturbed by the before dawn prayer in Muslim culture. Most people go sleeping after that again, and it felt just to early.
I visited also the temple hall of Lamayuru. It’s so packed, that I don’t know where visiters have space to participate in a puja. There are all the teaching desk of the monks in the prayer hall. Around cupboards full of scriptures. More areas full of I guess valuable statures. In the back of the hall there is only one line left for visitors.

Is the main practise in monasteries served by the monks and not together with any other practitioner?  I always love to have a togetherness. So maybe the monks have more knowledge, but the practise should be together. So the non-monk people get inspired, led and guided through the together practice. Because the together-practise make from my point of view the change. Doing, praying, singing mantras…. makes the change….. other than getting a prayer or mantra served….
so there need to be more space for the whole community in the monastery……

Continuing walking with the always presents of the army I start to think a bit of all that defending thing. If there would be a attack from outside, how difficult it is to defend a mountain area like this with only one main road. So if a attack comes from the air with a lot of paratroopers…. They could easily block the main road. If there is no military in every village, as there is, how difficult it would be to free the road again. Just some thoughts I had on the road.
But peace is not happening through the presence of the army. Peace needs to be done on another level. By conversations, concioussness building with politicans and inside the folks and parties and by creating togetherness and building bridges……  if a fight starts its already to late….. If there is not a good foundation for commincation, it’s very problematic,  when a fight starts, to establish communication.

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