Tuesday, January 21, 2014

21st January 2014

Dear Dechen,

You might feel I didn’t write to you for a long time. I have scribbled short letters to you on my phone and I have not transferred them to my laptop yet. We went to Bartsham, our village on December 17th 2013 and stayed there till January 10 2014. You, your abi and I went to Bartsham to receive teaching from Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, which went on for three weeks. We directly went to Bikhar, your father’s village and on 19th December 2013 we received blessing from Je Khenpo at the inauguration of a new Zangdo Pelri constructed by Gup Sonam Dukpa. In the evening after the inauguration of the Zangdo Pelri and Wang concluded, we went to Bartsham and your father came back to Thimphu.

Anyway, our days there were very fruitful. Ana Pem Zangmo was on break and she volunteered to stay with you when I wen to the lhakhang everyday to receive teaching. If you didn’t get restless, I would have loved to take you along. You went to the lhakhang only towards the evening to receive wang. That was blessing enough and I prayed that the ability for you to be there to receive those wangs will accumumate merits to further help you grow to be a good human being – by which I mean, someone who believes in dharma, and cause and effect. I have no doubt you will.

In our absence, our home was moved to Pension Colony. When we were back, it was still all in disarray and the home was very cold. Anyway, we slowly got settled and you said you like the new home. Abi and you now can go out any time. Sun rays do not come in our rooms but there is a pretty good space outside to play and we are on the ground floor. As I write this, you must be playing with your abi.

Last Sunday (19th January 2014), we were home and we were drawing something on your iPad. I mimicked Masha (a character on your iPad movie) drawing a bear. I think you picked up from it. Later you drew a person: you said, ‘circle eyes’ and made two small circles. Then made a big circle as head. Then drew legs and hands. I was surprised. It just had me mesmerised. I took a picture of it which is produced below.

Really darling, you are growing very fast. I can’t believe that you can process images inside your brain that way and then express them. 

You have become increasingly fussy after going to Bartsham, mostly picking up habits from my nieces’s daugther, but that is okay. I am sure you will forget them soon and you will be your normal self.

I want to pamper you to the extent I want but darling, you must know that mummy got works and obligations. Oh when I say this I remember of something you said. You were asking if I have to go to office. I told you that I have to. Then you asked if daddy has to go too. I said, daddy and I have to both go to office because if we don’t, we will not have any money. My exact words were, ‘if we don’t work, we will not get any money’. And your response was, ‘ji la lai mawa nyong pe ne. Uncle gai money ge yek thhan, mummy ga bi le’. (I can get money without working. I will ask money from uncle and give you.) It is sweet of you. Once someone asked you, ‘are you daddy’s daughter?’ You replied, ‘no.’I wondered what you were going to say, when she asked, ‘ebi ga’. You said, ‘mummy ga daughter gila.’ Your abi worries that I am pampering you too much, and troubling myself because as a result, you want to be with me all the time and you nag me to give you attention all the time. Anyway, let us not worry about that. Despite everyone’s worry that you are being pampered way beyond the acceptable norm, I want to prove that a child can grow up to be a fine person without the need to spank.

I love you.

Will my daughter imbibe characters of her teacher?

I was in my village for nearly a month. My daughter lived with my niece’s daugther who is just two months older to her and a five year old boy. All of them have different temperament – with my niece’s daugther being not that active but quite stubborn and powerful that she has to be given what she wants. My sister-in-law told me that she cries and never stops, until she has what she wants. The little boy is the quiet one most of the time, only talking when my niece’s parents are not closeby. The comments I received were that, she cries a lot but does not move around too much, while, my daughter does not cry much but moves around a lot. A totally worrying interest that my daughter has is her love for climbing and her lack of fear for strangers. She does show a little bit of hesitation at first but still, her father fears that she seems to be a little bit too active.

Now, my fear is not her active nature or her lack of fear for strangers. We are now back in Thimphu and she stays home with her grandma. But the way she talks has changed. Her accent has become a bit strong and rude. Especially when she is sleepy or not in the best mood, she asks people to leave, and her line is, ‘ji gi la kong cha na’, which means she beats up people. She has kept short hair till now but recently when my mother asked if she wants to cut her hair, she said, she wants to keep her hair long. (She moved her head, saying, ‘tsham ringbu thaan ne, onen phi le). Hoping you can get a picture of what she did.

When I was observing all this change in her, it suddenly dawned on me that if I am to send her to school, she is going to sink in different characters and behaviors. I was worried that she is going to imbibe the behavior of her teacher. And all I can do is pray that the teachers and friends surrounding her will be positive people. It even made me think that maybe it will be better to keep her home till she is six years old – just so she is not exposed to different people all at once. I think it has a danger of spoiling her in the sense of not allowing her own natural characters to sprout.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fortunate Me

I was so happy to be able to attend the teachings by Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche in Bartsham, Tashigang (from 20th December 2013-10th January 2014). I rejoice more in the fact that I could take my mother along. As we sat next to each other, hearing nothing but Rinpoche’s voice, I could feel a very deep sense of gratitude to her and I had moments when I could so lucidly pray for her (and all my mothers of past lives). I am grateful to my office for granting this long leave to make it possible.

The teaching was on ‘Terton Pema Lingpa’s zapter’ – and he began by telling us that it is important to preserve and uphold his teachings. Rinpoche emphasised that meditation is the key. He said, ‘Do not meditate for a very long moment. Start meditating for three or five minutes a day. But be consistent. Meditate everyday.’ He said, if we did that, there will come a time when we will be habituated to it and we will feel something amiss or a discomfort the way we feel when we do not wash our face in the morning. Once it becomes a habit, it will be easier to attune our mind easily. He recommended meditation to even fight addiction to drugs and other intoxicating substances.

And in doing all this, what we need is our root guru. He said that we must first make sure that we choose our guru correctly and once we have chosen him/her, we must have unfaltering devotion and faith in him/her. In Vajrayana Buddhism, the only way to open the door to the truth is through faith and prayers to our guru.

For this wisdom and truth, I thank the Rinpoche and I pray that his teachings flourish for the benefit of the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

This is Bhutan

I moved to Adelaide, South Australia 10 months ago. This decision was driven by my belief that family has to be together and pursuing your c...