Day Six — Norbulingka, summer residence of the Dalai Lama, Part Two

After the tour we were allowed a couple of hours or so to wander around ourselves before lunch. I immediately headed to the temple. It’s magnificence even from the outside was overwhelming. However, once inside, my breath was literally taken away. There in front of me sat a 40ft golden statue of the Buddha. Its presence was so… real, so overwhelming it was all I could do to manage to sit down before I fell down.

Sitting there staring blankly over my head, hands rested lightly in the Bhumisparsha mudra pose (right hand touching the earth–denoting stability) I was completely in awe of the statue. It was nice just to sit for a while. Contemplate my being, my existence, my reasons for being here. I’m still not sure I know what they are. To be honest, I think I said at one point–but that tells me very little about what I need to do. Freedom is a wonderful thing, but it’s not a simple thing. It’s not easy to give back the burdens of others. Even as images placed in front of a mirror, I still remember their weight…

Guilt edged paintings of all the incarnations of Buddha abounded in the quiet hall. Chenrezig, the Dalai Lama’s.. It really was an amazing and beautiful place.


After walking around the inner temple and admiring all of the paintings closely I ventured up to the roof, where a spectacular view of both the mountains and the valley spread out around me. Sometimes I still can’t believe I am standing here. At the foot of the Himalayas, at Dolma Ling, at Norbulingka, in India. It’s quite… unsettling to always look up and see such towering, beautiful mountains. I love it…

After skipping lunch (again) I returned to Dolma Ling with Ju Lee. I am supposed to get my head shaved today–and I feel the need to do so in private. Everyone seems to be making so light of it, as though it’s some show and I’m the main (excuse the pun) attraction. There are many reasons why I’m going to do this–mainly because I need to move on, I need to know that it’s okay to be ME regardless of what I look like-hair, no hair, fat or thin–and the only way I can see to do that is to shave my head. I need to reinvent myself. I need to separate myself completely from my past. I need to grow into a new me…

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