Day Seven–Goodbye, part 2

After a look at the new Shugseb and a brief tour of McLeod Ganj (the “upper” part of Dharamsala) we returned to Dolma Ling to pack our things and head off to Kashmir Cottage. Ju Lee and I, as we’d packed the night before, took some time to wander around the nunnery and talk with the senior class some more, before saying our goodbyes. Once I get home and can write this up in my blog I’m sure there’ll be a myriad of pictures to include. At least I hope so. I’m going to miss it here so much. I’m also going to miss the nuns, my friends, my… I don’t know. I feel strangely close to them. I think it’s their openness and compassion.. and love. Love for everyone, everything, no matter what. Truly unconditional. They’ve taught me a lot; taught all of us a lot.

They were debating and it was one of the best debates that they’d ever had there–all of the teachers joined in and we wished we could understand Tibetan! Luckily the nuns helped us to understand the concept of it; The nuns who are standing are asking questions based on Buddhist philosophy. Those sitting have to answer in a similar fashion using statements of philosophy. It can get quite intense at times! A relatively in depth look at the “rules” of debating can be found here: Procedures and Rules of Debate

Before beginning the debate, the nuns were called to prayer, a sound I shall never forget:

Then the debating began in earnest. Ju Lee and I sat in with the senior class. Although we didn’t understand a word, we marveled at the power and conviction of the nuns and their beliefs. It was odd too, because their beauty and peace just radiated outwards. At first I felt a little uncomfortable sitting in with them, but soon I forgot and was intent on watching and listening and trying to understand as much as I could from intonation, gestures and faces…

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