I am in a roof top garden, there is some sort of party going on with loads of people sat around and at tables. There are people of many ethnicities from all over the world. They are dressed in brightly coloured “hippie” style clothes. As the party carries on they draw a curtain around one part of the garden and gather around some Buddhist icons. A south American man there starts to do some chanting. I butt in with Tibetan deep voice chanting. They do not recognise me and are annoyed at my interruption. I point out to them that it is my garden which they are in. I strike up again and do White Tara. I need a drink of water before I can find my voice. After several cups I strike the right note and do some White Tara. Everyone joins in and after a while the party resumes happily.
The wife and I are in one segment of the garden when Anna L and a friend turn up. They have been travelling in India. She has remained pale but her friend has gone brown. She talks of her travels and I say that we will in time need to have a proper talk. She has something for me. At which point she shoots straight up into the air and then lands. She has brought many “ethnic”, clothes and trinkets.
Next I am on a mountain train. I arrive at a terminus in a hillside town way up in the mountains. It is very much like Nepal / Tibet / Bhutan. I get out of the train and wander along the high street. Turning instinctively to the right I go up a hill to “my” palace. Again there is a vibrant garden with peacocks. It is “my” garden.
Later I make another journey on the mountain train and end up at another terminus. Here the streets are filled with market traders selling saffron and magenta clothes, together with gold trinkets and jewellery. I have time to explore. Everyone is trying to barter with the merchants trying to buy goods in various currencies. The merchants will not trade unless the currency matches the passport of the person trying to buy.
I am not interested in bartering and look on watching. Somehow I am “in tune” with the locals. I wander back to the main street and notice various pins sticking in my back. Somehow I am now in an off the shoulder robe. One by one I pull the pins out of my back. They are made of a very fine gold pin topped with a tiny ivory chess figure. There is a castle, a knight, a king and a queen. I have also been adorned with much golden jewellery.
I go into an emporium as I am pulling out these pins and sit down. I ask the shopkeeper about what has been happening. She says that they have done this to me so as to make me unattractive to the locals so that they won’t fall for me and want to have sex with me.
Anna L comes into the shop and sits next to me. We start talking about my palace. An old Indian man with very short hair suddenly starts to talk in a very proper English accent. He says that she holds for me a key and that we must find it. It relates back to 1773. He says that I must get back to Bakula.
We leave the shops and seek out the train station. “All trains go through Bakula”, says the station announcer. We look at the map and it is configured like this.
To the left are Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport and Spituk Monastery. This is Leh in Ladakh
Spot the chess board….
This is spookily like the emporium in the dream….
Spituk Monastery, also known as Spituk Gompa or Pethup Gompa, is a Buddhist monastery in Spituk, Leh district, Ladakh, northern India. 8 kilometres from Leh. The site of Spituk was blessed by the Arhat Nyimagung. It was founded by Od-de, the elder brother of Lha Lama Changchub Od when he came to Maryul in the 11th Century. He introduced the monastic community. When Lotsewa Rinchen Zangpo (Translator) came to that place he said that an exemplary religious community would arise there and so the monastery was called spituk (exemplary). During the time of Dharma raja Gragspa Bum-Ide the monastery was restored by Lama Lhawang Lodos and the stainless order of Tsonkhapa was introduced and it has remained intact as such till present. Founded as a Red Hat institution, the monastery was taken over by the Yellow Hat sect in the 15th century.
The monastery contains 100 monks and a giant statue of Kali (unveiled during the annual festival).
Every year the Gustor Festival is held at Spituk from the 27th to 29th day in the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar.
“Bakula Rinpoche, who has passed away aged 86, was a unique Lama of great talent and exceptional gifts. He was highly revered for his erudition, his dedication to the education of a new generation of young monks and nuns and his gentle humility. His wisdom and compassion put him in the front rank of influential Tibetan Buddhist masters, yet he was always modest.
Born into a noble family of Ladakh, India, he was recognized by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of Bakula Arhat – one of the Sixteen Arhats (direct disciples of the Shakyamuni Buddha).
As a Buddhist leader, he guided his followers through his personal example of a humble life as a celibate monk. He dedicated his life to the core principles of Buddhist teaching by caring for others, especially for those who were less fortunate and in great need.”
“Today, the teachings of the Buddha have once again come back to Russia and Mongolia and Bakula Rinpoche has played an important mentoring role in the process.
Over a period of ten years, he helped re-open ancient monasteries and organize Buddhist peace conferences. Under his guidance, Pethub Monastery and Dechen Ling Nunnery in Ulaanbaatar developed into important centres of learning for the Mongolian Buddhists. In 2001 the President of Mongolia awarded Rinpoche one of the highest honour of the country, “The Polar Star”.
He travelled internationally promoting the importance of inter-faith understanding, inter-communal harmony and peaceful reconciliation of conflicts in the world. His last visit to London was in November 2002 when he was a guest of Her Majesty the Queen. During that visit Tibet Foundation had the privilege to host a reception in his honour and receive his blessing. Tireless in his work, he travelled on to the 3rd World Buddhist Conference hosted by His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.”
I got a shiver of recognition when I saw this one … even more spooky…