Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I finally finished giving my root text. By 'give' I mean recite in the presence of my teacher. This year's root text was very hard to learn - because it is not in verse. Check it out at Lotsawa House , and imagine memorizing it in Tibetan. Yeah.

Quite some time ago Ven. T.G. asked me how I memorize. I memorize fragments, then link them together until I have a few pages worth then I recite it to my teacher. I memorize the fragments by spending a few minutes memorizing each one, then a few minutes doing something else (like watching a video), then when my timer rings I try to remember what I just memorized. I also recite when I am cleaning and cooking. When I wake up in the morning I try to remember what I memorized the previous day. Memorizing right before going to sleep can be very effective, but it gives me nightmares in which the words are spinning around in my head. It is also useful to recite the whole text once a day - but I rarely do this, much to my own loss.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Well, I've been back for almost a week now. My studying is going well so far. In fact, I feel like it is the beginning of the school year - which is to say, I feel enthusiastic about learning. I've been working on my root text and plan to offer part of it (ie. recite it) to my teacher on Monday. In between studying I've set up a Ning network for monks and nuns in the Tibetan tradition. If you are ordained and want an invitation just send me an email at damchoe at gmail dot com. This enterprise is aided by the fact that my building has finally been connected to the Indian government electricity. That's right - more than twelve hours of light a day!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

So my ‘semester abroad’ ended predictably with several days of train, airplane, car, bus, and rickshaw, finally brining me back to the nunnery on August 30th. Now, I am trying to catch up with my class work, not to mention finish my memorization requirement. When I consider taking the rest of this year off and restarting sixth year next spring, I remember Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche telling me, “Don’t let anything interrupt your studies.” As Rinpoche displayed his omniscience twice during our stay in Dordogne, I’m going to do my best to keep my nose in the books. I may not blog much but I’ll post some photos.