Monday, December 28, 2009

Yak Tail Soup


Well, I couldn't think of a clever title for this year-end wrap, so I settled for Yak Tail Soup -- because we're at the tail end of the Muddy Bovine, heading for the fearsome Metal Feline.

We have some guests coming in late January, to help us with the "out with the old, in with the new" business, and then we are off in different directions.

I spent most of 2009 laying the groundwork for a long wished-for retreat, visiting various spots where I felt that might usefully take place. You may recall that we visited one special place, and I must say that we were very fortunate to contact old friends, and make some new friends, in a region that is historically well-suited for retreat.

So, as 2010 dawns, I will be winding down DTBA, and packing up for a year or two where the sky and the grasslands are always dancing.

And, of course, that rather more singular placelessness, where the bone meets the stone, and there is no longer any fictional freedom.

While we're off somewhere, do please make an effort to remember high impact opportunities to try out your new-found perfection of generosity: Nubri Monastery needs your help, as does the Tibetan Aid Project; Zangdokpalri could sure use your help, as could the Nyingma Trust; Surmang has some ambitions regarding the 12th Trungpa Tulku, and a little closer to home, Kagyu Droden Kunchab in San Francisco, founded by Kalu Rinpoche, always welcomes a helping hand. I don't think you could possibly go wrong by squeezing the mongoose for any of these worthy causes, and maybe, if you crank his tail a little, that mongoose will sick up enough for all of them.

By the way... people frequently ask, "Unh... why a mongoose? They lucky or something?" Depends on your point of view. A mongoose has nasty, sharp, little teeth that razor you on the way in, so to speak. In the old days... and that would be the old, old, old days... people used to make a purse out of a mongoose to discourage pickpockets. If you tried to stick your finger in its mouth, you'd get a nasty gash, so the only way to get out the coins or valuable jewels was to give the mongoose  purse a squeeze. The image of a regurgitating mongoose thus became symbolic of riches. This is not to be confused with the Regurgitating Mongoose, a short-lived bar and bordello in Calcutta, where the drinks were as generous as the denizens -- or so I have heard.

Not just anybody can segue so gracefully from a yak's posterior through philosophy and philantrophy to a vomiting mongoose, so it is only natural that you already miss this blog, even we are not quite gone yet. I know how you feel, and am dabbing the tears from my eyes even as we wave hankies from the train, and the music swells.

I gave some thought to how I might wind up affairs here, and finally decided to leave things as they are.

When we're gone, believe me... you won't need no ghost come from the grave to tell them Christmases apart.


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4 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

Wishing all the best for your retreat Rinpoche. May any obstacles be overcome joyfully! :)

Stella said...

Aieee! This is the only blog I read every day! Ah, well, time to practice non-attachment (ouch ouch ouch) and wish you auspiciousness and all the best. Lots of White Tara to you!

TENPA said...

And you too, Stella.

Stella! Stelllllla!

Got Brando?

Anonymous said...

Many, many, many thanks for all of your work here...