McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala

I heard about McLeod Ganj in Juba, Southern Sudan. A young guy called Eddie and someone else were talking about where HH Dalai Lama lived. Eddie was a young guy late teens who had been on his way to India overland but couldn’t get through the Middle East coz of The Troubles. [It seems lika good generic word] . I Love You Cooky. Sorry my new gf. Anyway, we were stuck in Juba, there was no way through Uganda to Kenya, with three choices :

  • Go Back
  • Go Round via Chad, The CAR and The Congo
  • Go up The Blue Nile to Ethiopia and down to Kenya

Here is the map, it had taken us about ten weeks to get there :

Hmmm . Peter the South African guy I was travelling with said he was broke. So he filled up his ruck sack with marijuana and caught a truck back to Khartoum. He said he would sell it in London and meet me in Nairobi. We latter heard through the Nairobi grapevine that the truck had overturned in The Sudd and that he had broken his leg. We had come through The Sudd by river, he had gone by “road”.

Flat Fact : The Sudd stretches from Mongalla to just outside the Sobat confluence with the White Nile just upstream of Malakal as well as westwards along the Bahr el Ghazal. The shallow and flat inland delta lays between 5.5 and 9.5 degrees latitude North and covers an area of 500 km south to north and 200 km east to west between Mongalla in the south and Malakal in the north. {It took about six days, nothing but papyrus, nothing but. You see the odd group of elephants in the distance and papyrus and… yes papyrus..}

Its size is highly variable, averaging over 30,000 square kilometers. During the wet season it may extend to over 130,000 km², depending on the inflowing waters, with the discharge from Lake Victoria being the main control factor of flood levels and area inundation. A main hydrological factor is that Sudd area, consisting of various meandering channels, lagoons, reed- and papyrus fields, loses half of the inflowing water through evapotranspiration in the permanent and seasonal floodplains

The rest of Eddies party wanted to go round. Eddie wasn’t keen as he wanted to get back to England to do his “A” Levels. It would take too long. I had no money so I just hung out and waited for God. We got the dope from a local village and got stoned. I have to tell you this: We were sitting outside having a beer and suddenly the electricity went. Everywhere, The nearest electricity was probably hundreds of miles away. I made this comment at the time :

Someone turned off the lights and turned The Universe on

The stars omg the stars. You guys maybe don’t know what Light Pollution is. I do. I had never seen such Glory. Unpolluted Glory. There was no moon, “only” stars. I didn’t bother to try and count them, apparently between 2 to 3000. I also discovered that you can see by starlight.

Anyway I digress. My 25th birthday was in a week. Peter headed off the others made plans to go round. Then we were chatting to a local official and he said a Government Party were heading out to check out the roads. Eddie asked if he could hitch a lift. The guy said yes. Eddie said he was a bit trepidituious about going alone and would I go with him? Following the dictum “If any man [sic] asks you to go with him a mile, go two” So i said sure. [It ended up over 5000 but I considered “2” to be allegorical]. Anyway after many adventures, we were in Delhi some 4 months later catching a train to Pathancot then a bus to Dharamsala, then another bus to McLeod Ganj. It took a few days. Btw we never flew anywhere. McLeod Ganj was awesome. Absolutely. Here’s what wiki says :

Flat Fact : McLeod Ganj, McLeodGanj, or Mcleodganj, is a suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It has an average elevation of 2,082 metres (6,831 feet).

Situated on the Dhauladhar Range, whose highest peak, “Hanuman Ka Tibba”, at about 5,639 metres (18,500 feet), lies just behind it, (this mountain looked as though it ought to have a circle of stars around it like Paramount Pictures is it? ) it is known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” (short form of Dharamshala, used mainly by Tibetans) due to its large population of Tibetan refugees.[1] The Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.

Oh dear this is far too long I hope you can speed read. Hi Cooky, kiss kiss. Oh she is so pretty. Wanna see a pic? Ok I’ll put it at the end. So. Mcleod Ganj. First impressions : It wan’t Indian ( I can say that now having been in Leh “Little” Tibet some 5 years later, omg another story). In the centre of town there were prayer wheels you spin that sent out Om Mani Padme Hum to the Universe a few thousand times as it was written on paper scrolled round. At the end was the big prayer wheel It was about 20 feet high I think and about 10 feet across. God knows how many Om Mani Padme Hums it sends out with one spin. I dont like to ask Him [sic] as Hes [sic] got other stuff going on. Everybody in the village would spin them walking up the street. Oh the old ladies were wonderful. I used to listen to them chat and this is how they spoke. It was like this:

“Om mani padme hum , how are you dear?Om mani padme hum Hows that son of yours? Om mani padme hum Om mani padme hum . Fine thanks Om mani padme hum is your husband Om mani padme hum stilll got that Om mani padme hum kidney infection? Om mani padme hum. Ye Om mani padme hum poor thing but Om mani padme hum Amala Lobsang Om mani padme hum gave him some pillls Om mani padme hum Shes so Om mani padme hum helpfull Om mani padme hum….

Yep thats how a coversation would go. At the end of the street was HH’s palace. It was pretty cool. It was carved on rocks everywhere. You would be climbing in the hills and cimb a rock and there above you  was Om Mani Padme Hum, perfectly carved in the rock face.

I carry Hum around with me:

Oh this is relevant. I found the best way to tolerate 3rd Class Indian Trains was to continually chew a bit of Opium. It also stops you from shitting which is an added bonus. I had bought a sizeable ball in Bombay a few weeks back and had been living on the stuff. Then I ran out. Oh I had withdrawls, oh dear like the worst flu ever and then the nightmares. Anyway I had been smoking dope to ease the withdrawls. Just down the road there was a Tibetan school. I had a vision of the school catching fire and kids being trapped and me too out of it to help. I sorta gave up drugs after that. Anyway Eddie was heading back to Blighty on a ticket his parents had sent him. I waited for a sign from whats His name . I waited a couple of years and then followed the path of least resistance, got ordained in Bodh Gaya became Jnana Bodhi and headed off to the jungle just outside Bangkok for about 9 months.

I was broke in Mcleod Ganj. I was in a hotel up the hill and the owner wanted rent. I suggested he let me meet the busses and direct tourists to his hotel. I had done this in Tangier a few years before until I was told to “Fuck off you filthy Arab ” by an American tourist and realised I had gone “native” which is what I tend to do in Foreign Parts, so I … anyway Jesus Mr Digress or what!!! He moved me up the hill a bit higher and let me stay free. I sorta lived on hand outs. Then some people took me up a bit higher because they were going to attend a ten day meditation course at Elysium Fields. Free food and meditation.. cool. I wasn’t very good coz I used to scrounge fags from the ppl. Anyway, long story short I becames Lia’s servant. Very cool German Lady. We practised Vipassana a “lesser vehicle” meditation when we were surrounded by Mahayanists. (Greater Vehicle) I didn’t know it at the time but I was a Paraconsistent Logician as contradictions are quite happily embraced by Bhuddist Dialectic. The west is catching up:

The contemporary logical orthodoxy has it that, from contradictory premises, anything can be inferred. To be more precise, let ⊨ be a relation of logical consequence, defined either semantically or proof-theoretically. Call ⊨ explosive if it validates {A , ¬A} ⊨ B for every A and B (ex contradictione quodlibet (ECQ)). The contemporary orthodoxy, i.e., classical logic, is explosive, but also some ‘non-classical’ logics such as intuitionist logic and most other standard logics are explosive. The major motivation behind paraconsistent logic is to challenge this orthodoxy. A logical consequence relation, ⊨, is said to be paraconsistent if it is not explosive. Thus, if ⊨ is paraconsistent, then even if we are in certain circumstances where the available information is inconsistent, the inference relation Continue Reading

Anyway its on my blog. Oh dear have I lost you? Oops. So Lia was heading off back to Germany, The westerners were heading off to Goa so would I be the caretaker until spring? Of course. I had a gorgeous stone cabin just above the main bungalow. A beautiful garden and the end of the lawn the was a wall. The other side about a thousand feet lower was HH’s pad. I used to wave but it was a bit too far below. Next door was Geshe Rabten o a supa cool Tibetan Dude, HHs junior tutor. Look him up. His servant was telepathetic. I was sitting in my cabin, (btw no electricity or water used to take me a couple of hours a day to collect dead wood in the forest behind me) . I had lent G Rs servant my shovel about a week before. I just thought “I must get my shovel back” I swear to God 2 minutes later there was a knock at the door and there was G Rs servant who said “You wanted your shovel”. Another time Ithere was a knock at the door. I answered and there was a Tibetan Monk, he bowed and said Tashi Dalek ( Hello) and motioned for him to come in. I let him in. He then cleared a spot at the end of the room and set up a portable alter. He then said Puja (mass). I just sat there, being. After a while, I guess an hour could have been two., he packed up bowed said Tashi Dalek and left. One day there was a load of food in pots and pans on my porch. I came back after a bit and stopped. There were a couple of dogs about five crows, my cat and a couple of monkeys eating. These guys are mortal enemies. They sorta put that aside.

I could go on ah one more. In the autumn the Langurs used to come down the mountain to winter further south. They are huge silver grey dudes. Awesome. They used to nick the flowers. They were cool the ordinary ones wrecked my place one day, I had left the window open. Anyway in Spring they used to head back up to the high valleys (where we were the tre line goes up to 10, 000 feet) Anway, they used to sit around the garden eating any flowers around. It was when the Rhododendron trees used to boom. The mountainside used to turn red. I used to make jam from the flowers. I was out walking one day and I saw A big rhododendron in it was a silver grey 5ft foot langur surrounded by red flowers. He looked so gorgeous. I waved but he ignored me. All the creatures used to ignore me. I guess I had gone a bit “native ” again. Sometimes in the winter I wouldn’t see another person for a week. It was quite exciting when I did. I would wave and they would wave back and we would smile……Wow, sorry guys ive rambled on abit. One memory sorta triggers another and another … apologies. It would probably take a couple of years as every moment seemed special.

Anyway heres a pic of my Cooky I promised. OMG she is awesome. Shes a bit younger than me but not that much, well shes older than her pic, um can I say? Ok shes in her forties but omg she looks so much younger but acts her age but we are a bit teenagerish. which is really cool. I sent her a rl picture of me she thought I was “very good looking” hazukashii desu.. Anyway heres a pic:

I see you.

After we had made love, we parted. This tune came on the radio as I lit a cigarette. It was wonderful, I wasn’t alone anymore:

I gave her a domain,… um….you can play the above and click here…while listening.. if you want.. its all part of me memoirs.. well if you go there you will see The Rest of The Story

And here is my sponsor Avalokitesvara

Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर lit. “Lord who looks down”) is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. He is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism.

The original name for this bodhisattva was Avalokitasvara. The Chinese name for Avalokitasvara is Guānshìyīn Púsà (觀世音菩薩), which is a translation of the earlier name “Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva.” This bodhisattva is variably depicted as male or female, and may also be referred to simply as Guānyīn in certain contexts.

In Sanskrit, Avalokitesvara is also referred to as Padmapāni (“Holder of the Lotus”) or Lokeśvara (“Lord of the World”). In Tibetan, Avalokiteśvara is known as Chenrezig, སྤྱན་རས་གཟིགས་ (Wylie: spyan ras gzigs), and is said to be incarnated in the Dalai Lama,[1] the Karmapa[2][3] and other high lamas.

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