Beginnings and Endings

The beginning and the end of a drupchen feel very different. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been told. Actually, they’re something I know little about as I’ve barely brushed shoulders with them over the years. The Chimé Phagma Nyingtik drupchen at OT Rinpoche’s home in Bir is the first I’ve ever participated in full time. And I can definitely recommend the experience to any undecideds out there for whom the idea of seven days of ritual practice (6am-7.30pm) seems a little daunting.

Just eight days ago, I bounced into the gompa, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, for day one (a seven-day drupchen actually lasts nine or ten days—welcome to Tibetan Buddhism) to find myself surrounded by similarly enthusiastic beings, as you will see from the photo I took of the line of practitioners who sat directly in front of me (below left).

Today, though, it must said, there’s been some wilting (below right). Spirits are most definitely willing (and tremendously inspired) but our feeble human bodies do tend to let us down. Unless you’re a Rinpoche or a Chokling monk, all of whom, it won’t surprise you to hear, have barely broken sweat.   

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