Chokling Monastery’s Tsok Offerings

The monks at Chokling Monastery have recently changed their habits quite dramatically. They used to fill their tsok practice with offerings of crisps and noodles and all manner of pre-packed fast foods, which were neither much good for the environment, nor their own health. Sadly, over the years Chokling Monastery became quite famous for the piles of trash that surrounded it. But those days are over. Well nearly. Since Deer Park instigated a trash awareness campaign, the monks are now offering unpackaged foodstuffs as offering substances, which is quite a coup for Deer Park and a massive step forward for the colony.

Finding offerings for tsok isn’t quite as easy as it sounds when you’re half way up a mountain in northern India. In the Europe and America (etc.) we just fill up a supermarket trolley, but in rural India that isn’t an option.

What, then, is their solution? Apples. Thousands of them. So during the drupchen, participants would go home with kilos and kilos of apples (with not a single juicer in sight). Delicious!

I found this quartet of Chokling monks sitting on the Labrang side of the Chokling Monastery. It looks as though at least one of their number has fallen under the spell of football, though I’m not au fait enough with kit colours to be able to tell which team he pays allegiance to.

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