If you were my neighbor here in what Luke once declared to be the “Ulaanbaatar ghetto,” you would have heard me whoop it up twice in the past several days. Of course, you’d be Mongolian, so it’d sound to you like the adults in the Peanuts cartoons. But let’s say you were a squeaky-clean American Mormon lad bent on illuminating Mongol minds with the spiritual notions of the Angel Moroni (a most unfortunate nomenclature, let’s face it). If so, then one day you would have cocked a puzzled eyebrow as this penetrated the separating wall: “Hey! A semi-normal poop! Floki! Good dog!”
This would have been a short-lived exultation, alas, as we are dealing with a remarkably stubborn bout of canine constipation. One current theory is that an effect of his skeletal underdevelopment is a too-narrow pelvis that will hopefully normalize as he grows with his improved diet. I dunno. I’m just frustrated that it’s such a complicated process to ease his suffering. Floki’s much improved, to be sure, but we might have to venture back to the V-E-T today or tomorrow.
On another day, as you were tucking your white shirt into your black slacks, straightening your name tag, and checking your buzzcut in the mirror, you might have wondered what odd spiritual practices went on behind the monk’s closed doors. Is he worshipping potassium-rich, large-pitted fruits? You would have sworn you just heard him shout, “Holy guacamole!” (Did you know that the word “avocado” derives from the Aztec word “ahuacatl”? I didn’t ‘til just now. I love the internet.)
What you wouldn’t have discerned is that this exclamation was prompted by an email from a longtime acquaintance and fellow Buddhist. He emailed to inform me of his decision to sponsor another entire collection of the Nyingma scriptures for Mongolia! Beyond amazing. After praising said fruit, since no one but the critters were around, I also indulged in a brief but spirited tarantella.
The overall collection of 262 volumes consists of six sets of texts: the Nyingma Kama, which preserves almost all of the tantras translated during the time of Padmasambhava (8th c.); the Nyingma Gyud Bum, which preserves the most profound Nyingmapa teachings, extracted from the Kama in order to better preserve their purity and secrecy; the Rinchen Terdzod, which preserves all of the hidden teachings of Padmasambhava known as terma that have been revealed over the past millennium; the Seven Treasuries of the incomparable 14th c. master Longchenpa which elucidate the highest Nyingmapa teachings; the collected works of Mipham Rinpoche (19th c.) which clarify all of the essential points of Buddhist sutra and tantra; and the Nam Chö revelations of Tertön Migyur Dorje which, even though part of the Rinchen Terdzod, are offered separately as they for the main underpinning of practice at our Palyul monastery. (Exhaustive overview of Nyingma literature here.)
At this point, these texts exist only in tiny fragments in Mongolia. Such generosity wonderfully enhances the reinvigoration of Mongolian Buddhism. I want to reiterate that it’s possible for anyone to be a part of printing these texts. We have created a web page dedicated to this aspect of the MBRP here. It offers a bit more context and explanation of the effort, and the opportunity to sponsor individual volumes.
We have also organized this project to benefit the Mongolians economically. With the scanned texts on CD, we have opted to print them here in UB (by happy coincidence, two Danzan Ravjaa devotees run an excellent printing house). Further, we have engaged FPMT’s Buddhist Women’s Sewing Group – a collective designed to train women in a skill to alleviate their poverty – to sew the cloth covers for each volume.
Thanks for considering supporting this text printing effort. It really is the aspect of my work that’s closest to my heart.