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March 02, 2009

Comments

I bet there are a lot more hidden lamas with fascinating stories out there. I really enjoyed this post. Keep 'em comin'!

What to do with your marvelous new robe? Wear it! Maybe just for special occasions, like blessing somebody's new stupa or celebrating somebody's commitment to the monastic life, or something like that, but do wear it.

"Simple and close to the ground"? Don't take too much pride in your humility!

Sometimes things get thrown at us so we can make some kind of change. Maybe your image of yourself and of your style is not what's important? Maybe this lovely man, who is stuffed with all good lama-ish things, saw that you needed a robe like that? I don't think you should second-guess Lama Sodnamtsaren.

I say at least keep the robe. It's a work of art and a keepsake. And beyootiful.

Kay and Ryan: Thank you and I love you both, but I have to disagree. Becoming a gelong monk I took a lot of precepts (253) a few of which specifically involve not even owning expensive and fancy cloth, forget about wearing it. I discussed the matter with another lama last night, and think I will find the right situation and person and give the robe away.

Kay: I hear you about false humility. I probably framed the problem incorrectly as me pondering my personal style. Not only is wearing a robe like this counter to my actual precepts, but I know my own teachers, such as HH Penor Rinpoche, would never wear such a thing, so how would I ever dare to do so?

Konchog - About the robe, I think you should rely on your teacher's wisdom to guide you on these matters. BTW, I bow in deep respect to all the precepts that yourself and the monastic community must uphold. Thank you!

I love the hidden temple idea - ordinary on the outside and very special on the inside. And the strange juxtaposition of the monk in his temple with the modern/western style telephone in the second and third photos!

You'd make quite an impression coming down the road in that robe! Awe-inspiring I imagine. But not so good for birdwatching. Perhap's it's just as well that you pass it on to another deserving monk.

Konchog --
I know you'd never wear something that could seen as ostentayious or gaudy and also that there are strict rules about what to wear (and it might be seen as artifically edifying the ego), but I really hope you did not refuse an elder's gift on Tsagaan Sar... just keep it in a closet somewhere as a remebrance of one man's kindness on a special day, or find a young Mongolian monk (maybe one of those training in India) to give it to one day.

Whoops! As an Episcopalian I obviously don't know from a geelong monk! I get an education every day.

Still -- there is some kind of reason -- maybe there is somebody you are supposed to give it to? I am confident you will come to the correct decision!

Ariel: Yes, I think I managed this one graciously. I accepted his gift without hesitation, with auspicious wishes on both our sides. The moment of generosity was very moving and the important aspect in this, that and our good connection. Whether or not I wear it is kind of irrelevant (tho I might if we two meet again, just to please him). Than I get to continue the generosity with another. It's actually kind of a win-win.

Kay: A gelong monk is one who is fully ordained, bhikkshu in Sanskrit. True, I don't think that's in the standard Episcopal curriculum!

Is it possible to wear it in the States, where we're a bit more ostentatious anyway?

Or -- don't kill me here -- just wear it at least once to bed. Don't tell me that I'm the only one who OCCASIONALLY wears something silky and pretty to bed, even more so if it's "too nice" to do so. Like drinking tea out of my "display only" cups.

i have to agree with the "keep it,but don't wear it" school. it's a wondrous gift from a man who obviously felt you deserved/needed it. if you do give it away, make sure the giftee knows the magnitude of the gift. maybe even introduce them to the old man, if he's still alive!

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Mongolia Bird List: "L" = Lifer

  • Amur Falcon -- L
  • Arctic (Hoary) Redpoll -- L
  • Arctic Warbler -- L
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher -- L
  • Asian Dowitcher -- L
  • Asian Short-toed Lark -- L
  • Azure Tit -- L
  • Bank Swallow
  • Bar-headed Goose -- L
  • Barn Swallow
  • Bean Goose -- L
  • Black Grouse -- L
  • Black Stork -- L
  • Black Woodpecker -- L
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • Black-eared Kite -- L
  • Black-headed Gull -- L
  • Black-tailed Godwit -- L
  • Black-winged Stilt
  • Blyth's Pipit -- L
  • Bohemian Waxwing -- L
  • Booted Eagle -- L
  • Brown Shrike -- L
  • Carrion Crow
  • Chinese Penduline Tit -- L
  • Chukar -- L
  • Cinereous Vulture
  • Citrine Wagtail -- L
  • Coal Tit
  • Common Cuckoo
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Common Greenshank -- L
  • Common Kestrel
  • Common Merganser
  • Common Pochard -- L
  • Common Raven
  • Common Redpoll
  • Common Redshank -- L
  • Common Rosefinch -- L
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Common Shelduck -- L
  • Common Snipe -- L
  • Common Starling
  • Common Swift
  • Common Tern
  • Crested Lark -- L
  • Curlew Sandpiper -- L
  • Dark-throated Thrush -- L
  • Daurian Jackdaw -- L
  • Daurian Partridge -- L
  • Daurian Redstart -- L
  • Demoiselle Crane -- L
  • Desert Warbler -- L
  • Desert Wheatear -- L
  • Dusky Thrush -- L
  • Dusky Warbler -- L
  • Eared Grebe
  • Eurasian Bullfinch -- L
  • Eurasian Coot -- L
  • Eurasian Curlew -- L
  • Eurasian Griffon
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Eurasian Jay
  • Eurasian Nutcracker -- L
  • Eurasian Nuthatch -- L
  • Eurasian Skylark
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  • Eurasian Spoonbill -- L
  • Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker -- L
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • Eurasian Treecreeper -- L
  • Eurasian Wigeon -- L
  • Eurasian Wryneck -- L
  • Eyebrowed Thrush -- L
  • Falcated Duck -- L
  • Fork-tailed Swift -- L
  • Gadwall
  • Garganey -- L
  • Godlewski's Bunting -- L
  • Goldcrest -- L
  • Golden Eagle
  • Gray Heron
  • Gray Wagtail -- L
  • Great Cormorant
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Great Gray Shrike -- L
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Great Tit
  • Greater Short-toed Lark -- L
  • Greater Spotted Eagle -- L
  • Green Sandpiper -- L
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Greenish Warbler -- L
  • Hawfinch -- L
  • Hazel Grouse -- L
  • Hen/Northern Harrier
  • Herring Gull
  • Hill Pigeon -- L
  • Hoopoe
  • Horned Grebe
  • Horned Lark
  • House Sparrow
  • Isabelline Shrike -- L
  • Isabelline Wheatear -- L
  • Kentish (Snowy) Plover -- L
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker -- L
  • Lesser Whitethroat -- L
  • Little Bunting -- L
  • Little Owl -- L
  • Little Ringed Plover
  • Long-tailed Rosefinch
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Long-toed Stint -- L
  • Mallard
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Meadow Bunting -- L
  • Mew Gull -- L
  • Mongolian Finch -- L
  • Mongolian Ground-jay -- L
  • Mongolian Lark -- L
  • Northern Lapwing -- L
  • Northern Pintail
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Wheatear
  • Olive-backed Pipit -- L
  • Oriental Plover -- L
  • Oriental Reed Warbler -- L
  • Oriental Turtle Dove
  • Pacific Golden-plover -- L
  • Paddyfield Warbler -- L
  • Pallas' Reed Bunting -- L
  • Pallas's Leaf Warbler -- L
  • Pallas's Sandgrouse -- L
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Pied Avocet -- L
  • Pied Wheatear -- L
  • Pine Bunting -- L
  • Pine Grosbeak -- L
  • Pintail Snipe -- L
  • Red (Common) Crossbill
  • Red-billed Chough -- L
  • Red-crested Pochard -- L
  • Red-flanked Bluetail -- L
  • Red-necked Grebe
  • Red-throated Flycatcher -- L
  • Richard's Pipit -- L
  • Rock Dove
  • Rock Sparrow -- L
  • Rook -- L
  • Ruddy Shelduck -- L
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Ruff -- L
  • Rufous-tailed Robin -- L
  • Saker Falcon -- L
  • Scaly Thrush -- L
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper -- L
  • Siberian Accentor -- L
  • Siberian Rubythroat -- L
  • Smew -- L
  • Spotted Flycatcher -- L
  • Spotted Redshank -- L
  • Steppe Eagle -- L
  • Swan Goose -- L
  • Temminck's Stint -- L
  • Thick-billed Warbler -- L
  • Tree Pipit -- L
  • Tufted Duck -- L
  • Twite -- L
  • Upland Buzzard -- L
  • Ural Owl -- L
  • Water Pipit -- L
  • White Wagtail
  • White-cheeked Starling -- L
  • White-naped Crane -- L
  • White-winged (Two-barred) Crossbill -- L
  • White-winged Scoter
  • White-winged Tern -- L
  • Whooper Swan -- L
  • Willow Tit -- L
  • Wood Sandpiper -- L
  • Yellow-billed Grosbeak -- L
  • Yellow-browed (Inornate) Warbler -- L