Tenzing had a playful way with words and his lessons were being to hit me one by one. I had answers that I was seeking and he was providing me with those, like an old Zen master. Today I decided to go to the sunset point, this is a very famous spot for backpackers and foreigners who come to seek spirituality in Himachal. “ Today again it was Tenzing taking me up to the sunset point right on top of a hill, he was wearing his maroon robe but today he was carrying a Buddhist wishing well, a miniature version of it which he clutched in the palm of his hand. It would go round and round  when he shook his hand, it had blue jade stones and red rock embedded into it and was made of bronze .” You see this is my lucky charm today, I got it from Norbulinka, they have a great bronze art factory in the monastery, many artisans make statues of go’s and buddha all chisels out of bronze and other metals. “ I was amazed the wishing wheel did glow and shine in the sun, it was immaculately carved with images of the meditating Buddha .” Norbulinka that is the summer abode of the Dalai Lama I am told, he rests here in the summer, to is his palace at that time.” I was beginning to enjoy the climb as Tenzing cleared logs of wood and thin branches that landed on our path which was rather narrow.

“ Ah! This is the sunset point, very famous you cans see the. Entire valley from here .” He pointed towards the sun which was slowly setting. “ This land of Dharamshala is a refuge to us, but we came here long time back from Tibet, driven out of our homes by the Chinese, who saw us as a hurdle , they wanted to take over Tibet as it gave them a strategic point to strike at India. Tibet is high ver high it is called the Roof of the world. China knew that if it had control over Tibet it could spy and strike on India from the top, which in warfare is a huge advantage .” I could see how he made a point that Tibet then was a very strategic country, and if China had to dominate Southeast Asia it needed control of Tibet. The Red army defended the country, old traditions were destroyed, the life and way of the average Tibetan were threatened. With the army came civil disobedience, crackdowns, immolations, torture, and refugees. The Tibetans were driven out of their land and their supreme religious leader The Dalai Lama who I had come to see ran away into exile. The only country ready to except them was India, with Nehru at the helm, he let the Tibetans live in and around Dharamshala, this was one of the reasons for the enmity of China and India because we gave shelter to the Dalai Lama. That was the history of the kingdom of Tibet and it’s exiled people. Many places around the Dharamshala had museums with photographs depicting those turbulent times of grief and strife. Nonetheless, the region embraced them, a large part of the region including Spiti Valley, Nako, Tabo and Leh Ladhak are the roots of the ancient Bon faith which soon got intaglio and almost lost in Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy, which had distinct Chinese influence .” So you see my friend Bon  is much older than Buddhism even, its the mother faith of this mountain region .” He explained further, I felt at times my time with Tenzing passed very breezily.

We started walking down after a while, and then trudged off through the main Bazar, with food outlets and women selling woolen clothes .” We made this our home, we are refugees in the Hindu land, my friend. Most people are monks who have dedicated their lives to celibacy and seeking the ultimate truth. You must have seen young bald monks chanting and praying all the time .”  He paused to look at me,” Ya! That’s one hell of a mind fuck, they are always doing things to screw up the. Mind, I mean mediation also does that it makes you drop the mind .” I had to cut in and give my opinion after all the best way to learn is to elaborate on what your teacher was saying . Tenzing no doubt was my teacher but I was a knowledgeable pupil. I knew the esoteric form and I understood what Tenzing was saying .” So you are practicing ways to drop the mind altogether, that is the doorway to the truth, the Atman or the witness. The witness sees all but is not involved in the play of life, so he is a detached householder, the one who lives within, sees all but partakes in none .” My mad monk stopped next to a small pawn shop and picked up a large wooden flute with the lagging buddha engraved on it, he paid Rs 100 to the shop owner and purchased the flute .” This is what I need at this time, the other way to lose your mind is to listen to or create music, I love playing the flute, the breathing has to be controlled and regulated, you need to be good at deep breathing. What you say in yoga , pranayama .”   He picked up the flute plucked his lips and began to play. In a few seconds, he got into the tune and the flute let go of its melody. I put my camera bag and sat on a large stone by the side, this was some other side of the mad monk I was seeing. He was a master piped piper this guy, but instead of rats monkeys steered flying gall over the trees no doubt enchanted by the melody and song of the flute player. The music filled the air as the rhythm and vibrations filled the air, Tenzing got more and more animated as he plays the flute. From the sidewalks two Buddhist kid monks the same that I had seen chanting at the courtyard appeared and started to dance to Tenzing’s flute play. They waved their hands up and down in the air falling forward and backward in a rhythmic Buddhist dance. Soon people stopped near the neighboring hills to witness the Mad monks rock concert. Only if I could sell tickets for such an event in advance but, alas! It went on and on it’s as if Tenzing had gone berserk totally lost within his music, it was if he had become one with the music and mingles into the dance of the twin monk kids, who had a not of energy. Now I see what he meant by dropping the mind, if you concentrate on your breathe and inhale and exhale, concentrate deep on it after a while it becomes like meditation, you get lost and the mind slowly dissolves to make the witness appear.

Isn’t that what he was trying to teach me the whole day, how to drop the mind and why chanting and prayer were so important in their ancient faith. Suddenly it went all quite Tenzing slowly open-end  his eyes as if waking up from a trance .” Come we walk now enough of music .”  We started walking back. Through the narrow hill by lanes .” Dropping the mind is important, you need to learn just to watch it, stay away from all the physiological drama. That is what the Buddhist practice teaches you, drop the mind and make the truth appear .” I pause to absorb his words this was indeed my mad mom’s out the lesson , drop the mind and the truth will appear.