The Trip to Rahob Village, by Rich Colman

The Trip to Rahob Village, by Rich Colman

Eventually the trip came together, Gayle and I bought our airline tickets and we left for Chengdu.  Arriving exhausted after almost a day in flight was overshadowed when the magic happened: twelve days spent with Sangha members and Dan.  The experience of being surrounded by people caring for each other and Dan, the exemplar of a parent to all of his “children,” is quite humbling.  I believe I am a better parent to my own children after witnessing Dan and everyone in action.

After a day of touring Chengdu we met up with Rinpoche and Loretta and the entourage.  Loretta is a fierce protector of Rinpoche, and as we were now part of Rinpoche’s entourage we were included in that care too!  Such devotion is something I had never seen before.  Hundreds of people traveled many miles to pay homage to Rinpoche and thank us for accompanying him from America.  Their devotion was precious for me to witness.

We traveled for two days and our group grew from about twenty-four people to maybe a thousand by the time we reached Rahob.  I was popping pills for the altitude and still had trouble breathing and had headaches, but the devotion of the people was so overwhelming that it upstaged any physical discomfort.

There seemed a constant chaotic rhythm to traveling and when we arrived at Rahob village about 12,000 feet above sea level we were ushered into the monastery in an honored spot between the three hundred monks and maybe a one thousand villagers.  Fortunately, Loretta translated Rinpoche’s speech.  There was a noticeable ooh and ahh when Rinpoche stated that there was not a monastery in the West but the devotion to practice was very real.  It was at that point that we of the West were one with this entire village.

I doubt I am doing justice to the feelings but it is something tangible, you the Sangha deserve to hear.  I could go on about the rest of the trip but the devotion by the villages and the care we experienced and shared with each other is something I thought worth sharing.

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