Just you feel beautiful inside, I guess, because there’s nothing really. The Ganges you can have everywhere, not just that mountain. Nothing’s new in India, in the Himalayas. I just felt good there, felt so free. So free and so light. Lighthearted!
In Dharamshala also, you can rent a room very cheaply, also a mud house. But I did not really enjoy that much, like in Rishikesh. Maybe the ambiance, the atmosphere. Everybody who went there had to be vegan. They had no choice. What for would you go there promoting veganism? They had no choice. (There are lots of vegetarians also there, so…) There are a lot of what? (Vegetarians. And we went there to do relief work.) Oh. (So, that’s how we went.) Oh, it was by the way. (Yes.) OK. Over there, they don’t sell eggs. They don’t sell alcohol, but maybe some milk, or not? That I did not know because I did not drink. But I like that place so much, I don’t know why. It just felt so good. Felt good inside. In daytime I went to meditate on the Ganges or on the bank of the Ganges. Nighttime I came back, made my own (vegan) chapatti over the wood fire with three rocks and a plate, small like that. I had only one plate; I used it for everything. Can cook chapatti on it. I made my own chapatti. Not this kind of plate. It was metal, about this small, and very thin, easy to carry. I made chapatti, very easy. The wood you could collect from a forest next to my house. And then just a few twigs are enough to cook me about three chapattis, and with peanut butter, and cucumber, or a tomato. Felt good! (Sounds good.) Mm! Sounds very good. Not “sounds good,” it was really good! (Yes.) I still remember that feeling, so contented, felt at home. Nobody bothered you.
Some Westerners, they came, also for the same purpose. They didn’t talk a lot. They didn’t try to buddy-buddy you. They didn’t try to make a boyfriend or girlfriend out of you. Nothing! Sometimes, they brought their own girlfriend anyway. So, I was feeling very, very free over there. And very little money left, I could live there. I liked it so much. I really compare that life to this life. I’d rather eat less (vegan) samosa and stay there, than eat a lot. It’s a lot of responsibility nowadays; not the same. Here is different of course. But if I had a choice, I’d go back there and live there again, at my age, with an umbrella, going down to the Ganges River, “Wait for me! Get me a horse, please!” That’s the best place that I can remember. I lived in some ashrams, but I don’t remember. I don’t want to go back. But I want to go back there. That is the only place in India that I would like to go back, to visit or to live. To live there, alone; not with you. Don’t think about it. If I take all of you up there, then I would forget that place immediately afterward. I would just say, “OK, beautiful place, have a nice stay! Sayonara!” It’s good also; it will cure me of the longing for that place. I would never remember again. Now talking about it, I really like that place.
But it’s a long way from Delhi. (About nine hours.) Nine hours. And maybe you have to change buses; it doesn’t go direct. (Yes, Master, you have to change sometimes.) You have to change buses, and the buses are made from the Qing dynasty or something. Be careful, your back, your bum. And if you think riding in a horse cart is romantic, it’s not. The horse, he does his business right in front of your nose, and there’s nothing you can do about it. And they even saved it, all your journey! They don’t just let it drop on the street. Of course, they save it because it’s fuel, man! (Oh!) It’s fertilizer! It’s fuel! It’s whatever they can use. It’s even for the walls. They pat it on the walls to make the walls, so it’s warm and insects don’t go near. The cow dung, horse dung, or whatever dung, it’s all done! It’s all very valuable in the Himalayas, especially if they can use it for fuel, cooking. Yeah. And then they put it on their walls, make it like cement. So, they save it. It’s not like, poop and it’s done, and then you have fresh air. No! It continues your whole journey, wherever you go. It’s not as romantic as it looks, I am telling you. (My God!) What do you mean, “My God?” That’s the way they live.
They don’t have taxis there. I didn’t see any. Maybe in the towns, I didn’t see. Either you do that, or you take the Number 11 bus. I often did it. I don’t know, here I don’t feel like walking, but over there I walked all the time. And it felt like nothing, maybe because I had no choice. I didn’t have a lot of money. Over there, walking is like a pleasure. I remember that. I felt like you walk, but you don’t really walk. Your feet don’t drag at all. It felt very light… And then the fresh air! Not a lot of cars. In Rishikesh, especially where I lived, in that area, no cars. Horse! Well, at least I lived once, one time in the Himalayas. I feel very lucky already. That place is the most beautiful. Nothing really, I don’t know, I just felt beautiful. Just you feel beautiful inside, I guess, because there’s nothing really. The Ganges you can have everywhere, not just that mountain. Nothing’s new in India, in the Himalayas. I just felt good there, felt so free. So free and so light. Lighthearted! I’d go home and sleep on the roof, make a chapatti. Go to the Ganges, take a bath and put your clothes on the rock, hot rock. And wrap yourself with a sarong and then wait in the cave somewhere. Whenever you finish meditation, you go out, you get your clothes, put it on. La-la-la! Go home. Happy, happy! And then make a chapatti. Cook a little tea or (vegan) chai, or something. And then go to the roof and meditate. Ah! Wonderful life!
I was very skinny then, because I didn’t have a lot of food. Just that staple food every day. You buy a small bag of flour, mix it with water, a little salt. You make it into dough, round, or not round, who cares? And put it on the fire. You warm yourself meanwhile and, in a few minutes, it’s done. You put peanut butter on it, or whatever, I don’t know. What else? Mostly peanut butter, because I heard it’s very nutritious. So, it’s very economical. And then with the cucumber, it’s hot, and cucumber is cool so, yum, yum, yum! Then, after that you just go up to the roof and up to the higher level. Whoa! That was a good life. Don’t you think it’s good? (Sounds very good.) Sounds good! (Yes, Master.) I don’t know if you can live like that. (Sometimes, when I was growing up, I used to go to those places and live like that.) You did? (Yes, Master. Not like that much, but yes, in the mountains and just doing nothing. Just meditating, or just roaming around.) That place is so free. There were some Westerners who came there and lived, but they didn’t care about cooking on the fire. They’d go out to a restaurant and eat. I couldn’t afford it. Even restaurants are cheap. I loved that place, really. I don’t know why, just I felt so good. I’d come home and right in front of my house, there was an empty space, just dirt, nothing. And I put the three stones there and then put some little fire and cooked my tea, chapatti. I felt so free. Oh man! And now I am very free, free to grab, for everybody to grab.
Would you like to live like that? Hallo? (Yes, Master.) After pushing, eat, “Yes, Master. OK la!” Even though we live in caves, we have light, electricity, and food delivered to our mouth, already one, or two of your brothers think we’re too ascetic. If you lived like that – only a couple of chapattis a day, you’d like? You would, I’m sure you would. (Yes.) I think you would like it, maybe one week! Holiday! Nam Sa-go, can you predict how long they’d last? You think they’d last long? (One week or less.) If you like a lonely life, and if you are very much inside, then you don’t feel anything that pulls you back to this life. I didn’t want to go. I don’t know why I did. Maybe no more money. Telling you about all this, I really miss that place. Not the place. I don’t know, miss the lifestyle that I had.
When I lived in Dharamshala, I also cooked for myself, of course, but I don’t know, it was not the same. Over there, I cooked too complicated. I bought a pot and a pan, cheap ones, and then I cooked rice, and I went hunting for this soya texture. And I cooked, remembering how we eat in China and all that, and in Taiwan (Formosa). But it didn’t taste good at all. Didn’t have anything, just salt. I thought I would like it, I imagined. It didn’t taste good. So, I bought the tsampa, this barley flour, and it tasted better. If you are in a Tibetan community, maybe you are influenced by the atmosphere of the people there. So, tsampa tastes good! Tsampa, you know? You buy this barley flour and you mix with water. That’s it! A little salt. It tastes good. Or you put in your tea. They put butter in your tea and then… Or you buy bread, also barley bread. They don’t have the bread we have here, in Tibetan community. It tastes also very good. I didn’t eat a lot though. I remember I didn’t eat a lot. So, when I came down to the plain, I was very skinny.
OK, guys, sayonara. Thank you (Thank You, Master.) for your company. Cheers. Love you guys. (Thank you.) (We love You.) (We love You, Master.) Thanks for your company. OK, I must go now and do my job, other job. Thank you. Sunday is a good break. (Yes.) Not bad. You guys don’t complain. We all have our destiny and our special place to stay. Sometimes forcing the issue causes friction. OK? Friction in the energy. And in peace, community peace. Ok, guys, take care. Love you. (Love You, Master.) Is it tasty? (Delicious!) Delicious? Tasty? It doesn’t taste like Aulacese (Vietnamese) food but eatable, right? (Yes) I get used to it now. When I just went abroad, I missed it, but no more now, I don’t miss it anymore. Goodbye, be good and healthy. (Yes. Good night.) Good night.
Did you eat yet? (Yes.) Is it delicious? How’s their cooking? (Very good.) Did they cook enough? (Yes.) Does it have enough nutrition? (Yes.) OK. Thank you. Thank you.