‘Delicate Sound of Thunder’

Closing up an other week here on the land, a clear night with distant flashes over the horizon. This quiet night is welcomed by us here given the week of weather we have faced while out in our tents. As we are becoming more familiar with the lay of the land on the ground, we are now learning more about the weather patterns experienced on the toenails of the Himalayas.
It has been an exhausting week for myself and Khantiko while we continue to pioneer the land and the environment. The days were getting hotter and reaching temperatures over 40 by meal time. We shifted our seats under a tree outside to take our meal, which was a bit of a startle to the buffalos on route to their feeding areas. So the afternoon heat was getting a bit tough, though we both were finding ways to manage, namely finding shade of trees and not moving around too much. The big weather of the week has been the thunder and lightning we have had for the last four nights. These were some very very impressive storms with countless flashes of lighting, cracks of thunder rumbling through the mountains, and some fairly hight winds. Our Army tents are standing up to the test of this weather, however Khantko’s simple set-up of a tarp has ceased to be. He has been blown off of ‘Patience Point’ and has not shifted below to the open tent.
As one who does not feel comfortable with these storms, it has been quite humorous to observe the anxiety arise when hearing the warning rumbles of an approaching storm. The land offers a beautiful view facing north toward the mountains, and is proving to be an amazing location to watch the night sky light up in strobe and pulses while the ‘Gods are taking selfies’ (Priyanka’s words here). Even though I feel that I will be struck by lightning at any moment, I can appreciate this aspect of nature and at the same time can appreciate the idea of having a ‘pakka’ dwelling to stay in!
Our days have been pretty simple and we continue to explore ideas in regard to developing the monastery. Today we had a visit from another architect and permaculture designer, and we spent the day walking around the property showing them the lay out. We also spoke of possible building styles which may be practical for our purposes here. Having had a couple visits on the land from professionals, we will take steps into creating a first phase of building which will include some basic infrastructure and possible dwellings.
Living in rural India is giving us a lot of interesting experiences, living amongst herd animals for example. Our land seems to be a hot spot for herders to bring their cows, goats, or buffaloes. Every day we have visits from dozens of cows from various herders, and our large family of goats make their daily rounds too, led by Gurudev. We are often joined at the meal by a large group of buffalo who make their way through, and we both were alarmed and realized how large these animals are while you are sitting on the ground. The over grazing is not really good for the land and will be a situation we will have to navigate with some sensitivity, for an attempt to create a healthy forest will likely not be supported by this type of herd grazing. We do have to keep in mind what kind of message it will send if we immediately start fencing in the land, but we will be working on a strategy to limit and decrease the amount of animals roam around the land.
So that will be it for this week’s report. We have had a busy couple of days on top of a few sleepless nights with the storms, and this Saturday crept up quick. We will be wrapping things up here at the land for a brief break as we come to Delhi later in the week for the weekend retreat. The retreat will be happening at Dhammaram and the Trust will also meet so we can give an overview of our experience here the last few weeks, then make some plans for the next steps of developing the monastery. Anumodana for all the support we are receiving and efforts made in creating this monastery. May you all be well.