India – d8 / Dharamsala 2

It was a bit of a rest day for Jennifer and me today.

We’ve been going flat out ever since we hit India.

Most of our work here in Dharamsala is done, so after a late breakfast we walked down to the Dalai Lama Temple, to replenish our energies.

The seats were still out for all those who had come for His Holiness’s teachings –

cpyright BIll Bennett

Before you enter the temple you have to take your shoes off, or in my case boots, and near the rack where you place your shoes, or in my case boots, there was a sign which said: Beware of thieves who steal your shoes.

This concerned me for a number of reasons:

  1. What sort of person would steal shoes, or boots, outside the Dalai Lama temple?
  2. In putting the sign up, doesn’t it create anxiety for those who have left their shoes in the rack and who are about to enter the temple, often for meditation or contemplation?
  3. How can you meditate, or contemplate, if you’re worried all the time that someone is outside pinching your shoes – or boots?
  4. If someone steals shoes, or boots, outside the Dalai Lama temple, will their bad karma be greater than if that same person stole shoes, or boots, outside an ordinary nondescript, non-Dalai Lama temple?
  5. Was the sign a test to make you think about the impermanence of all things?
  6. Was the sign a test to make you consider the nature of suffering?
  7. If someone was caught stealing shoes, or boots, outside the Dalai Lama temple, would they be flogged?

You see, my problem was I’d worn my Scarpas, which are my serious Indian walking boots. They cost about $350. Now you might say: Bill, you moron, if you knew you were going to the Dalai Lama temple, you must have known you’re going to have to take off your footwear, so why wear your $350 Scarpas?

Well, I’ll answer that by saying that I would never even think that anyone would steal shoes, or boots, outside the Dalai Lama temple.

And yet that sign told me otherwise.

So there I was, inside the temple, with this incredible energy and these magnificent ancient Buddhist mandalas and statues all around me, and all I could think about was my boots outside on the rack, and someone stealing them.

And then of course I thought about impermanence, and suffering, and if someone stole my Scarpas how would I get back to the hotel? Because it’s about a kilometre and the road is rocky and full of sharp pebbles and my feet are soft and tender.

And it would hurt.
And I would probably cry.

So my visit to the temple was fraught with suffering – and so the sign did the job it was intended to do. Which was to make me realise that I didn’t really need my boots, and if anyone stole them they probably needed them more than me – and after all there were much greater things to think about, such as how the Chinese have dispossessed these wonderful Tibetan people, and what damage they’ve done to their ancient religious sites.

Here are my boots in the rack, waiting for me after my temple visit –

cpyright BIll Bennett

Outside the temple, two men sat begging. One of them spoke perfect English. He had a friend in Perth. He wanted me to like his Facebook page.

For taking this photo I gave them both a donation –

cpyright BIll BennettJennifer and I then had a wander around – Jennifer in her crazy $5 hat which she bought from a chemist –

cpyright BIll BennettShe took a shot of me which is technically putrid –

Bill on Temple Rd

Wandering back to the hotel, with my boots on thankfully, I saw a stand selling plastic Lotus blossoms. The late afternoon sun was highlighting them. I had to take a shot.

cpyright BIll Bennett

11 thoughts on “India – d8 / Dharamsala 2

  1. No worries Mate. If your boots were stolen, you would simply have to “reboot”. 🙂

    BTW, got some additional pain meds yesterday and can now walk without the walker which is huge. Not from a curative standpoint as it just masks the pain, but from a convenience stand point. I have learned that walking with my hands is not so convenient. Bone biopsy Monday, so we will see what that reveals. Someday all this will be behind me and surely it makes me a better man. Hmmm, I might prefer to have just been left alone as my imperfect self. 🙂

    Enjoy your peace as your gang will be descending in a couple of days. Jill is coming here tonight and I will take her to the airport in Houston tomorrow. Remember, we were both leaving Houston together before I encountered the recovery from hell.

    Have a great time,



    • Hey Steve, WordPress gobbled your comment here for a while – but just to say,,yes, ultimately these things about loss of goods and material things mean nothing. Your current health issue is a reminder of what’s important – good health, love, companionship.

      Looking forward to seeing Jill! I think it’s going to be an amazing tour. It’s a shame you can’t be with us – but you will in spirit.

      Glad to hear you’ve got the pain at least under control. Let me know how you go with the biopsy. Thoughts are with you mate, bill


  2. Hmmm, I just commented and it went into comment cyber space so I will do again at the expense of being redundant.

    First, if your boots had been stolen, it would not have been such a big deal mate, as you could simply “reboot”. You do that in every aspect of life today. 🙂

    Got additional pain meds yesterday that allows me to gingerly walk with the aid of a walker. One does not know how difficult it is to navigate with a walker until you have to. When you have to walk with your hands, which is what a walker is about, you sure miss your hands and arms and their capabilities. Additional pain meds are not curative, but only mask the pain until a deeper solution can be realized for the problem. Still having a bone biopsy on Monday, so waiting to see what that reveals.

    Wont be long till all your folks will be joining you. Jill arrives here today and I will be taking her to the airport tomorrow. As you know, she and I were both leaving from Houston so we could fly together until I had the surgery and recovery from Hell. She is excited to be joining you, renewing old friendships and making new.



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