Shopping:

….Continuing from previous post…..

No sooner had we taken the last “ good bye” picture, that Nyima’s wife called us back into the house, to

“PLEASE buy something, to help”

They now have lost their only bread winner and although all women of the family are making/ stringing the widely available “Tibetan jewellery” items, since they have to stay home for the mourning period and take care of the lighting of the butter lamps, they are all but out of money and dependent on the good will and help of their neighbours.

Hastily mother and daughter spread a tangled jumble of necklaces of all varieties onto the table, then left to get a few of Nyima’s personal things, that they were prepared to sell.shopping spreeThere was a small “movable Altar” – 625 silver with a picture of Padmasambhava in the centre. It was a well used and not to clean, tarnished and still held a few yellow flower pedals.

I was shocked! Did they RELAY want to sell that to us? Should that not stay with the precious Melongs and his headdress????

BUT then, when I touched it – – something did not feel right….. there was no Power!?

Someone else quickly claimed it.

More things were taken from a small bag and put onto the loaded table. There were a Dorje and a tangled mess of leather onto which 3 copper balls were attached. A red flash of lightning zzzaged right onto them and I reached for.

They felt HOT!

Not with heat from Fire, but with – what I again only can describe as Anaguilin = Spirit POWER.

They were about Walnut size, each on a tangled leather string, symmetrical “4 directions design” soldered in brass onto 1 side, and respectively each adorned with a Turquoise and a Red Coral stone in its middle. The reverse side also showed a kanji and a design, that immediately reminded me of our Siberian Ülziy eternal knot design, that also is very prevalent here in Nepal.

The 2 halves of the copper ball come apart so as to make up a prayer box and one can insert a protection amulet or any other small power item. A permanent protection amulet made of Yak leather is attached at the lower end of the copper pieces.

They are known as Ghau

Ghau

Also immediately I KNEW, that 2 of these were “for me” and one was “for my friend M.

OK, no problem. I held on to them.

All the other items were also taken and now the ladies were looking through the jewellery.

I felt overwhelmed and slightly befuddled by the Energy emanating from the ritual objects in my hands, handed over the asked for financial contribution and left the small house to the shoppers. Outside the rain had finally stopped.

A while later we made our way back through the village and then up to the monastery. In front of its gates were a row of covered stalls of Tibetan vendors.

They all beckoned us, but Bhola urged us, not to linger but rather hasten to the monastery.

But I was in no mood to be rushed and took a closer look at the wares offered in the stalls.

Beautiful pieces of handiwork most quite similar to what we had seen in Hanuman Dorka Square in Kathmandu and then also similar beaded necklaces like the ones for sale in Nyima’s home.

I also noticed several more of the small silver altars, identical to the one seen at the house, less “worn and used” but with the same pictures and flowers… All were offered as “authentic” and “old”

Nowhere however I saw any of the copper prayer/ amulet ghaus again and so was glad, to have “adopted” them, when I did….  

-Neither here or anywhere else in Nepal.

I was much intrigued by a single cymbal or tingsha (NO idea, how this word is written.. 😦 )

It is rung with the tip of a Yak horn. It had a beautiful prolonged ring and a prayer mantra was engraved into the cast.

The Elder, that sold it was obviously poor, wearing ripped trousers and a shirt that was more a rag than a garment. He was somewhat shy and – with the weather being what it was, when I looked at him I was not surprised to “see” red and inflamed joints namely right shoulder and both knees.

I asked him – more in sign language than anything else, if he had often carried heavy loads. Yes, yes, wood and rocks for building 45 years… “and pain?”

Yes, yes, here” = shoulder and Aou ou ou, here,” pointing to his knees and the moist fog outside……

I bargained hard with him for that tingsha – from 450 rupees down to 150, but then gave him the full amount he had initially asked for, also pulling out my bottle of ibuprofen gave some some instructions as to when to take 1 and specifying, that the rest of the money I had given him was for another bottle of anti inflammatories at the drug store in town.

cymbal with Yak horn

Tears welled up in his eyes as he hugged me good bye…..

my salesperson

But then I HAD to go.

I caught up with the rest of the group at the entrance of the monastery temple.

after the rain

to the temple

Monestary Drum

Monestary altar with tormas

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Melong:

Pokhara, a cloudy, windy morning.On our way

A small bus picks up our group for an excursion to the Tarshi Palkhiel Tibetan Refugee village north of town in the foot hills of the mountains.

Bhola introduces us to Sarah Siefert, who since years works with the Tibetan population in the village and specially with their Paus, their shamans. Over many years of work she had gained the trust of the people and then taught herself the art of documentary filming for the specific purpose to preserve the work and the knowledge of the Tibetan shamans of the camp for future generations.

Nyima from the net

Today we are visiting the home and family of the very last of the Tibetan shamans, Nyima Dhondup, who sadly died 3 weeks previously. Originally it was planned, to visit him and learn from him. Now we are mourning a great loss. Nyima, in his early 70’s, was the last of the shamans of the village, that now is left without a healer.

Nyima with his Melong and bell, courtesy of Sacred Hoop Magazine

Nyima with his Melong and bell, courtesy of Sacred Hoop Magazine

The death rituals for such an important person continue for 49 days with the constant burning of butter lamps, readings from the Tibetan Book of the Dead and never ending streams of visitors that pay their respects to the family and have to be served with Tea and sweets.

On our way through the crowded streets of Pokhara we had stopped at a butter “factory” and Bhola had picked up 3 large ( ??10 lb?) cube-like blocks of butter, that will keep the butter lamps going for a day each. We also brought food sugar and tea……

Soon we leave Pokhara behind and the road steepens and winds upward past countless vehicle to nyimas houserepair shops , lumber and metal work yards then fields and terraces,until we reach the camp. In the beginning rain we walk along chest high stone walls enclosing individual compounds. Sarah is well known and greeted by whoever works in one of the court yards or garden plots along our way. We share the path with Dogs and Cows.

At Nyima’s compound we are confronted with a customary but also heart wrenching outbursts of grief. His wife Tashiis crying and lamenting loudly, rocking forth and back in agony and is comforted by her ~ 16 year old daughter Dokar and soon also by Sarah and Bhola, who share in the crying and lamenting. Tsedup, Nyima’s brother and – now ex- interpreter is inviting us into the treatment room and we are asked to sit on the benches along the 3 walls. I “sense” a place across the door as “where Nyima always was sitting” and try to avoid it – toooooo Powerful Energy is there, sucking at me like a blue furnance, in which I see a dog-like animal swirrrrrling…..( Being wolf Clan from my Ada’s side, I wonder, iffff my choice is right or wrong, but I rather err on the side of RESPECT.)

Cowering down on the comfortable bench next to Peter I also cautiously turn around my Toli, that I am wearing beneath my cloth and decide to keep my rain jacket on. Icy wind now is falling down from the peaks behind the house, tearing at the window and chilling all of us. But in traditional hospitality we are served hot tea and sweets and after Sarah and Bhola again profess their grief over the loss of their friend, they along with Dokar begin to tell us about Nyima as a person with a sometimes child-like disposition, and his work, that she was privileged to film. She also explains, that as far as Nyima’s people are concerned, the shamanic gift is only passed down in families,always jumping one generation, from grandfather to grandson, uncle to nephew, so all eyes are now on Dokar’s youngest brother, age 12, who right now sits at the door with his smart phone and shakes his head, laughing – “No, not me!” so far…..

They also describe the massive Altar in the dais right across the door, that was erected by the lamas and the family to honour Nyima and to help his Soul through the dangerous journey from death to reincarnation. –  Many layers of “torma” made from flour mixed with water, many flowers….   (Again and again Dokar’s  mom bursts out in tears and gently is comforted.)

The Altar was supposed to be destroyed already yesterday, but since the lamas and the family knew of out visit, they left it up for us to see and ad our prayers – later to be released in aid of Nyima’s journey.

Outside, as if all the heavens are mourning for Nyima, a horrrrrendous rain, hail and wind storm is breaking loose. The torrential downpour and icy winds force themselves through the open window. It can not be closed, because streamers and prayer flags connect it with the shed outside, where relatives are keeping the butter lamps burning day and night for the prescribed 49 days.

When the rain lets up a bit, we are asked to go out and also in a prayerful manner light a butter lamp for Nyima.rows of butter lamps

Next, back in the ritual room, after more butter tea, Dokar is bringing in Nyima’s ritual objects.

To my absolute astonishment she passes them around the room!

While I am “drowning” in the view of – yet again that strange scruffy Dog, Dokar holds up Nyima’s Melong, his largest ritual mirror. It quickly passes from Sarah to Bhola, then to 3 members of our group, then from Peter to me. As I just touch it, it is “blue-hot” and, shaking, I almost crumble over it, somehow realizing, that it touches my Toli beneath my shirt and the Power whushes me into a bottomless hole occupied by – a bluish black Yak-like being with large horns, sharp teeth, hundreds of arms and legs holding all kinds of “stuff” this Being is dancing right on top of another being beneath him/ her…..Now many of the countless arms are reaching out towards me, while “Medicine Tools” of all kind float in the vortex……

-” Oh NOOOOO, not me”!!!!! is all I am trying to think through the fog.

I am shaking. I am not “for this” I am just here to learn something….

The Melong is heavy and HOT and an aeon of time later I realize Bhola’s gaze on me and pass it on…. I hear a drum, a rapid beat…… and yes, there is Nyma’s drum being passed around, although, we apparently were instructed, not to play it and nobody did…..

As I hold it up, I feel streams of “LightPower” streaming from its sweaty streamers into that “vortex-hole” with the snarling horned Spirit in the middle.

Then around comes Nyma’s bell, now silent and yearning to be played again. Then more melongs, holding the strange energy of yet another Spirit, an Elder with turquoise stones in his white hair, sitting in a “arched rock” high up on a windy plateau and a white Horse, that I only see from the back…..

and –

— Then Peter hands me a HUUUUUGE dead Butterfly.

It smells musty – and – like Nyima!

Here he is, his human side, his suffering, the tirelessness of the shamanic act, the tiredness of his old body, his passion spend in millions of droplets of sweat, soaked into the Butterfly and now – released to transform – yet again into a new form and shape.

How beautiful!

Confused I wake up and realize, I am holding Nyima’s headdress, the triple crown with the Butterfly wings limp, sweaty and stained with decades of effort directed towards each and every one of his patients…..

Nyima3

As tears of embodied exhaustion flow from my eyes, I pass the “Butterfly” along to the next person.

I am “spent” confused, exhausted, not really there…

…. toooo wide open, seeing yet again that strange Spirit and through all the haze I hear Sarah talking – ?

??about something….. ????

– Her project, her interviews with different shamans, filming… I can not concentrate…..

I KNOW, I should try to pay attention….. I can not.

Not as long as the multi-handed horned Spirit is there, suspended in the middle of the room.

I think, what was next, is, that we were ready to go, but the lama arrives, to read the passages from the Book of the Dead ascribed for this day. We all have to move, to make room for him on the bench that Nyima occupied while alive. So I come to sit directly across from the lama. He opens his small red book and in a melodic voice reads the block printed text from the individual pages.

scrols

His voice again makes me first rock slowly forth and back, then drift like on a cloud…..

….There are all the Spirits!

There, through the open window I can see Nyima!

It is sunny and warm outside, not at all the kind of hell storm weather we had that day….

Nyima is sitting in the grass, next to a Dog, obviously his companion, and, since partly translucent, probably long departed and now united with his human friend again. There also was ? A Goat and a Yak – or rather Yak-Spirit Being.

Nyima is happy, laughing…….sitting in the green grass with the Animals. He was dressed in regular cloth, shirt and pants, no regalia. The mountains in the background are huuuuge, all snowcapped and glistening in the sun.

Then

….The lama has stopped speaking and the group is  stirring, someone touches me and I shake like a leave….. Peter quickly grabs me and holds me tight……

We were to leave a financial offering for the family, that now had lost their main bread winner. Peter takes care of that….

We were to go outside for a picture…..

BholaLama  Sarah Joe and me

While that took place, Dokar’s mom brought forth all kinds of things she hoped we would buy from her….

…..to be continued…….

some links:

http://www.shamanism.org/fssinfo/livingtreasureDhondup.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torma

Sacred Hoop Magazine issue 79 with pictures and infos about Nyima and much more:

http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/BackIssues-06.html

http://www.magic-photographer.com/2010/03/21/tashi-palkhiel-tibetan-refugee-settlement-near-pokhara-nepal/

My Shaman’s Mirror

Have I told you about my Toli yet?
> goes off checks all the posts here….<
No, I have not, then it is a good topic for today and it is important in order for you to hone your inner feeling/ knowing as to what I am going to tell next about mirrors in Nepal
My Toli:
A Toli is a Shaman’s mirror. Different people have different names for them.
My father (Ada) had one. It was laaaaarge and heavy bronze, simple with a rough hole drilled through the middle, where, with the help of a pin and ring he attached a leather rope, so he could wear it over his chest. It had “engraved “– no rather roughly scratched into it several symbols pertaining to his Miahanits – helping Spirits – and notches / marks for certain important events in his live. It also had a nasty, wharpy ding/notch in it, and as a small child I always imagined that that was the notch for the man he killed during the war….. He never talked about it……. contrary to many other things –
This one was “tabu”

My sister also had one – but it is a sweet delicate affair, round brass with a real mirror on one side and a silk ribbon string….. I now safe-keep that one…..
But, years ago there came a time, when I wanted my own Toli.
Sooooo get one from someone???????
These things are available – on etsy and other web sites….. but if it is a commercially made thing – it would not have any Power, right?….
And if it was some oooold mirror – like the one for sale from Tibet by a Santa Fee dealer right now( for $ 1400 so I could not afford it …..) …and -?? What kind of “Energy” would be hanging on that????
Do I want that “residue”
Naaaaaeeh!
So then, make my own!
And I did :

Toli back 1

handcrafted Toli

Red Brass, with symbols for my Miahanits in Sterling Silver on one side. Peter did the soldering. He is a wizard when it comes to applying fine detail cut from thin Sterling silver sheet or wire. A clear polished front side, with just a rim of hammered emblems, so I can “see” with it.
A nice silk scarf, a few bells and an Owl feather and it was time to invocate it.

Toli with Spirit
Over the years it has become the important shamanic tool I hod it would be.
It directly connects me to my Ancestors and when I lay it over the heart region of a client is – like a “Soul stethoscope” through which I can perceive what is amiss….
So, naturally, I took it to Nepal, along with our drum, my Rattle and my Moy = mouth organ.

If you feel like reading a little more about shaman’s mirrors, here are a few sites:

http://www.3worlds.co.uk/Pages/Gallery-03-Mirrors.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toli_(shamanism)

A Rock for my Puzzle:

As I already told you in the November Nepal posts, we had regular teaching sessions with our Nepali shaman teacher Bhola Banstola.

One morning he told us about his spiritual pilgrimage earlier in the year to Mount Kailash, the Sacred Mountain for Buddhists, Hindus, Bönpos, Jains, shamans and many other spiritual worshippers.

30 Mount Kailash North Face from Dirapuk Gompa On Mount Kailash Outer Kora

Mount Kailash is in Eastern Tibet and many pilgrims travel there to circum ambulate the “Holy Mountain” in a prayerful manner. Bhola had done so too and while travelling had collected stones – rocks from the foot of Mount Kailash.

These “souvenirs” are seen as carrying the very potency of “The Mountain within them and are powerful “Medicine”

Now, Bhola had brought one of these rocks for each of us, for our altar and our Nepali Medicine Pouches.

Mt Kailash

Before we received them Bhola told us about Mount Kailash being the all POWERFUL seat of the Gods.

Here are a few sites, where you can read more about Mount Kailash:

http://buddhistsymbols.info/kailash/

http://sacredsites.com/asia/tibet/mt_kailash.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kailash

The rocks Bhola had for us, were quite different in size and geological composition – one was a rough crystal, others igneous rock, others sandstone and Bhola now felt overwhelmed to just distribute them himself -(and letting us choose was out of the question too…..) So he asked one of the circle members, Michael, to use his instincts and distribute them, as he saw fit and just.

So slowly Michael picked up the lot and then first holding each rock close to his heart, moved around the room and passed it into the waiting hands of its recipient.

Into my cupped hands I received the large lump of sheer crystal!

It was HEAVY and HOT and a powerful ENERGY surged through my hands into my spine and down into my root seat.

I started to shake.

I dare not look at it.

Bhola started a Blessing Ritual that we were to follow in order to welcome our rock.

Later, finally I took a closer look at my new treasure: It is pure rock crystal. But- and I started shaking again: There, in the upper part is a portal , a natural passage winding itself between glittering miniature crystals deep into the rock – and out the other side!

This rock is –dare I say it out loud- a Chicken God, a Blessing Stone from the Sacred Mount Kailash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Crystal rocl from Mt Kailash

For me????????????????????

In Sanskrit the word Kailasa  means “crystal!

Whouw!!! How special!

The Portal

 

Of course Peter also received a stone.

His stone looked like all the other stones passed out:

Peters Kailash Rock

kailash-thanka

At the centre of the earth, there stands a great mountain,

Lord of Snows, majestic, rooted in the sea,

its summit wreathed in clouds

a measuring rod for all creation

– Kalidasa, Indian poet and dramatist (4C)

A Stone with a Hole…..

Next puzzle piece: Chicken Gods:

Do you know, what a Chicken God is?

A stone/ rock with a natural hole in it. In other traditions they are also called “holey stones”, “hag stones””lucky stones” “blessing stones” “luck stones” and are also known by many more names.

I am sure, YOU have one of these somewhere! 🙂Chicken gods hanging on wall behind altar

In Siberia we use them as protection amulets and for healing/ drawing the illness through the hole in the stone.

In my husband Peter’s North Friesian heritage they are called Chicken Gods and you HAVE to HAVE one or, come Samhain, the Beelzebub will ride your cattle into death….. A rock with a natural hole through it is hung onto the door of the Chicken coop and also on doors of barns, stables and often out-houses too.
It keeps the Beelzebub and other evil spirits away from the door and what is inside..
Chicken Goods needed to be blessed before the end of October and if a pestilence had befallen the farm you needed to acquire new ones.
T
o find one in nature was a good blessing – but beware of picking up one that someone threw away because…….!!

We are forever on the lookout for Chicken gods and have quit an assembly of them.

Just now, Peter is with his mom on his home island of Sylt and wrote in an e-mail, that he had found several chicken gods – one tooooo large to bring, but several small ones one of which he will hang on our Tree of life, when he gets home. – A little ritual he always does…..

I use several of the ones I found over the years with my clients in shamanic work

large Chicken Gods and Crocked Tail

In the later parts of October I often do a “Hag Stone/ chicken God Blessing ritual for the pagan community and everyone else, who wants to attend.

This year however we were in Nepal, so no Chicken Gods/ Blessing Stones – right?

Well,in the next post I will tell you, what happened!:

Puzzle Pieces:

 

I always tell the people that come for shamanic consultations as well as thouse I mentor, that I will try my best, to find one- or maybe a few of the puzzle pieces that are missing in the panorama of their lives – or from the very matrix of their Souls…..

I always hope to succeed, but there never is a guaranty, since i work and shamanize at the Power and behest of my Miahanits = Ancestor Guardians and Medicine nimals…..

But there are also times, when I myself am presented with puzzle pieces like these, treasured and lovingly integrated into the fabric of who and what I am.

And then there are times – like right now, – since Nepal, where it is raining puzzle pieces and I feel like a wet Wolf pub, overwhelmed by a storm.

I am fanatically trying to picking them all up – or at least try not to loose sight of too many, I am trying to remember how I fond them, so as not to forget their “story”

I am struggggeling to keep them “together”, never mind trying to properly fit them together. No, I am in no way shape or form “THERE”, where I am able to fit and integrate them into their rightful places, where they are supposed to go.

I should not even write about this here – yet.

It is all still unsorted, rough, scruffy and has neither beginning or is there an end in sight…..

So then I should just shut up – and delete this post!

Right?

Well, probably yes, but then again this – these writings here may just become the manuscript of “what is going on” right now, the “process” and iffff you guys read this, you get sort of a window seat to the event and wherever it may take me. Also, then maybe at some point you may recognize, when something similar happens to you – or a loved one or maybe a client…….

Soooooo where to start????????????????

Where is the beginning???????????????????

NO idea!!

You decide!

I will just write – and we can sort it all later……

feet

OK: First weird puzzle piece NO 1 – not because it IS the first one, no, just because it is the first one I will write down here:

Since mid summer 2013 – just when falling asleep – or sometimes when waking up, I “see” a young’ish lady (~~maybe late 30ish?? )in a turquoise dress – blond shoulder lengths hair standing in ???– the street of a city. Sometimes she is pregnant and sometimes not. I do not know, who that is…..

Soon after coming back from Nepal am making dinner and with half an ear listen to the TV Peter forgot to turn of after the news was done. We have only 1 canal out here and after the news there is the pesky “ entertainment show with Ben Mulroney, ex prime minister Brian Mulroney’s son…. By chance I look up and – there is “THAT LADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I find out, her name is Uma Thurman and she is an actress……?

So what?????  I have NEVER seen her or any movies she was in…..

I told you, these were all weird puzzle pieces that did NOT make sense, didn’t I!!!!!

And – you have the choice to … just not read on…… 😉

It will probably take me 10 more blog posts to write them all down and then, you and I can see, how they all fit…..