Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ag ól tae ar dhíthreabh Hiomalaethid

Léigh mé aréir faoi Tenzin Palmo. Is díthreabhach í. D'fhan sí ina Hiomalaetha dhá blianta déag ina aonar.

Tá scéal go iontach orm. Bhí sí ina chónai leis féin. Ar ndóigh, gach sé bhlianta, chríochnaigh sí soláthar bia leis a daoine a chothú. Bhí sí gan a ithe ach glasraí go fástha aici.

Níl Sasanach í, ar scor ar bith. D'fhoghlaim Diane Perry faoi Búdachas beagán ar bhéagan nuair ní raibh fhios ag daoine faoi sé go fíor ach mír bhídeach eolais ar feadh na caogidí ansiud go coitanta thar lear. Rugadh sí i Londain de dhream uiríseal. Bhí máthair coicnaíoch ag glanta iasc ansin.

D'imigh Diane go hÁise. Iarraidh sí bheith bean rialta. Bhí saol léanmhar aici. Rinneadh sí ord beannaithe i 1964.

I 1976, d'fhág Tenzin Palmo a mainistir. Bhí sí bean rialta amháin i measc manachaigh céad ann. Thósaigh Tenzin clochar ban rialta aici féin in hIndia nuair a fhilleadh sa deireadh ag bheith ceannródaí.

Féic "Gnó Ban i mBúdachas" anseo. Tá roinnt leis Tenzin Palmo le aiste. Insíonn sí faoi a dúshlán ag tabhairt glacadh níos mo chomh bean rialta téisclim.

Mar rinne sí móideanna crábhaidh a bheith uirthi ní dheachaigh ar ais ar lorg aici go dtí go bhfaighe tuiscint eolas aonair sisean féin. Ní dhéarna sí seo murab n-imeoidh ag fáil léargas a bheith aice. Chaith sí cúrsa spioradáilte saor faoi dheireadh de dhíobháil ar aghaidh uirthi.

Chaith sí ag aimsiú saoradh. Chuardaigh sí Búdachas gan imill. Níor chuireadh isteach ná amach uirthi. Tharchéimhnaigh sí míniúithe na manach i bhfad siar in am agus in ionad.

Thóg sí a díthreabh ar throigh 13,200 ardú i Ladach. Dheisigh sí uaicheas le haill. Chaith sí milliún nóimead ag déanamh machnamh istigh an cillín sé-agus-déag.

Bhí sí caillte leis an ocras is beag nár go minic. Mar sin féin, d'ól sí a tae gach lá idir cúig agus sé a chloig faoi dhó. Dúirt sí go Vicki Mackenzie leis a leabhar "Uaimh ina Sneachta": "Is mé Sasanach, tá fhios agat!"

Drinking tea in a Himalayan hermitage.

I read last night about Tenzin Palmo. She's a hermit. She stayed in the Himalayas twelve years alone.

It's an amazing story for me. She was always by herself. Of course, every six months, she gathered a food supply from a person to supply her. She ate nothing but vegetables that she grew.

She's not Tibetan, however. Diane Perry learned about Buddhism little by little when nobody really knew during the fifties but a tiny bit of information about it usually abroad. She grew up in London of humble stock. Her Cockney mother sold fish there.

Diane went off to Asia. She wanted to be a nun. She suffered great hardships. She became ordained in 1964.

In 1976, Tenzin left her monastery. She was the only nun there among a hundred monks. She founded her own nunnery in India when she eventually returned to be a leader.

See "Role of Women in Buddhism" here. There's a section with Tenzin Palmo in an essay. She tells more about her struggle to gain acceptance as a pioneer nun.

She made monastic vows to herself not to come back from her lone quest until she might find enlightenment by herself. She didn't go off for this unless she might leave to get insight for herself. She spent a very long retreat finally free of prejudice against her.

She had to discover liberation. She sought Buddhism without limits. She was left to herself. She trancended the monks' interpretations way back there in time and place.

She built her hermitage at 13,200 feet high in Ladakh. She repaired a lair on a cliff. She spent a million minutes meditating in a six-by-ten cell.

She often nearly starved to death. All the same, she drank her tea between six and eight o'clocks, twice daily. She told Vicki Mackenzie in her book "Cave in the Snow": "I'm English, you know!"

Ghriangraf/ Photo: "Amuigh an hUaimh/ Outside the Cave."

3 comments:

Bo said...

I'm no modern Irishist, but do you know when a phrase like 'ina aonar' stopped taking an h- (**ina haonar, 'in her single-man', <*in esias oinowiru, or similar?)I think it would have done in Middle Irish. Just insitinct--like I say i don't know Modern Irish well to write. Just curious, wondered if you knew.

Lovely post. Tenzin Palmo is profoundly inspiring, I think. Just reading Batchelor's brilliant 'Awakening of the West' at the moment.

Fionnchú said...

I haven't any notion of how "ina haonar" changed, Bo, only that's how the focloir renders it! It did look funny to me without the "h-"; I am away from my dictionaries at present, but I will poke about them to see if I can figure out other variations. Donna Wong's misleadingly titled compendium "A Learner's Guide to the Irish Language" may help here; sorry about my total lack of O/MI that I hope one day to rectify.

Have you read "Cave in the Snow" or Tenzin's "Reflections from Beside a Mountain Lake"? What a story of hers that I never knew until the chapter I found a few days ago in Jeffery Paine's "Re-Enchantment" (review forthcoming here; it's already up at Amazon US). Is she better known in England?

Would you believe: I was on a hunt for Batchelor's very book two weeks ago. It's been o-o-p a long time and is scarce even in our libraries; in the Commonwealth it had a wider publication (HarperCollins-Aquarian) than in the U.S. by a small press.

Despite depleted budget and lack of space for more titles, this is one work I've got to have permanently. I almost bid on E-Bay from Australia or Britain despite postage markup on it but then found a domestic case of violence done upon a cheaper copy, apparently battered but still intact, that just came into the metasearch bookfinding engine I use. I've been needing to read this and I can hardly wait for it in the mail!

Of course, soon after I will review it. Batchelor's website did not have much about this earlier book, unfortunately. When I do post on it here, please comment on your own thoughts about what I am sure will be a "brilliant" addition to my crammed shelves.

Bo said...

Oh God, I could have sent you mine!