imagine that... it only took me a whole two months to write a follow up to my last post. i guess its kinda my version of a winter's hibernation. though it never really did get all that cold out here in dharamshala. im nearing the end of my stay here. my mother is coming over all the way from holland on the 10th to spend 3 weeks with me in india. im really looking forward to it. in all my years of traveling ive never actually had any of my family over where i was staying. me and my mom have always got along great, so im stoked. not to mention, she's bringing me some of my good chinese and japanese tea from back home (im sorry india, but your tea just really isn't all that great...!), as well as some miso paste, kombu and other good healthy tasty stuff you can't get over here. we'll be doing a mostly himalayan journey, the furthest south being bodhgaya, followed by 2 weeks in ladahk. seriously, google it. ladahk is one of the high plateaus - a tibetan area that happened to fall into indian territory when the chinese made their new borders. you have to cross some of the highest mountain passes to get there. we're flying in, though, to save ourselves some time.
after that i'll be flying out to japan on march 31st. im exited to go back there. its been three years since i last been, and i miss it much. my plan is to spend my 3 months there staying at a remote small zen monestary called antaiji. it was founded by the late kodo sawaki, one of the great zen masters of the 20th century. he was known for being highly rebellious and revitalizing zen buddhism from a state of stagnation (from most all accounts zen priests at the time were, and still are, not much more than a glorified bunch of funeral directors - kodo sawaki rebelled against this by reemphasising the importance of meditation, called zazen).
anyway.... enough about that! i made many good friends here during my stay in dharamshala, and i will miss them dearly. but such is life! best enjoy it while it lasts!