Friday, September 30, 2005

September 30th...Only a week ago!

Well, I left off last evening with shots of Tylertown. We didn't stay there long, maybe an hour, before hitting the road. It was getting late and Rita was on her way so off we went...but not far...We ran into another group of sangha members (they're from our Arizona sangha) and had to stop and chat a while. Many of us know each other well, so it was great to be able to see each other face to face for a few minutes...

Hard to believe all this happened just a week ago! Posted by Picasa

We didn't make it far that first night...we'd started out from Bayou Labatre early, had a stop in Mobile to get Chris and Hao into their rental car, and a long drive to Tylertown from there. The only proper meal we'd had was breakfast. It turned out that we had to drive longer than we wanted to besides, as all the hotels in Mississippi were full of refugees, the situation was the same in a good portion of Tennessee. We finally found a room at a Best Value. Ani Rene couldn't stand the thought of keeping the dogs in crates while we slept in you can see how it went... Posted by Picasa

This is Benji, he became Ani Rene's companion. He had some behavioral issues...and Ani Rene, ever the generous heart, stood by him the whole time... Posted by Picasa

This is Fluffy, a mixed terrier. He traveled with Phyllis and Ani Rene for the ride up.  Posted by Picasa

This is Benson with James, who is going to be fostering him... Posted by Picasa

The dogs kept us responsible...we now had to stop and take breaks...We found these three hung out well together. Benson, the Fox Terrier, was a little too aggressive with the others, so we let James run him by himself. James fell for him hard, and will be fostering him! Posted by Picasa

Phyllis took to Fluffy, we all found ourselves wanting to take these guys home with us. Phyllis was giving Fluffy his meds every day (he had a cough and was receiving antibiotics) and it quickly became a bond... Posted by Picasa

It didn't take Jack Pot long to bunch up the plastic we'd spread to protect the seats, and then he found my bag of back up clothing (I spend so much time at the temple I always keep an extra set of clothes in the car) and proceeded to make a bed out of it. He was happy to ride in the back seat...while the other passanger in our car spent all her time up front with us... Posted by Picasa

As we rode the ferry across the Potomac River, our hearts grew a little heavy at the thought of parting with our new companions. Here James shares his view of the ride with Anna... Posted by Picasa

Once back in Maryland we had to swing by the temple to pick up everyone's car (I had mine, but James and Rene needed theirs), so we took the dogs for a quick run around the Stupa! I videotaped it, so no stills...sorry. Susie was waiting for us, so we didn't hang out here too long... Posted by Picasa

This is a shot of Anna, the one that stole my heart, as we left the temple headed for Susie's place... Posted by Picasa

Here's a look at Susie's garage now converted to a kennel. She sealed the floor, installed crates, bedding, had food and bowls on hand. It is protected from the weather, and easily accessed from the house. It was a great place, but we did feel bad putting the guys up in pens...they'd all behaved so well in the cars... Posted by Picasa

Here Lisa is running Benson in the fenced run Susie had built for the dogs! She had the fence built and door installed in the garage in 48 hours! The contractors wouldn't accept her payment when she told them why she was having it done. You can see they had a great landing place here in Maryland! Posted by Picasa

Evidently it's baby alpaca season...this is a one week old with it's Mom, and Susie is expecting two more! Alpaca's carry their babies for a year before giving birth, so this is a big deal. Thus, this weekend Susie is inviting folks to come out and look at our precious cargo and offering them to foster homes. For those of us who traveled with them for a few days, it's a little tough to see that happen (all of us grew attached to them!). Knowing where they are and that we could visit was comforting. Heck, just think of their owners if we're such goof balls after just two days! In the end, foster homes would be more appropriate, as these little guys were all totally lap dogs. They don't know what this kennel thing is all about, even if they have a huge run to play in and the scent of alpacas to entice their imaginations.

We've taken them all around the Enlightenment Stupa at least! So that seed of liberation is now in their mindstreams, certain to eventually lead them to Enlightenment. So, it's time to let them go on to a better life. They'll be fostered for at least 90 days, leaving time for their owners to find them. Each has been microchipped and documented, and anyone with a tag information was given to the vet or contact on the tag. Ultimately these little dudes were meant to be reunited with their families, if at all possible. May they and all those that come into contact with them experience joy and peace.

And if you're interested in a little joy and peace, we've got the Stupas here for you! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 29, 2005

September 29th...Review...

I have to post a photo of a Stupa every day (I do know I forgot a few times when recovering from the trip, but I've got my wits about me now...). So here's a glimpse of the Enlightenment Stupa from the other day. The tigle is shining blue, it does that sometimes, catching the sun in such a way it changes colors...It's an awesome sight! But of course, you can come see for yourself! Posted by Picasa

Well, worked at the hospital today, so no Stupa stories to report. So I decided to dig out some more photos from the trip last week. This is a shot of Tylertown's animal rescue facility. We drove out there after leaving Bayou Labatre to pick up what dogs we could in our vehicles. If you'll recall Rita was still a huge threat back then, and there was concern there might be many more dogs coming, so there was a push to move the current residents to foster facilities around the country making room for new rescues. Our capacity was modest, but our hearts were gung-ho!  Posted by Picasa

Tylertown was a meeting place for us, where we Maryland sangha folks got to briefly touch base with our vajra brothers and sisters from Arizona...Here Ani Rene and Ani Pema give each other a big hug, while Norbu and Caen (remember Caen! He worked hard on the Long Life Stupa when he was in Maryland!) dote over one of their little charges... Posted by Picasa

It was dark by the time we finally got to Tylertown last Wednesday night, so the photos aren't great. But look who we ran into down there! Norbu! He gave us a tour of the facility, and told us stories about his adventures. He actually found a place to stay down in Madison, LA, where a woman had a Stupa in her backyard! She didn't even know what it was! It was great to see him, and we here in Maryland miss him, but he's doing great work! Posted by Picasa

This is a shot of the "accomodations" for the volunteers at Tylertown! Not to swanky! And the place was alive with people and animals, all devoted to the cause. There is a loud speaker, and they sound alarms whenever new animals arrive, or when an owner and pet are reunited.  Posted by Picasa

This is a shot Chris Bonebrake took when we toured the docks at Bayou Labatre. Though Biloxi was crushed, one should not forget that many along the coast lost much more than their homes and possessions. The community in Bayou Labatre lost their livelihoods! The whole town was involved in fishing, whether they actually went out and brought in fish and shrimp, or whether they worked in the processing plants cleaning and packing. All of that is now stifled. Boats were destroyed, but more than that, the Gulf is now toxic. Thus, this community will need continued support to recover, and they are just one small community along that coastline!  Posted by Picasa

I'm ending here with a photo of the crew right before we left for Alabama. This was nearly two weeks ago now! How amazing...You can see that though only a few of us actually made the trek, there were many that supported us. In fact, this is not nearly everyone! This effort is a collaboration between KPC and many other Buddhist Centers. These efforts continue, though I myself have turned my attention back to my primary responsibility (there are many working on the Katrina Relief, few of us working to complete the Stupas!).

The Stupas are a constant offering to the world, and all of us on the Stupa Crew are devoted to ensuring they remain in the world to benefit beings for generations. They are here locally, for anyone willing to travel to Poolesville (no need to go to India or Nepal!), and are a potent source of blessings. They bring healing, peace of mind, prosperity, just by being around them. No effort or special understanding required. You can offer those benefits to any and all beings you pray for too! So come on out and try it for yourself! The weather's great these days... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

September 28th...Migyur Dorje Stupa

The day started for me with an 8-10am prayer shift. After I was relieved, I walked out of the prayer room and found Amber with Sophie! Her new baby! Samten, one of the nuns at the temple, who helps run the Mani Jewel (our giftstore) was thrilled to meet the little gal! Amber was eager to get Sophie out to Migyur Dorje though, so off we went... Posted by Picasa

Sophie had her first circumambulation around Migyur Dorje today! Sorry no video camera on hand! Posted by Picasa

Obstacles arise, the creative Stupa dudet finds a way around...The sprayer is definitely not functioning properly. As I made the decision to research repair facilities (we need it for the painting!) I also broke out the brushes and bucket I'd brought just in case this happened. Lisa had warned me from last weekend that the sprayer was really not doing well. She and Gabriel had brushed on the stripper that day too. So I came out today prepared for either eventuality. I don't feel the brushing on works as well (it's a really uneven application, causing the paint to be lifted unpredictably), but one does what one can... Posted by Picasa

Much to my joyful surprise Lisa Banana showed up to work on the Stupas! She called, saying she'd gotten off work early, and wanted to know if I'd be out there! Heck yes! : ) I had found a rhythm in working by myself, but it really is much easier with two people. I kept the power washer in the truck bed (so as to avoid the need to wrangle someone from the temple to help lift it back into the truck later). When Lisa arrived I asked if she wanted to take it out (easier to move around) but she liked the idea of not having to lift it... : ) Posted by Picasa