Our walk from the Thuptenchholing Monastery to Singephuk was beautiful. We made our way out of one type of terrain to find ourselves in a forest. The mulched ground and the mossy trees lent itself to such a silence. It was a beautiful trek. On our way we stopped at a 'cave' where monks used to spend time in solitude. So, this is something interesting we've learned about since visiting Nepal and many monasteries. When I picture a monk living in solitude, it is usually in a sparse room alone, maybe only a book of Buddhism to keep him company. But apparently what solitude means is that a few monks go to a place and lock themselves away from the rest of the world, but the monks can speak with each other. It's just different from what I pictured. Anyhow, we went to look at a 'cave' that monks use for solitary thoughts. I use the word cave loosely, because they had fashioned an overhang of rock with bricks and a window, and called it a cave. Once again, we had pictured something else.
We stopped by a monastery school to look around, and they invited us in for tea. People talk about trekking and stopping in Tea Houses along the way. Well, I don't think I've seen a tea house, or stopped in one, but we have stopped in numerous monasteries where they offer us tea galore. It's a nice practice.
We finally made it to Shengeephuk, and it was breathtaking. A rounded out valley of massive proportions. Spring fed streams twist and tangle all about the valley floor. Set up of the left side of the valley wall sits the cave where the well respected, and recently deceased, Rimpoche spent three years in meditation. Seth and I went for a walk trying to find the main source of the spring, but we decided that it was too high up on the wall. By the time we decided this we were a bit of a boggy walk back to camp. We spent a good amount of time rock hopping so as to not step in mud or fall in the water.
A little while later we went back up to the cave house with all of our guys to pay respect to the late lama. It was a very nice experience to be ble to share that with them. We had a bunch of katas (prayer shawls) that we gave to all of them, and Poorba, our sherpa guide shared some of his grain with us in order to make an offering that way. We then hung our prayer flags. It was very nice.
That evening is when I began to feel unwell. But, I was determined to shake it.