Tenzin Nargyal, eagle-man, sits on his carpeted dais,
nodding, yawning, laughing with his sprawled audience.
In reverence, they file in forwards, file out backwards,
through the heavy, wooden door, the life-giving portal.

The endless and nameless make their way here, across
every weather and transport, across stricken landscapes,
urban and remote, some have prostrated for months
on pristine, steaming new Chinese bitumen.

In return, Tenzin Nargyal inclines, offering
small packets of juniper and tiny coloured threads of longevity,
his clipped words, uncut diamonds.
All is clasped, unceremoniously, in wonder,
secreted in deep folds of karmic oblivion.

On one hand, it is only a little blessing, for a little life,
a pebble in the vast Changtang scree,
a microdot in an infinite canvas,
on the other hand, it is a mountain of a blessing,
for a mountain of a life, mirrored
in the immutable gaze of Kang Rinpoche.

The baton in Tenzin Nargyal’s hand taps heads
gently, his mudra is playful,
hooking the little finger of his left hand,
inviting nothingness on stage.
He is there and not-there, manifesting in bliss.

In the dukhang below, cacaphony reigns.
Screeching horns and shattering drums
beseech the wrathful deities to protect the dharma.
In the perfect noise,
the crunching of time is palpable,
the silence complete.


* karmic the recognition that actions have repercussions throughout lives and across consecutive lives
* Kang Rinpoche the sacred mountain Kailash in the Transhimalaya of Tibet (precious jewel of snows)
* mudra spiritual gesture, usually with the hands and fingers
* dukhang main Tibetan chanting hall
* dharma vaguely translated as the ‘eternal law’