I received several notifications that my visa application and materials have been sent back to me from the Indian Consulate in San Francisco today. None of these communications indicate if my application was approved or denied.
There are actually two separate travel permits needed to go to Sera Jey. First is the visa to enter India. The second is called a PAP – a Protected Area Permit. Sera Jey is within one of the Tibetan Settlements the Indian Government established for the Tibetans who fled the Chinese oppression and destruction of their country. These settlements have remained — once tent camps built in jungles and now more like small cities.
I received my PAP ten days ago, it is effective June 15, 2022. This is the same date I requested my visa for.
Mid-June is the preferred travel time – the weather is nice, there’s time to get acclimated to the very different surroundings and to join the summer intensive Tibetan study group. That along with a tutor will hopefully get me ready for when classes start in the fall. Or at least will help me know where to go when classes start in the fall!
While at the monastery I will stay at Hadong Khangtsen. This is one of the 13 houses which all monks are divided into. Jhado Rinpoche was at Hadong, therefore so was Geshe Damchoe. Jhado Rinpoche is my preceptor – he bestowed my ordination vows on me and is my teacher. As is Geshe Damchoe. I am honored to stay at Hadong.
Lama Jinpa stayed at Lawa Khangtsen, as his teacher before him did. I look forward to bringing his greetings there, and perhaps seeing some of the grown kids from the pictures we have in our hallway of Lama la’s time there.
Mid-June is a very short time from now. There is a lot to prepare, a lot of practice to do, and things to learn between now and then. My excitement and anxiety ebb and flow easily these days. Staying present and focused is not always easy! I’m ready to go to the candy store and gym and the cardiologist all at the same time!