During our one week at Namo Buddha, I sadly did not reach enlightenment – but I DID fall in love with Tingmo, a steamed Tibetan bread. It was slow at first; I remember hesitantly taking the smallest piece and eating it plain, so I was unsure if there was a spark between us. Our retreat master, Tashi-la, had told us monks love everything they eat because they fully focus on the taste. Over the next several meals, I started to focus on the fluffiness, the softness, and the steamy freshness of Tingmo. When dipped in chickpea soup or with a chocolate spread scooped over its rolls, I slowly found myself falling head over heels for the flavor. It was glorious.
The bread became the biggest driving factor at getting me out of bed at 5:45 each morning, in addition to the morning puja. I started reaching for the fattest roll of Tingmo and would even take a second offering. In the spirit of Buddhism, on our last day I gave some of my portion to Savannah, who was hungrier than I was and shares a similar respect for the bread. Since nothing in this life is permanent, as Tashi-la taught us, we had to say goodbye to Tingmo and Namo Buddha yesterday. At least now, with the right concentration, I can eat anything and love the taste. But it takes a lot of concentration. Regardless, I sincerely hope other visitors will be able to fully enjoy the Tibetan bread as much as we did.