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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

Diners, Drive-ins and Monastaries

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.