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The Diamond Mountain Blog

This is an unofficial blog of news and info from Diamond Mountain University and Retreat Center which was founded by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of the Dalai Lamas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lama Dome Dailies, Dec 13

From the MacBook of Venerable Gyelse:

On top of the mountain, blue sky, wind, and more wind, the wind blowing so hard that it almost blew Jim Dey and Gyelse off the dome. Dust in the eyes, jack hammer going, countless trips with the kabota to bring up dirt to make cob with, chain saws, firewood, the crawler bringing firewood up the hill, stoking the stove to dry the bag, the cob, more water, dirt, dust, mud, cold fingers growing warm as they push the cob into the wall, cob and more cob.
Another momentous day on the dome. 

As the sun reached its zenith the crew set to work, all you could hear was a steady sound the sound of tap, tap, tap, like woodpeckers coming from all sides of the dome. People were tamping out the cracks that had formed in the cob over night. At the end of each day we admire our work, the smooth and graceful walls we have created and then in the morning we come back to cracks and fishers caused when the cob dries. After the cracks are all "sutured," as Jim likes to say, they are then filled with more cob and slip and again smoothed for another try at that beautiful smooth finish we are going for. You can see the cool designs on either side of the front door that Bert and Christine have done.

Then the excitement began when Bert removed the braces inside the dome that were supporting parts of the upper dome, and now we wait to see what will happen. Marks were made on the inside to see if there will be any shift, so far so good. The cobbing on the outside of the walls grows ever higher and has reached all the way around the dome. We now have a series of steps climbing up on two sides of the dome, beautifully sculpted into the dome using flat rocks found on the mountainside. One will go to a star gazing seat and the other all the way up to the top of the dome if repairs are needed.

The Lamas are coming home tonight so it was our last chance for a while to bring up all the dirt and sand we need to make cob. We are excited to see how they like their new home with the doors and windows all in and soon the skylight too. This winter they will be doing their two-month retreat here at DM.

Spirits are high, and the work crew is determined to cover as much of the dome with cob as we can before the inspection, we have one more week, and we are getting closer to the top. We have different groups making cob and slip and cobbing the walls, and jumping in wherever we are needed. It is great fun and hard work, and glorious sunsets to cap it off.

Photos of the Day, December 12. 2008



Blogger Ricci said...

From the MacBook belonging to the one with obstacles that keep my body in South Florida instead of on the mountain top at Lama Dome where my heart really is - I thank you Ven. Gyelse - for painting a picture with your words that allow me to share in the events as if I were really there. I also thank you all - I know you are all working so hard, harder than you should because some of us are not there. I rejoice in all your wonderful, beautiful merit. May I one day serve you all - in whatever capacity that is needed. - Ricci

December 14, 2008 12:57 PM  

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