Lama Ngapa Shakes the Dice





Keeping an open mind, I decide that my mind would be open enough to have my immediate kismet – if fate has an intermediate stage – foretold by a lama.  The idea of rolling the dice, reading the tarot, seeing angels in tea leaves, stirring the entrails of a dead goat, laying silver on the palm of a chiromancer or allying the state of one’s being to the configuration or disfiguration of the planets used to be a no no:  now it was a yes yes.

But as there is a limit to our knowledge in an infinite world of possibilities; and there is a diminishing amount of time during which to discover just that little bit more, if not about the world then about oneself, I decide to give it a go.  By trying to be realistic one can become too cynical:  so I’m willing to open myself to the experience of having my fortune/misfortune told.  As Dawa, my daughter, says, It should be fun.

The Lama’s room is next to a Buddhist clinic a few minutes from the main Stupa at Boudha. I must have passed it hundreds of times but for some reason never noticed. This is typical of the area.  There are always nooks and crannies, lanes and narrow gullies that are missed no matter how many time you might pass them by.

When I enter the room, there are several other clients waiting and the Lama is reciting some prayers with that machine-gun speed that always amazes me.  He is unusual in that he has long hair tied back and a rather scanty beard and mustache.

After some time, he finishes and a woman from a remote village asks him about accommodation she is having a problem with.  After the advice is given, she hands him an airmail envelope containing some money wrapped in a kata (Tibetan scarf).

My sister-in-law is next.  She asks about a pain in her knees, although I’m not sure what his answer is as he talks to her Hyolmu, a Tibetan dialect.  Probably he’s telling her to eat less and lose weight.

Then it’s Fulmaya’s turn.  She’s been wondering about returning to Scotland:  will she be able to settle back into her routine?  What about the weather, the house, the work, the food, the expenses?

My question is also about our return to Scotland:  should we rent or buy another property as our house is currently being let for an indefinite period while we gallivant around the world?

He opens a little six-sided silver box, intricately tooled with a filigree design, and takes out what I presume to be dice, although I never quite see them.  After a few shakes, he says a mantra and blows on them, reconsiders and shakes and blows again.
Lama NgapkaLama

This routine is repeated a few times then he tells me that I should either look for another house to buy, but not immediately; rather, consider a few offers of places I would like to stay and if the price is right, buy.  Otherwise, he says, Look for a place to rent and be prepared to stay there but not for more than two-years. 

I give him an airmail envelope containing NRs505 wrapped in a kata and he gives me some kind of blessing.   (Apparently, according to the culture, one should not give a round figure as an offering, thus the extra five-rupees.)

The advice sounds sound and we leave feeling happier.  I don’t suppose we have been told anything we couldn’t think of ourselves, but the conviction with which we’ve been counselled does give us a certain feeling of elation – or are we kidding ourselves?  Nevertheless, a little bit of paranormal experience has done no harm and, after all, Lama Ngakpa is a really affable man and seems to have an inner peace and happiness that is communicable to all who meet him.  My maxim now…

 “There are more things in heaven and earth…than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”









Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.