During one of her school holidays Max accompanied Lama Yeshe to Delhi, where he shared a room at the Hotel Diplomat with Domo Geshe Rinpoche from Samten Chöling Monastery in Ghoom, Darjeeling. Domo Geshe was on his way to Switzerland to perform certain rituals for the Tibetan community there. At Lama Yeshe’s request, Max accompanied Domo Geshe Rinpoche on what she recalls as the first ever 747 jumbo jet flight out of India. She also brought him back to Delhi, as usual paying all costs.
Max wanted to take Domo Geshe and Lama Yeshe to Japan for a short holiday, but this was not possible on their refugee Indian identity certificates (IC), the government-issued passport-substituting documents for refugees. Instead, they spent a week on a houseboat on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir. Domo Geshe Rinpoche, who spoke excellent English, took many photographs.
Srinagar is the summer capital of the northwestern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and is located on the shores of Dal Lake. The lake is connected to several other lakes in the Kashmir Valley. An extremely picturesque vacation spot, the lake is known for its Victorian-era wooden houseboats, which had been built as vacation homes for members of the British Raj. Following the shoreline around the lake is a long boulevard lined with Mughal-era gardens, parks and hotels. Lotus flowers and water lilies float on the lake’s surface, and kingfishers and herons can be seen in quiet coves or flying close to shore.
Max Mathews: “Domo Geshe was a master mind manipulator. He constantly asked me questions and baited me. I was so green and naïve that my answers just cracked him and Lama right up. They laughed and laughed at me. The American astronauts had just walked on the moon the previous year, and they asked me, ‘Did they see the beings there?’ Domo Geshe insisted there were plenty of living beings on the moon. He and Lama were like two little old ladies, cooking, enjoying the lake, the flowers, the peace, and laughing at me. They laughed at everything.
“I could feel Domo Geshe’s incredible power. I knew Lama also had that kind of power, but he never showed it to me the way Domo Geshe did. I could feel him sweeping my mind until there was nothing left in it but this visualization of a huge erect penis, and I knew he could see that. Well, I couldn’t just sit there with that in my head, so I acted as if I had to do something. Just as I was about to go out the door, Domo Geshe burst out laughing and asked me, ‘How do you protect your mind?’ I said I didn’t know. He said to me, ‘You use your mantra.’
“He was always doing things to my mind. It would suddenly go blank, then a vision would arise that I just knew he had put there. Domo Geshe could walk into your mind as if it were a living room. Later Lama said to me, ‘You can have no more secrets, because any lama can just look into your mind and see what’s there.’ I wondered how they learned to do that!”