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"Six billion different faces."
After lunch, Rabjam got into the centre's side-by-side ATV and drove the Yangsi up the hill to the house of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Khyentse, the centre's director and a world-renowned filmmaker, is a student of the Yangsi's predecessor and the head of Khyentse Foundation, a charity that recently endowed a chair of Buddhist studies at Berkeley. Although Khyentse was away in Europe, he had encouraged this visit to Sea to Sky Retreat Centre. The Yangsi and Rabjam toured the small Japanese-style house, said some brief aspirations and then they rejoined their small party for the walk back down the forest path to the dock.
On the plane, the Yangsi sat in the back. The hatch was open, and he attempted to close it from within.
"Watch your fingers," a woman called.
He withdrew his hand and then, perhaps impishly, put it out again, fingers splayed.
The aircraft's pilot emerged from the forest. He latched the hatch from without, got in, and steered the plane slowly down the lake, almost out of sight.
"Is he going to take off that way?" I asked.
Then the engine roared, and the plane turned into the wind and took flight to the south. We stood and watched it until it was just a dot crossing the white face of the Tantalus.