Thursday 29th October – Boudhanath

Although I don’t always say, I start each day with a meditation practice. Yoga is sometimes in the morning, other times, early evening or both. Today, we started with a silent meditation – where we can choose to go to the Meditation Room to meditate but where there is no guidance from James, our teacher. Yoga followed immediately afterwards – an hour and a half practice today, then breakfast.

At 09.30 we set off to Boudhanath , also known as Boudha- only a 20 minute or so drive away….I hadn’t prepared myself for the sight that greeted me. The beautiful stupa – the central focus of Boudha has suffered an enormous amount of damage which was incredibly sad to witness.

Here’s a photo of the stupa taken before the earthquake…..

……and here it is following the earthquake…..

An extensive clear up and emergency repairs have already been done. Bricks from the top of the stupa are stacked neatly in piles but what moved me more than anything was sight of the local men and women (and some visitors from around the world) carrying cement on their backs up a makeshift bamboo staircase leading to the top of the dome where rebuilding of the stupa had began. There were others carrying sand and cement bags ready for mixing. Others shovelling cement into wicker baskets which were the lifted onto the back of the volunteer. The baskets were held in place by a strap which went across the crown of the head. Apart from the cement mixer, there were no ‘mod cons’ – I could imagine that the scene would have looked the fairly similar when it was originally constructed.

This was a community proud to be coming together to bring their beloved Boudhanath Stupa back to life. I was humbled beyond belief. I wanted to hug each and every one of them. It’s a sight I will never forget……

 

Here’s an article you might be interested in seeing… http://www.euronews.com/2015/04/27/how-nepal-earthquake-devastated-kathmandus-unesco-heritage/

Difficult to follow that experience but let’s try…..

We visited the Buddhist Temple in Boudhanath with James as our guide. He is very clever at making his talks accessible as well as informative. He’s very approachable to so we can ask him anything without feeling like the only one who doesn’t have a clue about, in this case, Buddhism.

James – a wealth of knowledge….



Following lunch we set off to White Gompa, a Buddhist monastery and where James had studied. More sad news – the monastery has been condemned and will have to be rebuilt from scratch!

Fortunately, monastic life can continue as there are other buildings within the complex that are being utilised.

We were given a talk on an Introduction To Buddhism – The Four Noble Truths by Khenpo Tokpa Tulku, a very learned monk with a great command of the English language and a great sense of humour….oh and a rather snazzy goaty beard 🙂 Here he is with our wonderful guide, Bidur.


All in all, another unbelievable day – a day of very mixed emotions and certainly unforgettable….

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