Friday, March 28, 2014

Free time

There was plenty of free time at the monastery, for the volunteers.  The students on the other hand were very busy, especially since exams were coming up.  When Dr. Tom's dental clinic was open I spent time in there, chatting with him, his hygienist, Connie, the patients and the monks who were volunteering.  I have never been more motivated to take good care of my teeth after seeing some of the teeth and the extractions that were performed.
One morning Harrison, Paul, Alex and I went hiking (trekking) around the monastery before classes started.  The hike started by climbing down this cliff.   We went hiking for a while, got a little lost and came back for classes.  It will be nice to go back and have the time to go on some of the longer hikes on the days we there are no classes.
I took a lot of photos of the mountains.  In the morning the skies were clear and we had a beautiful view of the Himalayas.  There was one night near the full moon where we got lucky and could see the mountain range at night, we even saw a shooting star.  When I go back, I am taking our DSLR camera; just to see the difference in how the photos turn out.  
One afternoon I watched the older monks play Football with Harrison and David.  The monks are big fans of football, they often stay up all night on their one TV night to watch football matches.  While I was there the Cricket World Cup matches were going on, we saw people gathered in the streets watching the any TV they could find.
Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon a group of the volunteers tagged along with Paul and Harrison to meditation classes lead by Drolka, a former Buddhist nun.  You can read all about Paul and Harrison's adventures on Paul's blog (http://delusionaljourney.com/).  

All of us would spend some time discussing Buddhism, Daoism and meditation.  Drolka was interested in the the differences between the types of meditation that I do.  She also asked if I would mind teaching a little bit of Qigong.  I loved teaching Qigong!  I am motivated and encouraged to learn more so that I when I return to Nepal I can teach at a couple of places.  This was the beautiful room that we practiced both meditation and Qigong in.  
The view of the lake from the porch of the Buddhist center.  
I was fortunate enough to be in town to celebrate Holi, a Hindu spring festival.  Paul wrote all about our day on his blog (http://delusionaljourney.com/love-things-holi/).  Click on the link to see an amusing photo of me! He has some much better photos, because he was brave enough to bring his camera despite the colors, the water and the paint.  

Question to consider: Have you ever experienced a festival in a foreign country?  






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