Friday, November 07, 2008

missing the monastery days

A typical day in the monastery.
6:00am wake up for tea and sunrise.

06:30am morning meditation

on one occasion, we join the monks at their morning puja. they do puja prayers every morning at 5:30am. we are allowed to sit and watch. they serve milk tea and a roti during this 2hr puja, here you see the little monks doing a little cleaning up after tea.

love the cushions the different fabrics but still all under the same tone and shade.

07:30am breakfast
after breakfast i usually find a spot and write my journal. during the course, we are to observe silence everyday from 6am till 2pm.

09:00am morning teaching by ani karin, our passionate teacher who is a nun for 25 years. she is from sweden.

11:00am lunch! yummy vegetarian food. most of us bought the cookbook which was compiled by a former student from the US who also loves the food. oh i really miss the handmade chunky peanut butter! its the best i ever tasted! everyone loves it on the roti! after lunch, most of us like to enjoy the warm october sun.

another of my favourite spot is on top of the small hill just behind the main gompa. just lie here and enjoy my apple and book. and at night, its really peaceful to lie here and look at the stars right above you, hearing the dogs barking (crazy dogs of nepal who sleep in the day and bark like mad at night, but we got used to it.) in the background. sometimes after breakfast, we do yoga here. best view! i really feel i am saluting to the sun when i do the surya namaskara (sun salutation) sequence from here.
oh yes anotehr day, another nap. i do this everyday after lunch. the sun is warm, the breeze is cool. what more can i ask for in life?

02:00pm group discussion.
03:00pm afternoon teaching by geshe thubten sherab. i love his class and his sense of humour! 'do you get it? do you get what i mean?' he is always asking us that. haha oh i miss his tibetan accent english too! here is a photo of me getting an autograph from him. hehe. kidding i asked him to write 'om mani padme hum' for me in tibetan on my notebook. : )

05:30pm tea time! we all heading for milk tea!
my roommate, caroline, enjoying her tea at the terrace above the dining hall (above photo), watching the eagles soaring in from the east every evening. there used to be hundreds of them i was told. but the number had decreased significantly for the past few years. they just come soaring in with the wind. you feel so free watching them gliding above you. no effort. no need to flap the wings. just flowing with the wind.
the monks are also having their break. they love to play with bapu, the fluffy dog, the monks are always playing with him. watching them play is such a joy. hearing the monks' laughter and bapu barking in excitement and sometimes howling and whining when they tease him. there are altogether 3 dogs in the monastery.
06:00pm evening meditation
when the sun sets, its time for the evening meditation. another 1 and a half hr of sitting. this is the time of the day which i find it hardest to focus. my mind would get distracted easily, thinking about dinner, what food would we be having, the dogs would start barking, the crickets have already started their symphony (and they are loud!), temperature starts to drop, you start to get weary having woke up at 6am.... you just can't wait to get it done and go for dinner!
07:00pm dinner time! we volunteer to wash the dishes, which is such a fun experience.
08:00pm question and answer time. on the last nite, we had a light offering prayers done in the stupa garden under the stars. we all bought candles and light them. there were thousands of them. the atmosphere was beyond descriptions, beyond words. i just remember feeling we are all the same, we are all looking for happiness and peace in our lives, no matter where you come from, which country, what religion you believe in, rich or poor. we are all looking for the same thing in life. here you see us around chenrezig (embodiment of the compassion of all the buddhas. chenrezig may be the most popular of all buddhist deities, except for Buddha himself. he is beloved throughout the Buddhist world. He is known by different names in different lands: as avalokiteshvara in the ancient sanskrit language of india, as kuan-yin in china, as kannon in japan.) light them up. it was a beautiful experience.) fountain in front of the stupa.

09:00-09:30pm: finally bed time!!! by now, we are all tired. we just go straight to bed and wake up at 5:45am the next day.


Blogger sock said...

wow it seems like a really great experience, peaceful and really beautiful. someday i hope to be able to embark on such a journey too, to really feel and be at peace with myself. do share more!

November 08, 2008 8:20 AM  

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