Monday, 24 February 2014


Had a wonderful day visiting the site where Boudha meditated until he was so thin that a passing princess, who wanting a child promised God she would help anyone who needed it if only he blessed her with children, and so he did. On seeing the yet unenlightened Prince Siddartha starving beneath the tree she made a porridge with her breast milk and offered it to him. Siddartha did not want to eat until he had achieved enlightenment, but knowing that he could not refuse as he believed to refuse would go against the Universal order he took it and ate. Once he had finished the energy produced enabled him to get up and walk further. It also gave him the energy his body needed to eventually gain enlightenment a couple of kilometers away under the Bodhi tree, the site of which is now a massive complex containing a beautiful golden Buddha and a shrine wrapped around a Bodhi tree. This story reminds me of something I read during my summer of learning. It basically said the same thing. If you see  a £1 coin lying on the ground you should not feel guilty in picking it up. Likewise if someone offers you something you should not be embarrassed to take it. If you do not take this offer from the Universe it will assume that you are not ready to receive any other gifts it will send your way and will therefore not send any further abundance your way. Remember energy follows thought. Buddha knew this and had to accept the milk of human kindness in order it turned out to achieve enlightenment shortly after.  
There are a lot of monasteries around the Mahabodhi Temple donated by countries all over the world. There are thousands of pilgrims again from all over India and the world. We are definitely in the minority and people just come over to talk to us. Or if they can't speak English they just stare. I get a lot of looks because of the red colour of my hair and my blue eyes. If they can speak English they will comment on them. It's funny as we stick out like sore thumbs and they are amazed that we should be into Buddhism. Inside the complexes it is very peaceful. Outside it's a different matter. There are beggars everywhere, young and old and some terribly disabled. We give money to some but it's impossible to give to all as there are so many. The ricksaw drivers hassle you constantly, rather like the Taxi drivers in Bali. They see you refuse one then come straight over and ask you again. It starts to get rather annoying. I feel we should get T shirts saying 'thank you but we would rather walk'.
There are a lot of stalls, all selling garish souvenirs and mostly all have the same stuff. But there are also stalls selling old Tibetan artifacts. I found a real thighbone Chod trumpet, embossed with turquoise and coral. Just like the one I saw in Goa. It's like the Universe keeps presenting them to me, is it trying to tell me to devote time to Chod practice ? It was beautiful if rather grim. We looked at it but I decided I would stick to the lovely metal one given to me by Chhewang as I will always treasure that. Then we found some really old Mala's- Tibetan prayer beads. We bought one made of Amber and each bead is embossed with Turquoise  and Coral, it's beautiful and as soon as I picked it up I knew it had been loved and cherished. I am so pleased to be the next owner and I will cherish it also for the time it is with me.
So tomorrow we leave here for Delhi then home on Wednesday.  This has been a fantastic journey once again. The Universe has opened its doors for us and we have enjoyed every minute. From being with the Tibetans around the Stupa to the madness that was Varanasi, to the peacefulness of the temples here in Bodgaya. Time seemed to stand still. Now it's catching up with us once again and soon we shall return to our normal lives. But I would like to think that a little of all the places we have visited shall stay with us. 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

summary Varanasi

This is hard. Dispite the difficult start the staff at the hotel came round . Whether  this was due to our original complaint or because the majority of their customers are only here a couple of nights so they don't bother or because of our tips we shall never know. But knowing human nature and getting used to India I unfortunately have to say tipping works wonders. However we have enjoyed our time in Varanasi .  Varanasi is 84 kilometers square and has a population of 4 million plus the millions of pilgrims that come here each year. If you are Hindu you should visit this holy city at least once in your life, so there are hundreds of hostels for each state of India. These hostels are free for Hindu visitors although they are expected to leave a donation. So the population of Vanransi is transient and exceeds the usual 4 million on a daily basis. That's a lot of human life in a very small area, that's forgetting the cows, goats, donkeys monkeys dogs and any other wildlife that could possibly survive in this harsh environment. This is difficult but I have to say I believe they find western visitors a convenient way to make a bit on the side and no more. Each time you leave your hotel beggars and very nice polite young men hassle you. The beggars are obvious and you can choose to give them money or not. The nice polite men and sometimes children are a different matter. After striking up conversation with you they eventually get to the sales pitch of asking you if you would like to visit their shop, just to look. No pressure to buy, just come for a look. If you fob them off by saying we haven't got time today they say how about to tomorrow. You say ok to get them off your back. By this time they know your names. Next time you leave the hotel they appear, they call you by name and ask if you are ready to visit their shop and again you fob them off. It does become a nuisance . It's a game and you all know you are playing it. In the end you have to be truthful and say sorry but we are not coming because we are not interested. It is tiresome but it is the way here. Around every corner there is a sorry scene. Animals are usually in a state. Some humans fair no better. You have to accept you have limits as to who or what you can help. It's hard.  The Indians appear to do very little to help  one another whether man or beast. Mother India it seems expects that every stranger to her shore is ready and willing to part with their cash. This country more that any other we have visited expects something for nothing.  It appears to do very little to help itsself. You look at it and wonder how it has survived this long. Then you have to remember this is one of the fastest growing economies. But every man seems bent on just looking out for himself.
This  may sound harsh but Nepal is really poor, there we are treated as human beings. Here we are merely cash cows. Money talks. Nothing else. Fact. 
Same as the Hindu religion here. In Bali I was accepted into the temples and treated as an equal. I was allowed to pray to Hindu gods with all the local people. I did not feel marginalised. Here we have to undergo security checks. Leave all electronic goods and bags in lockers just to enter the grounds. Under no circumstance would we be allowed to enter the inner sanctums. I find this strange as Hindus state that they are fully tolerant of all other religions. However no other religions are allowed to visit their temples for fear of spiritual pollution. I find this hard and judgemental.
However its not all bad. Varansi as a holy city will not allow Hindus who have not eaten into the temples, so they make sure that all the beggars have something to eat each day. Many temples offer free meals, this is a good thing.  I also felt the energy of human devotion and faith, especially whilst on the Ganges.  The spiritual energy is something India cannot rob you of. Which I guess is why we westerners flock here and have for centuries.
For me the difference in tolerance between Hinduism in Bali, Thailand and India is marked. In Bali and Thailand we were free to join in and felt a big part of the culture. In Varanasi we are aware of a huge gap. Although on a local level we felt welcome to participate in Arti ceremony and ablution in the Ganges, we were definitely excluded from the inner sanctums. Our money is welcome our devotion is not. Although every Hindu we spoke to was quick to tell us there is only one God, I wonder if they feel that God could also be ours.
Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful to have visited this most holy of Hindu cities and we have had a wonderful time. The highlight has to be our bathe this morning with some of the pilgrims. For me that was a very personal spiritual experience . However I cannot help but feel based solely on my personal view Indian Hinduism is a totally secular religion that is marketed for the tourist trade purely to provide money and little much else.
That said we would not have missed this experience for the world. Tomorrow we return to Buddhism as we leave Varanasi for our final two days in Boudhgaya.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Bathing in the Ganges

Yesterday morning we had an nearly start with a sunrise boat ride. We started at 6 am and visited another cremation site and sat in the boat to welcome the sunrise. It was beautiful. There were a few other boats all ful of pilgrims, chanting. One was full of what looked like Nepalese or Tibetans. They were the loudest and were chanting Om mani padme hung, which was a lovely surprise and I took it to be a final blessing from the Stupa.  Then a quick tour around some of the old town and a peek inside one of the oldest Hindu temples. We came back and meditated on our veranda and had lunch at the Aum cafe where we met up with Roger and Shirley from our hotel. The afternoon was spent reading and resting in the sunshine and watching the local events from our verandah high above the street. In the evening there was a local Arti ceremony where we met up with our friends once again and had a nice meal and chat.
This morning we got up early and went down to the Ghats. They were busy with all the locals going in to bathe. Not wanting to get in the way we sat for a few minutes to watch. As it got a little less crowded I saw my moment and told Dennis I would just go in for a paddle. I attracted a lot of attention as I took off my shoes. I could see all the locals looking at me and wondering if I was going to join them. As I got to the bottom step and my feet met the Ganges my inner goddess took over and before I knew it I was sitting in the water beside a very bemused Indian lady. So I splashed the water over my head and prayed to Shiva and Mother Ganges to remove my Karmic debts, it was a very calm moment. The water felt strangely pure and good, not at all like it looks. There were no smells coming off. I sat beside the lady praying and it felt very cleansing. Getting out was a bit tricky as the steps are quite slippery and I was attracting some attention with my wet t shirt impersonation. Then it was Dens turn, he didn't go all the way in but had a paddle and put some on his head. He kept saying that he couldn't believe it when I got all the way in, nor could I, I was as surprised as he was. But then again as you all know I never do things by halves, and this time I truly found myself upto my neck in it!!
I had to walk back to the hotel in my wet clothes, with quite a few stares, probably at the wet t shirt. Had a good hot shower  and we both remarked how soft our skin feels, then
breakfast. I was sitting at the table feeling really peaceful calm and in a wonderful place when Dennis remarked how cleansed and refreshed he felt! Now he's the sceptic, go figure that one

Thursday, 20 February 2014

the ghats

Great sunrise over the Ganges at 7 am this morning.Such a wonderful surprise. Then a lazy morning reading Bonpo teachings, then lunch at a organic cafe we have found called aum cafe. We bought 4 tops between us for £22. Then a wander down along the Ghats where we had a conversation with a nice young man who wanted to practice his English. This evening we had a boat ride down to the cremation ghats which was interesting. Differing from Nepalese cremation the older son had to throw some ' meat' belonging to the cremated person into the Ganges. We were quite close when one decided to do it and we missed the splashing water by inches, um not sure about that one. There were dogs, cows and goats crawling amongst the cremations. The cows and Goats eat the flower offerings. Our guide told us that if the ' meat' was not thrown far enough the doggies finished it off. I have to say they all looked pretty fat!! Like Kathmandu, Varanasi cremations run 24/7 so that's a lot of ' meat'.
We finished up at the Arti ceremony, where every night 7 priests perform the evening ceremony to give thanks to Shiva and the goddess of the Ganges for the proceeding day. It was a lovely thing to witness. Then back to our hotel where a local businessman is holding a party and just along the ghats is a free concert of India music. We have to be ready for 6 am tomorrow morning for another boat ride to welcome dawn, so we are hoping the festivities end soon!! Met  4 other English travellers in the restaurant this evening, who were interesting but slightly pretentious, thus reminding us why we usually avoid getting into conversations. anyhow that's it for today, we are sitting on our private terrace and fireworks are going off all around us so tonight must be a special night. Have to say Nepal smells of incense and so far India smells of stale piss. Probably because everywhere you look the locals are slashing against the wall. I kid you not !!!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Hello India

Well where to begin, we arrived in Varanasi last night and we were shown to our room, which was not what we had asked or paid for. The staff at the hotel were not interested, in fact they were down right surly. We were shown to a very small room which was filled by the bed. We were told we would have a twin bed room overlooking the Ganges. This was not that room. When I said we wanted twin beds, they all shook their heads. Then we were shown a twin room which was bigger, the curtains were drawn so I thought I'd look behind them. All I saw was a wall, about 1 m from the window. No Ganges, just wall. So the inner Goddess came through and told them what we thought. They just looked at us. Then later the manager said we could have a Ganges view room the next day, although it only had one bed. As we are both poor sleepers and I struggle to get comfy these days  as chemo has left me with restless legs we always have twin beds. So the Inner Goddess interrupted again and told them that all we wanted was what we had already paid for. Then they added insult to injury by saying we had to pay £4 per day for internet. The Goddess roared, paid for the internet and then got in touch with our tour operators. To cut a very long story short we now have the room we paid for with twin beds. We have our own private terrace on the roof of the hotel. The. Hotel manager apologised personally and will refund us 2000 rupees for our room last evening, has given us free Wifi and gave us our dinner tonight. I think the Goddess shouting trip advisor may have helped things along a bit. 
Today we went to Sarnath were Buddha gave his first teaching to his first 5 disciples.  Just like Lumbini  Buddhists from all over the world have built monastries in the surrounding area and we had a great time visiting them. There is also a Stupa built on the site of his teaching and we did Kora around it. There were some Sri Lankan pilgrims sitting around the Stupa chanting and it was very peaceful. We sat on a bench in hearing of the chanting and meditated. It was wonderful. Our guide then stopped off at a silk weaving factory where they tried very hard to get us interested in the weaving so that they could rip us off by selling us some. This was not on the itinerary , The Goddess became very bored and so as not to waste their time told them so. So within 15 minutes we were back in the car. Tomorrow we have our first boat ride to a ceremony at sunset, the rest of the day we shall spend hanging out and resting on our private terrace and watching the frenzy of life carrying on below us. Like birds....

Monday, 17 February 2014

Goodbye Boudanath

Such a wonderful last day around the Stupa. We did a little shopping and then met Chhewang for lunch. He had bought me a wonderful Thigh bone horn for Chod practice. In Chod the thigh bone horn used to be just that. A horn made from a human thigh bone. Usually of a child's. It was considered the best bone to have and was intended to make the user aware of the impermanence of life. These bones were readily available because of the high infant mortality and through sky burials. In northern Nepal and Tibet the bodies were dismembered and left on high platforms so that Eagles could devour the flesh. You have to remember that the ground would usually be frozen and there was not enough wood for cremation. Therefore Sky burials created charnel grounds were bones were left after the flesh had been removed.  This made thigh bones easy to acquire . Sky burials are still common place in remote areas, but the use of human bone for making trumpets nowadays is quite rightly frowned upon. In my Chod practice with Tempa Lama we actually used an old human thigh bone trumpet, but Chhewang bought me the next best thing, a metal trumpet that looks just like a thigh bone. I love it and will cherish it always. Thank you Chhewang. 
We did our last Koras tonight and as usual the Stupa had a gift for us. Tonight there was a group of dancers, we think from Taiwan, that were dancing in beautiful costumes in that wonderful slow controlled style of temple dancers. It was great to stand among the Tibetans and Nepalese, many of whom would never have seen anything like this. An old lady next to me kept nudging me, pointing at all the dancers and grinning in disbelief. Such a great end. Then on the way back to our hotel we left a little food and some of Dens clothes with some of the homeless. We didn't have much and there were so many of them sleeping on the roadside. 
Tomorrow afternoon we fly to Varanasi, not sure how good the internet access will be but will do our best to keep in touch. I have to say we are leaving Boudha with a heavy heart, but with so many wonderful memories. Thank you Boudha Stupa.

Sunday, 16 February 2014


Good evening last night with Chhewang and Rajive, nice dinner and good conversation, so nice to see Rajive again, he was our guide on our first trip. Such a lovely soul. Then today we spent in Thamel which is the tourist district with lots of hippy type shops. However it was quite cold and wet so all we bought was a shirt for Dennis, still we had a good wander. Then back to the hotel for a facial and massage which was good and relaxing. Then back to the Stupa for Kora and dinner. It was quiet I guess due to the cold and wet. However as we were walking around I looked over and saw Chongtul Rinpoche and Tempa Lama. It was unbelievable. Chongtul was my first Bon Teacher and I spent time with him in Glastonbury on a couple of courses. He also arranged our last visit to Menri. Amazingly he remembered me and asked how our visit went. I also thanked him for giving me my Mantra when I was diagnosed with cancer, which of course he also remembered. Tempa also told him that we had spent a couple of days together doing the Chod practice. What is the likelihood of meeting up with Chongtul Rinpoche who is based in New York and has come over to spend Losher in Menri and just happened to be around the Stupa just at the time we walked around and with Tempa Lama?? Both my Bon teachers together and we walked into them. Amazing synchronicity! Who would have thought it was possible. But then this trip has been syncronistic all along, full of suprises. Tomorrow is our last full day here and we plan to spend it around the Stupa and hope the weather improves. We are both really sad at the thought of leaving, but India and Varanasi beckons. The weather there should be much better, so we at least have that to look forward too. But my heart shall be really heavy when we leave this place. I don't think I will ever be bored of coming here. Boudha I love you...

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Arya Tara School

We've had another lovely day. This morning we visited the Arya Tara School founded by Ani Choying Dromla, a young nun famous for her music. We last went two years ago and it was great to see how it has developed in that time. We were shown the newly finished guest house which looked very comfortable. We talked with the young nuns and played with the little ones, some as young as six years old. Some are here because thier family can't afford to keep them ( girls are not as valued as sons) and some have been rescued from the sex trade. From a very sad beginning this place is full of laughter, fun and smiles. Lots of smiles. It feels so humbling to see. We donated my small notebook PC and some other bits and pieces and they were so grateful we wished we could give more. At first some of the little ones were a bit afraid especially of Dennis and Chhewang, but it didn't take long for them to feel at ease and join in. The view from the nunnery looks back over the Kathmandu valley and it is stunning. Such a lovely peaceful place. Coincidentally Ani Cholin and 20 of the nuns completed their Chod practice a couple of days before me so we had that in common to chat about too. 
For lunch we returned to the Stupa and found a local animal charity there working on the street dogs, some of which were really enjoying being groomed and taken care of. Usually during the day they just lie in the street asleep, but they must have recognised the charity workers because they were flocking around them wagging their tales. So many good causes and so many beggars, we try to give a little to each, but there are so many.
And tonight we are having dinner with our friends Chhewang and Rajive so we are looking forward to a good catch up.

Friday, 14 February 2014

What a day

Well what a day! It started at 10.30 with Lama Tempa completing my Chod practice. He was wonderful and patient and explained so much to me. He also allowed me to video the entire Chod practice to help me develop it on my return home. I am so lucky to have spent this time with him and give him my heartfelt thanks and gratitude. Karma really brought us together and it never ceases to amaze me how the Universe acts to make these things possible.
Then we went to the Stupa where the air was electric. This is a full moon auspicious day when all merit is doubled, so there were a lot of pilgrims. There was a big police presence , they had sticks , guns and riot shields. They also had fire extinguishers. This is because a monk set fire to himself a couple of years ago in protest of China's occupation of Tibet. It felt very strange to see them, but everybody just kept on doing Kora as normal. We bought prayer flags to be hung from the Stupa together with a Kathang with our names on it. We received blessing from a Lama and bought incense to feed into the huge incense burners. There was a carnival atmosphere despite the police presence, and we had fun wishing everyone happy valentines. This evening following a rain shower it seemed a little quiet, then as the evening wore on more people started to gather around one of the monastery's . A large platform appeared covered in Katangs and flowers. Lots of young men started to chant and sing around it and threw vermillion powder over it and and one another. They were all very drunk, but very friendly. Very soon we were the only europeans around. When we asked what was happening they said it was a Buddha festival and also connected to a grandmother? She had said that everyone should get drunk and be happy, they told us to stick around and enjoy it with them. We felt slightly uneasy at this so decided to go and have dinner, however when we came out the festival was in full swing. Young poeple, and families with children were following the platform around. The young men were in very high spirits. A band was playing and everyone was chanting and singing. We decided to stick around and before long we were in the procession where we handed out sweets to the kids, some of who were a little afraid, I think because of our ethnicity more than anything else! Luckily the procession was making its way down the very busy main street towards our hotel, so we decided to stick with it. We ended up next to some of the police who usually won't speak to you and look quite stern, but a young one who saw me dancing to the music looked at me and said ' I like you'. It was so funny, we all laughed. When we arrived at our hotel we left the procession. Some of the guests had come out to see what all the noise was and seeing us leave the procession asked us what the protest was about. We just looked and laughed and said it's not a protest it's a festival for Buddha. Isn't it funny how we judge things. All they saw were noisy drunken young men stopping the traffic and jumping around covered in red dye and they thought the worst.Then they saw two middle aged Europeans following and didn't know what to think. They asked us and we didn't really know exactly what was going on but all we felt was the happiness and the love as all the Nepalese smiled at us and made us feel very welcome as we shared in their festival. God I feel so high on life it's amazing.  

Thursday, 13 February 2014


Wow what a day!! I spent the morning with Lama Tempa on a one to one Chod session. He was very patient with me and clarified a lot of questions that had come up from my studies and previous Chod teachings. Forgetting that Bon is very old he explained why Machik did not feature in Bon and of course it then made sense. Bon Chod is very Shamanistic in its approach, starting with a trance dance - memories of Bali , and continues with chanting and using a drum bell and horn to call in the demons. Of course we have to remember that all these things are symbolic and the demons are mostly of our own making. You then summon in a wrathful Dakini whose body your consciousness enters leaving your own body as a corpse. You then as the Dakini chop up your corpse and feed firstly your teachers and then all your demons, hungry ghosts and sentient beings on your body. Chod means cutting and though this practice you are cutting away your ego and getting rid of fear. If you have no fears you are free. Think about it, it's mostly our fears that imprison us. To be free of fear shows your true nature and that's all we need to achieve, to be our true selves. Obviously there is a quite a bit more to it but that's a whole book !! Anyhow I am now the proud owner of a Duru the drum, the horn which should be made from a human thigh bone may take a bit longer to acquire.  This is a healing practice and can be used to clear haunted spaces as well as clearing negative energy from bodies and clearing karmic debt. Tomorrow morning we are going through the whole ceremony together. It's wonderful to have this opportunity, usually you have to share the teacher with a whole class. Here I have him entirely to myself for which I am very grateful.
Later this afternoon we visited Pashupatinath where all the cremations are carried out for Hindus and Buddhists.  The cremations are carried out in the open beside the river for all to see. The corpse is prepared and washed in the river , anointed , then wrapped in cloth and bedecked with flowers. They are then carried to the ghats where undertakers place them on piles of wood. If  they are Hindu and the father dies the eldest son lights the fire, if a mother dies the youngest son lights the fire. The fire is placed in the mouth of the corpse and the body takes around three hours to burn. When the burning is completed the remains are pushed of the Ghat into the river, if the family is poor and cannot afford enough wood all the remains end up in the river. Whilst this is happening the sons shave their heads and enter a state of mourning. You are able to watch all this from a verandah above, whilst we were there we were smoked out by the corpse burning just below us. It is very morbid but fascinating and it's hard to take your eyes off of it. The undertaker moved some of the wood off the body and we could see the blackened outline of the corpse, including the hole they make in the skull to prevent it exploding. Then he turned it over and revealed a hole in the abdomen from which the intestines were spilling in glorious technicolor.  I hasten to add he was just doing his job and not doing it for our benefit. But with that we felt we had seen and smelled enough and crossed the bridge to the holy part. As we wandered through we met some Saddhus who are devout Hindu's who have renounced material life
and live mostly naked and covered in ash in caves nearby. They are really peaceful quiet people who just ask your name and where you come from. They have an unbelievable air about them. It is believed that Saddhu's have achieved enlightenment and have escaped the cycle of death and rebirth. Because of this they are some of the few people who will be buried, along with young children who are innocent,their   burial site is just above the river.
 This evening we went and did more Koras around the Stupa with the Tibetans.   So now we are sipping Mojito's  and coffee in the bar and trying to relate to all the marvellous things we have seen and done today and wondering how we will remember all this after we have completed our trip as this is only day 3 !!!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Om mani padme hung

Had a great day around the many monasteries around the Stupa and doing 'kora' around the Stupa. Kora is a complete clockwise walk around the Stupa and you should do at least 3. Bons go anti clockwise. Each kora takes around 5 minutes and we managed 11 in between our visits to the other monasteries .The most magical time is in the evening when there are very few tourists and but lots of Tibetans and Nepalese. The Stupa is one of the largest in the world and is a World Heritage site, it was built in the 5 th century by a woman who had four husbands. It is said to contain the relics of the first Buddha and was blessed by Bodhisattva ,s ,  enlightened beings who have declined Nirvana until every sentient being has gained enlightenment, and that the heavens sang when it was completed. Since 1950's it has become the focal point of exciled Tibetans and is a point of pilgrimage and considered one of the holist sites outside Tibet. In the early evening the atmosphere becomes almost electric as Buddhists of every age do Kora. They hold their Mala,s - prayer beads, in their hands and chant Om mani padme hung as they circumanbulate, some walking quickly others taking their time, the most devout doing prostrations every three steps.  Some have travelled a long way and if they are poor a lot will have been on foot. It's very humbling to realise this as we do our little bit. We think that our travels are tiring, but we just have jet lag and have a nice comfy warm hotel to go back to. These people have nothing but a small plastic bag of their belongings and a great desire to fulfil a lifetimes wish to visit this holy place. There are a lot of old women sitting by themselves on the ground chanting and giving thanks. Thier skin is heavily lined and wrinkled, the colour of Mahogany. On their faces are bueatific smiles. In the UK they would be in old peoples homes, tired and lonely. Here they have nothing but the warmth of their faith and empty belly's, but they are so happy. If you smile at them you are rewarded with a huge grin and a nod. A knowing that we are all sharing the same feelings and experience in this moment of time. Even the street dogs do Kora, one past me three times trotting along as if in a hurry. This afternoon they all started barking at a man, it took us a few seconds to realise that he was going anti clockwise, which very few attempt, and it was as if the dogs were trying to tell him to turn around, it was quite amusing. By 8 pm it goes very quiet, the rush is over, just a few latecomers and by 9pm that's it. All that's left are a few people who have have no where to go and therefore just bed down for the night in one of the worlds most peaceful and sacred places.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


We have arrived!!! We had a few problems at Delhi airport where Indian red tape meant that they sold our Kathmandu flights as we were 5 minutes late in checking in, due to Indian red tape. This aroused the Deva in me and she somehow managed to get us back on the flight!! So here we are recovering from a jet lag massage on the roof terrace of our hotel which is definately yet the best hotel in Kathmandu, with a glorious view of the Stupa, I say recovering because although we were fully clothed it was a fantastic massage. The therapists who probably weigh half as much as me, climbed on top of us and manipulated our bodies into positions not achieved in several years. The result is we both feel great! I got the giggles at the sounds coming from the other bed as Den is not quite as supple as me so a very light first morning. Kathmandu air however is starting to work on my lungs and it won't be too long before I am coughing and spluttering, but I am so glad to be back. We are having a quiet first day which means we shall be doing Kora round the Stupa and then visiting the various monastery's and having our lunch at the Szcheun monastery which serves delicious vegetarian food, washed down with Everest beer. Tomorrow morning I have my first Chod session with Llama Tenpa in the hotels meditation room. Only in Kathmandu would a hotel devote a whole room to meditation!!
Anyhow the sun is shining and is a pleasant 23c, so we are setting off on our first adventure., Om mani padme hum

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

So excited

Am getting so excited, countdown to Nepal has started, I'm trying to organise what we need to take and Dennis is organising dollars and airport hotels. Can't believe that this time next week we shall be in the thrill of it all at Bouda stupa, doing Kora with the Tibetan refugees, chanting Om mani padme hum as we walk. It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it. And I have the added bonus of spending time with Tempa Dukte Lama for Chod practice. We shall also re visit the Ayra Tara School and spend time with the young nuns. An afternoon in the hippie center Thamel chillin around the shops and bars and then into India to watch the sunrise on the Ganges and witness and hopefully participate in sacred bathing in mother Ganges along with the Hindu faithful.  We shall attend the sunset ceremony which is reported to be beautiful. And then to Sarnath where Buddha first taught his disciples and then to Buodhgaya where Buddha gained enlightenment. We shall wander around the many temples that have been built by countries all over the world and each will show its origins in its unique  architecture I guess like at Lumbini. Anyhow I shall look forward to blogging all our experiences and sharing them with you. Namaste 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

I'm back

I have decided to start blogging again as reading my old blogs has made me realise what I am missing! 
since my last blog I have got a little Dog, a Chihuahua. Yes I know that I blogged I would never get a dog, but this one is so cute and such a good boy that I think the Universe brought us together.  He is really good company and has got me out walking most days which I have really enjoyed. And because of his size he is completely portable, so he gets to go all over. So far he doesn't bark or whine, he is now house trained and I can trust him all around the house. He has of course been on the receiving end of Reiki nearly every day so I believe that has played its part. I have called him Mindu after a lovely huge Tibetan dog I met the first time I was in Nepal. When I left him I told him that I would have a dog one day and that I would name him after him.....
I am also off on my travels once again. Very soon we are returning back to Nepal where I am spending some time with a Llama to explore Chod practice and then we are going to Varanasi and Boudhgaya in India. Varanasi is the most sacred place for Hindus and upto 66 thousand bathe in the Ganges there everyday. I intend to be the 66001, and then to Boudhgaya where Buddha gained enlightenment. So once again a very spiritual journey and one which has got me back into Blogging, so keep reading and I will keep you updated with my adventures. In the meantime meet Mindu...