Meditation...Hospital...Change of Plans

Trip Start Mar 21, 2006
Trip End Oct 05, 2008

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hello to all from Nepal!

I have been at the beautiful Kopan Monastery in Bodnath up on the hill looking down on the Kathmandu Valley since the 16th. I was participating in a 10 day meditation retreat and study about Mahayana Buddhism (one sect of Tibetan Buddhism HH Dali Lama's Order).I was really enjoying the retreat and especially the morning's of silence and meditation working on being conscious of my breath and slowly waking up in the morning without lot's of chatter

Sadly, a week ago I took a bad fall on some very slippery steps here at the monastery and really hurt my back. Thankfully nothing is broken but it was very scary and I even spent the night in a nearby hospital. The hospital was actually good and another blessing was that my roommate here is a doctor from Germany so she was with me the entire time at the hospital. In addition, one of the Monks came so I have been in good hands. Everyone from the course was so kind and we all made jokes that this gave them an opportunity to practice the compassion that we had been studying and meditating about the days prior to my fall. I assured them I fell on purpose for this very reason ;-)

I was supposed to be starting a 12-day trek today so needless to say that is no longer happening. I am still quite upset about this but; I guess I am supposed to be here at the monastery a bit longer. Since I cannot do the trek anymore, I am coming home sooner. This in many ways is a blessing in disguise. As some of you know, my Grandma Nancy passed away a few months ago and on October 10th, the entire family is heading down to Pebble Beach California to sort through her house. I was going to be the only cousin not there and now I can go, so with the bad, come the good.

Kopan Monastery is such a beautiful place isolated from the noise and chaos below in Kathmandu. Regardless of the fall, I have really enjoyed my time here and chance to read and relax and have quiet time. These are all things I thought I would do on my travels and until I arrived here have not. There is a beautiful Stupa built in honor of Lama that taught here for years and I have enjoyed walking around the Stupa while I focus my thoughts and send good prayers and love to each of you.

I have also been learning a lot about the continued struggle of the Tibetan people. I really had no idea that their entire culture was so deeply based and rooted in their faith. The Chinese have killed more then half their population over the years and thousands of Tibetans have been forced into exile in the neighboring hills here in Nepal and India. The atrocities and tearing down of their religious centers continues to happen and the international community continues to do nothing! It is so sad to see these genocides happening all over the world while so many just sit by and let it happen.

I am getting better each day and while I still have a nasty bruise on my back I am improving day by day it is just going to take some time to be 100% again. I will be here in Kathmandu until the 2nd and then fly to Bangkok and then fly home to Seattle the 5th.

I will leave this entry with a wonderful quote that was in the Lam Rim book our Buddhist lessons came from the last week.

This day is a special day
It is yours
Yesterday slipped away
It cannot be filled with more meaning
About tomorrow nothing is known
But this day, today, is yours,
Make use of it
Today you can make someone happy.
Today you can help another.
This day is a special day,
It is yours.

Indian Poem

Love to all,

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