Hi! I hope you are happy and healthy.
What’s new there?
What’s new here is a two-week trip to the Boudhanath Stupa neighborhood of Kathmandu! Read all about it below.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for clicking the backlinks.
Be well. Love, Tenzin
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BACK TO BOUDHA PART 1
I’ve been in Pokhara for nearly a half year. I love it here. There is night life, music, natural beauty, Earth’s most majestic mountain range, lakes, good food, and an atmosphere that easily accommodates foreigners. But at certain times of year Pokhara has a climate that can be painful. Rainy season has gone on for nearly five months! Continuous eighty to ninety-plus degree temperatures with eighty percent humidity are a bit much for me. I whine about such weather during the two weeks per year that it appears in Vermont!
The locals tell me there is always a pronounced rainy season in Pokhara but that this one has been particularly difficult. Most attribute the weather’s severity to global warming. Folks from (relatively) nearby Bangladesh say this is no news to them. They have suffered from the devastating effects of climate change for decades. Much of Bangladesh is low altitude and covered with rivers. A large delta of the Ganges River extension empties into the Bay of Bengal. A lot of life has been lost in that delta during frequent flooding.
On a brighter note — there are friends, monks and nuns, a strong spiritual vibe, and drier air in Kathmandu’s Boudha Stupa section. Time for a visit!
The short plane ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu is amazing! The view from our eighteen row metal tube flying thousands of feet above Earth at hundreds of miles per hour is awe inspiring. Our first few minutes in the air show soft, shape-shifting cotton ball clouds fronting the massive, sharply defined snow covered Himalayan mountains. Clear azure skies back the white on white portrait painted by the world’s tallest mountains rising above their puffy amorphous companions. The rest of the flight is green. Rivers run through the vibrant green valleys that provide flooring for the emerald green hills rising above them.
After twenty-five minutes each of taxi to the Pokhara airport, plane ride, and another twenty-five minute taxi from the Kathmandu airport, I am again in Boudha at the magical Pema Boutique Hotel on Phulbhari Street. If you read last February’s piece about it, you know why I am here. If you haven’t seen it and would like to, let me know. I’ll be glad to send it to you.
No matter where on Earth you go, folks are selling things to make a living. Commercialism is a normal part of life. In some places it pervades the atmosphere more than it does in others. Tourist towns, even when those towns contain people that are as wonderful as the people of Pokhara, are a good example — especially when they have been hit by a devastating two-year lack of commerce due to pandemic. A commercial process also exists in Boudha but is different than in most tourist areas. This commercial process is over-ridden by the spiritual vibe. Over a thousand monks and nuns live in and wander through this area. Love and compassion, not sales and rentals, are their primary occupations. It is life in a different dimension. There is a strong atmospheric presence of kindness here that cannot be found even among the sweetest merchant/tourist communities. That presence accompanies every breath taken in Boudha. Some folks think the Stupa itself has a holiness about it. Perhaps that’s true. To me, it seems that the residents and devout visitors keep the area’s metaphorical gas tank filled with high-test “holy.”
Many of the non-monk/nun folks that live here are first or second generation Tibetans. They wear traditional Tibetan dress and are nearly as reverent as the monks and nuns. An elevated sense of devotion, decency, and love as well as the gratitude of a people in exile appreciating a kindly neighbor’s hospitality permeate everything here. A simple walk in the neighborhood is an uplifting experience that can boost one’s attitude for the rest of the day.
My two weeks in Boudha include electrifying masked Lama dances, a sacred long-life empowerment, heart-warming reunions with friends, Zak’s two-dog palace, and a religious icon painter/the wonderful nurse that is his wife/and their extremely lucky, giggly baby.
As if that’s not enough, these brain-treats are engulfed by one of the most reverent and at the same time rowdy festivals on Earth. Tihar festival includes dogs, crows, cows, and humans — all simultaneously displaying party animal ability as well as a deep involvement in the spiritual significance of the occasion.
Nepalis excel at both!
More about all that soon in PART 2 OF RETURN TO BOUDHA
About the Author
Doug Ten Rose has hitchhiked around America for 40 years, encountering Tibetan Lamas, Native American wise people, Senators, Governors, Junkies, Winos, Hookers, Rock stars, An all-lesbian rock band playing a concert for the deaf, The modern-day Robin Hood And a whole lot more…
These and many other amazing characters are described in Fearless Puppy on American Road.
“Ten” was also rescued and adopted by a temple full of Monks and Nuns in Southeast Asia. He stayed there for a half-year, although not studying Buddhism (certainly not in any conventional sense!).
Read more about that in his second offering: Reincarnation Through Common Sense.
Follow him on Facebook, Doug Ten Rose
Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.
The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.
If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story — and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!