November 28, 2017
We arrived in Bodh Gaya on November 21st. The time has been spent preparing for the 13-day Tipitaka Chanting ceremony held at the Mahabodhi Temple Complex, beginning on December 2nd.
I will admit that 95% of my time has been spent in the loud and uncomfortable lobby of our hotel, as wifi does not spread throughout the building.
My thinking is regularly interrupted by entire busloads of people coming in, talking in loud voices in a room with marble floors, and carrying suitcases down a stairway to the rhythm of click, clack, thump, thump.
There is a minimum of 3 buses every day that roll in around 7:00 pm and roll out around 6:00 am the next day.
The, as ever, unimaginative food, services these large crowds, not the one or two of us that are there for 2 weeks.
Fortunately, Stefanie Schur, a landscape architect from San Francisco, joined our group. She is here to work on the gardens at the Mahabodhi Temple complex and has been my guide to exterior restaurants and general overall, get out of the hotel moments. She has been a godsend.
There is not much to talk about, but I have had a chance to get out and get a few fun shots. Enjoy!
One of the bigger projects for this ceremony is the tent where everyone eats and then listens to Dharma talks in the evening.
*The tent is called the Kalachakra, a term used in Vajrayana Buddhism that means wheel of time or “time-cycles”.
“Kālacakra” is usually used to refer to a very complex teaching and practice in Tibetan Buddhism. Although the teaching is very advanced and esoteric, there is a tradition of offering it to large public audiences. Thus the name for this huge tent.
*I was completely blown away by the construction process. They bring in thousands upon thousands of bamboo poles and then erect this huge structure by tying them together with cloth strips. Since there were workers climbing all over it, I must assume it is far stronger than you can imagine, but it is still a WOW moment, a far cry from steel poles and canvas covers.
To add to the fun, these boys all found pieces laying around and turned this soccer goal frame into a swingset. They were having so much fun as their knots failed and they fell to the ground laughing.
I have become somewhat of an expert on masala tea, much to the chagrin of my sugar intake and waistline. This guy at the Royal Thai temple makes some of the best.
I had the chance to stop by the farmers market for a stroll, the vegetables are lovely and so are the people