Nov 282017
 

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.

Making Kefir

Making lhassi. I love the stuff, but I will only drink pre-packaged ones.

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.

I attended a meeting of all the most important monks in the area. Just like any board meeting, it had pads of paper, lots of discussion , and not much accomplished

I attended a meeting of all the most important monks in the area. Just like any board meeting, it had pads of paper, lots of discussions, assistants taking notes, and not much accomplished.

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.

This is reportedly a terrific Japanese restaurant, I have not eaten there, as you must order well in advance.

Outside of a reportedly terrific Japanese restaurant, I have not eaten there, as you must order well in advance, and my schedule has not permitted that kind of planning.

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!

This fellow carves the items he sells

This fellow carves the items he sells

There are vendors everywhere, selling every imaginable item, most appropriate to the area, and others that make you go huh?

There are vendors everywhere, selling every imaginable item, most appropriate to the area, and others that make you go huh?

Do they produce good students, or remove their brains?

Do they produce good students, or remove their brains?

Gotta love the legs on this guy.

Gotta love the legs on this guy.

A fellow repairing his wares before selling them.

A fellow repairing his wares before selling them.

A delightful Thai monk, here to do the more important decorations for the ceremony. He spent 5 years in Texas so his English is pretty good.

A delightful Thai monk, here to do the more important decorations for the ceremony. He spent 5 years in Texas so his English is pretty good.

Can this Buddha get any bigger?

Can this Buddha get any bigger?

One of the bigger projects for this ceremony is the tent where everyone eats and then listens to Dharma talks in the evening.

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*dsc_7572The 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.

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*dsc_7587I 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.

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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.

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I had the chance to stop by the farmers market for a stroll, the vegetables are lovely and so are the people

This is Sanjana, she is a friend of Stefanie's and was shucking peas when we ran into her and her lovely smile

This is Sanjana, she is a friend of Stefanie’s and was shucking peas when we ran into her and her lovely smile

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My favorite street sign in town.

My favorite street sign in town.

  One Response to “Working in Bodhgaya”

  1. […] All of this was followed by a long list of speakers at the welcoming ceremony before lunch at the Kalichakra. […]