Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Check-In from the India Group


The city of BodhGaya is considered by many to be a sacred place, but it appears the computers here are not so blessed. I have twice now written a long letter describing our past few days on the Ganges in Varanasi- twice my message disappeared before I got to the send button-

So, here is the short version:

We spent three interesting days in Varanasi, doing yoga, listening to classical music concerts, walking a bit on the ghats, enjoying a sunrise boat ride, going to visit and help out a bit at a school for street kids, and a whole lot more. We also spent a day in Sarnath at the Main Buddhist temple there and also at the famed Deer park where we fed the deer so many carrots they did not want all of them! The students also shared some smiles while befriending some local street kids there.

Last night at 3:15 am we got on our train to Bodh Gaya and arrived in time for a late breakfast. This town is known as the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree-this afternoon at sunset we visited and circumambulated the Mahabodhi temple, built beside the location where the Buddha sat and we also saw the"daughter" of the original Bodhi Tree. Most of the group were too tired for more exploring but Moon and I also snuck off and explored the Thai Wat here, which was quite beautiful and unique. There are people here a pilgrims from all over the Buddhist world and it is interesting to see and meet such diverse people and to see their places of worship as well that are designed in each host's traditional way.

We have three days here before we get back on a train and we are all grateful for that.

Hope to send some pictures soon if we can get technology to cooperate.

Much love ,

The TMS India Intersession group

Thursday, February 19, 2009

India Intersession Group Checks In

The Indian Intersession group arrived safely in New Delhi, India, yesterday, after a 14-hour flight from JFK in New York. Special thanks to Heather Brown for hosting Michelle overnight and to Luella for hosting Mani and Becca for two days, then driving them, along with Nathan, Adam, and Ron to JFK. After meeting Moon there, we all said our good-byes and had a wonderfully uneventful flight full of a combination of excitement, movies, naps, and reading. Our first evening, we strolled a bit near the hostel before returning there to dine. Today, we went to the inspirational and architecturally magnificent Lotus Temple of the B`Hai faith, where we learned of their powerful and optimistic teachings about tolerance and the beauty as well as unity of human religion and experience. We made our way to the lovely Lodi Garden, as huge public space for quiet in the midst of the busy, jostling traffic of cosmopolitan New Delhi. Impressions include amazement at the efficiency of the chaotic New Delhi traffic, the outstanding food and hospitality here, and the sensory grandeur that is India. A friendly hostel visitor named Rajiv has lent me his laptop for the moment to write this, and I really should return it now. We are all very happy to be here, enjoying excellent health and taking good care of each other. Namaste - Ron