Namaste other worlds!

We have left Calcutta with precise memories and sincere experience. After our overnight train from the city we entered into the state of Bihar ,home of Bodhgaya and one of the poorest states in India. The state is currently recovering from severe flooding, but the area we were in was fine. Upon being so formally greeted by the packs of taxi drivers and by-standers, we were on our way to the home of the Buddha’s enlightenment.

The pace had changed relatively back to slow (compared to Calcutta anyway) and served as a nice recovery/processing ground. We had the pleasure of staying in one of the many Buddhist temples-New Karma (Tibetan). There is a temple for every country where Buddhism is a prominate religion; our neighbor was Japan. We has a breif introduction to Buddhism at the root insitute, which we all seemed to enjoy. All the temples were just so beautiful and peaceful, our experience there was an overwhelming blessing… to be in such a holy place with so much spirit.

The energy and sense of communal praise surrounding the Bodhi tree (the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment) was profound. Many large stupas have been built on this ground and of course a temple. Large gates now stand around the actual tree, but large branches spread widely over the top and above the heads of those sitting underneath. Naturally many monks come to meditate as well as a large amount of practioners from all backrounds of life, to offer their respects and encourage the personal growth in themselves. This is what personally struck me the most regarding this space. All those gathering around were their to support and develop a place in them that speaks their ultimate truth from their ultimate person .

After our short stay in Bodhgaya we made it firmly to Varnanasi were we being our Hindi classes and internships. We had our first class this morning, which seemed to have went well for all of us. It can be overwhelming to learn a new langauge but were catching on and taking it most of it in! Some of the internships we will indiviually be doing are in the fields of Indian classical music, cooking, jewelry making, stone carving, south indian dance, singing, fire dancing, and henna. We’ll be rathering busy for our 10 days in Varanasi!!

Tata from Benares!
-Shanti