Bodhgaya Buddhist Retreat

By Paige Marcano-Buchanan

As hazy fog drifts over far-off trees, the rising sun dyes the sky a soft purple. We cradle hot mugs of chai in our hand listening to the birds flying overhead. With the strike of a gong, we march to morning meditation. This is a completely different experience from the boom and bustle of Kolkata’s honking horns; now we sit quietly and watch cows graze. Instead of working for others this week, we work on ourselves. With the help of the Venerable Kabir’s overflowing wisdom, we learned about Buddhism, meditation, self-control, and restraint, as well as the beauty of living in the moment.

This week has brought a completely different set of challenges. Instead of not being able to move fast enough, we work on forcing ourselves to sit still. Instead of worrying about how spicy the food is, we often said: “pass the salt.” But in doing that, we have had many new experiences, pushed outside our comfort zones and connected more as a group and with a few like-minded fellow travelers.

We’re excited about taking what we learned and applying it as we continue on our journey.

Root Institute in Bodhgaya (Tibetan prayer flags).

Paige on the upper bunk of the train.

Our group with the Venerable Kabir Saxena, our teacher at the Root Institute.