Blog from Deanna. Photos from Diane and Peter

After leaving Varanasi, the group arrived in Bodhgaya. We’ve spent the last six days studying Buddhism and meditation while staying at the Root Institute for Wisdom Culture. Here the group would start the days with meditation and dharma talks. During our meditation we would meditate on love and compassion. Some would consist of us meditating on our love for our mothers and how we wouldn’t be alive without them. The whole group really started missing our homes after these meditations. Don’t worry the group is always thinking about everyone at home. Our dharma talks were an introduction to Buddhism. We discussed the 3 Jewels, 4 noble truths, the story of the Buddha, and the compassion and love we should have for all sentient beings.

During the group’s afternoons we would take field trips. One day we spent time our time volunteering at the Tara Children’s Project. TCP is an orphanage for children affected by HIV in the state of Bihar. There are children of all ages there. We spent our day with them celebrating Holi. It was so much fun throwing colors around. Most of the group ended up just turning completely pink because the kids would throw buckets of pink water at us. But the kids were equally as pink too with some other colors thrown in. At TCP there is also the Maitreya school which is a free school that the group got to tour before we turned pink where the children of TCP attend.

On our last day in Bodhgaya, the group took a pilgrimage to the Mahabodhi Stupa. This is where the Bodhi tree is where the Buddha sat under and obtained enlightenment. Here the group also sat and meditated for a short while and spoke about the history of the Mahabodhi Stupa. At night the group returned and had another meditation and walked around for awhile. It almost didn’t look real walking around at night, it seemed to look like it was out of a movie.

The group really enjoyed our time here in Bodhgaya learning new things about Buddhism and trying meditation. We loved exploring the temples and seeing the Bodhi tree and having a quiet place to see without having to hear a horn every five seconds. Heading to Calcutta next!