I had been looking forward to visiting the biggest Buddhist stupa for the Buddha’s birthday yesterday. It always gives a lot of food for thought.
Eventually, it was colourful, cheerful, loud and exciting, but lacked the spiritual depth that I so got used to in Thailand on this day. Not just because of the crowd, I’m used to that, but there were no prayers, chanting or meditative circumambulation. And too many noisy, drunk youngsters as well, and nobody trying to do anything about it…. so, just more like a village market day. Still, of course, nice enough. And in the end, it is always up to me to find a meaning in anything and everything, no matter the circumstances.
I enjoyed talking with some kids, they went through my whole bag, ate my weird-looking green apple, and eventually looked at some festival photos from Bali on my camera, and readily identified the Hindu monsters and deities I had taken pictures of. So, seemingly far away, but looks like the two cultures are really related after all. I’ve been struggling to make the connections.
I really need to read and learn more about Tibetan Buddhism as well. Hope to do a bit more of that in Pokhara. Picked up some books already, and talked to some weird (but extremely nice) Europeans here who are into shamans, healers, meditation, yoga, and gurus. I don’t think I’m going to get sucked up into anything spooky, I’m too down-to-earth for that, but I always enjoy soaking up stories and personal reflections.
I also need to think about a lot of stuff, and prepare and plan more about the coming months. Looks like I’m going to India next after all. It’s difficult to ignore all the signs that are telling me I need to go. And if it doesn’t work out, I can still escape. But I don’t like having to plan so much. I wish I could just float around. I’m quite relaxed about Nepal now, but everything else still makes me worried, even though it is weeks and weeks away.
I’m sure there is a lot to learn, but as of now I still have no idea what it is meant to be.
By the way, the eyes struck me. I had no idea they would be everywhere. Blue eyes, like mine.
Also, didn’t expect that Buddhism and Hinduism are so interwoven in everyday acts of devotion and sacred places and beliefs. Familiar bits and pieces here and there, and a vast sea of unknown.