Earthquake in Kathmandu. This morning I was meditating quietly in our 3rd floor apartment when the ground shuddered. Yep, sure enough, it was a 4.1 magnitude earthquake at 9 am. According to the National Seismological Centre, it was an aftershock of the big earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015. I did wonder what I would do, and what might become of our apartment building – briefly. Then it rained and the air cleared beautfully. All is well.
Mahakala is a tantric Buddhist protective deity. His mask has five human skulls on the crown, a symbol of transmutation of the five “kleshas” (negative emotions) into the five wisdoms. Mahakala’s face is meant to frighten away bad spirits, negative energy, thoughts and actions. But if you think he’s scary, you should meet his female consort Mahakali – terrifying! See the Boudha Stupa in the window reflection?
I enjoy my Golden Milk at the Himalayan Java Cafe at the Boudha. It’s not on the menu, but they know how to make it for me: Milk Green Tea, Turmeric, Black pepper, no sugar. My blog is featuring a series of Golden Milks in different flavors, all made and photographed here at the Boudha.
The Lama got a major feet cleaning.
I’m really enjoying working on a small book of selections from the Buddha’s Words. It will be an unusual compliation of over 100 translations. Instead of an academic approach, it will be edited in simple words for timeless understanding in modern times. The Buddha’s words are said to be found in the PALI CANON, a collection of over 10,000 passages. It takes up 40 hardbound volumes of around 20,000 pages.
Vastly larger than the Bible, it was kept alive by Buddhist monks who memorized it and passed it down as oral verse for hundreds of years. I read that a Burmese monk named Vicittasara memorized the entire Pali Canon chant by heart for the Sixth Council in 1954. By memorizing the words of the Buddha in verses, they were saved intact for many centuries before being written down.
By contrast, in the West we’ve been using successive translations of the First Testament from it’s original Hebrew, to Peshtita or Syriac, to Aramaic, to Latin, to the King James version and so on. In each successive translation, it was necessary to interpret words carefully from many choices available. We know therefore that there may have been some precise meanings in the original that didn’t make it through to modern times. Thus Christianity has perhaps been molded for many centuries through translated interpretations passed from one language to another. Fortunately in recently years there are faithful English translations from the original language.
About 1,000 years after the Buddha’s passing, the Pali Canon was transcribed by Sri Lankan monks into the Pali language, a descendant of Sanskrit, in Brahmic script. Countless variations of the canon have been found in many languages in distant monasteries of Kashmir, Afghanistan, Vietnam, China, India, and Tibet. I feel lucky to have been immersed in Buddhism from a very early age, so that I could live with this wisdom for much of my life.
The words of the Pali Canon were very likely spoken by the Buddha in his discourses about twenty-five hundred years ago, perhaps by a man called Siddhartha, who lived about five hundred years before Christ. Nothing about it is certain except that it’s very old, the Buddha changed the course of humanity, and his words speak to people everywhere as if they had been written yesterday.
What did the Buddha really mean? Words can be tricky. The Buddha’s words were transcribed into the Pali language. Translations in English vary widely. I wonder what metaphors the Buddha would use if he were alive now? See above. For example #1 and #2 are two widely accepted translations. #3 is a possible modern version you could even read to a child. This is my project. Wish me luck.
I’ve been doing quite a few distance healing sessions from our quiet apartment in Kathmandu. Yes, distance sessions are available. Energy is not local. Every healing modality that I offer on this website is possible remotely. You can vew the treatment options and how to pay via PayPal here: https://fiveseasonsmedicine.com. I do sessions using BodyTalk, Chinese Medicine, Past Life Clearing, Dietary consultations, and more. I use your preferred system of Skype, Facetime, Messenger, WhatsApp, or Zoom. If you need a session, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set a time that’s mutually convenient.
This is Ambica. She comes to help clean in our apartment once a week. She speaks not one word of English, but we manage to talk. She had never seen a vacuum and didn’t know how to clean a bathroom. However she’s lovely and talented, and she’s picking it up very fast. We don’t have a washing machine in the building, so she does the laundry by hand, and hangs it up in the sun. I pick it up from the rooftop that evening. My new opinion is that hand washing clothes is more hygenic and better than machine washing. Microbes LOVE washing machines. With hand washing there’s less spread of germs and no fading of colors between items.
Holi is the Festival of Colors, one of the most popular festivals in Nepal on the full moon day in Fagu lunar month and lasts for 7 days.
Holi is a celebration of good over evil and the coming of spring. Colored paints and water bombs leave no one unscathed.
Young people love Holi festival. These girls walked with me hoping to escape the water bombs and colored paint thrown by passing gangs of jokers. It did NOT work as we ALL got water bombed by their friend on a 3rd floor balcony above. Smack! No damage, just water.