Sorry for being out of touch recently. I’m sinking into the Nepali culture inevitably. I thought I was going to live in Bhutan. But now by surprise I live in Kathmandu, because the Lama’s work is here. That’s OK. I can accept. There’s been a huge shift as I’m no longer a tourist, and I accept daily life of a Kathmandu resident. I just live with enjoyment and notice the hard work and kindness of others all around me. I watch tourists run from site to site, and I can’t be bothered. I follow the local pace. I go see them slowly in my own time. I tune into the remains of ancient teachers and places. I rest, relax and drink the timeless culture.
How can I describe my change of heart? Instead of being quietly critical and thinking like a revisionist. (“Oh dear so dusty, better wear my mask. Probably unsanitary. Watch out for unconscious toxins, Beware – another beggar), I’m finding I can appreciate the small ways that people at all levels of life selflessly help others. (“Yes, it’s hopelessly dirty, but look how perfectly this family keeps their yard and laundry clean although their one room house is corrugated cardboard. Maybe I can do that too. I’ll just keep my area clean. Those people are relaxing and having fun in spite of the conditions. I live here now so I can do little things to make the moment enjoyable for them”).
What should I call this? Revisionist thinking is always looking for something to fix and wishing it could change somehow. Accepting the moment is just seeing things as they are without lamenting or trying to change what I cannot, meanwhile making life enjoyable for me and everyone. Hmm… Sounds almost Buddhist. I didn’t make this happen. It just happened. Ha Ha!
The skyline of Kathmandu shows the white Boudha Stupa. It’s a wonderful and strange city filled with contrasting cultures, confusion, thousand of years of history, filth, dust, wisdom, and intense pressures of daily life for residents.
I find I’m re-thinking my identity as a woman. I don’t have to be superior, rich or famous. I can actually learn to be a wife and support my husband wholeheartedly. We are a unit. It’s a new way of living for me. I’m the support in many ways, and he’s the star. But sometimes these roles are utterly reversed. In any case I’m consciously supporting him more every day.
I like the honesty of poor countries. People line up patiently to wait for water every day. We don’t have sprawling immaculately clean homes like a “developed country”. We have more dirt, filth, and utter poverty here. We don’t have a power media machine and government of so many layers of lies and programmed thought forms, disputes, and Twitter science. Nope, instead it’s a daily pressure just to keep going.
Yes, we have dirty air here, but hey, there are no chemtrails. We don’t have expensive doctors and complex idiopathic diagnoses like segmental glomerulosclerosis. People just grow old and die. We don’t have as much the illusion of being a separate person from others. Instead we’re part of a network. Families are the center of life. Since there’s hardly any government to take care of people, friends are everything. It works.
I walk to the Boudha every day and circumambulate at least three times, along with thousands of Tibetans, Indians, Nepalis, and visitors from every corner of the world.
Today Kathmandu is quite overcast with smog, however the sun still shines through, and this is a joy. As long as I don’t do too much aerobic breathing, I am fine.
One of my new favorite places to eat is the Schechen Monastery near the Boudha. They serve simple, clean food. Today I had dahl and homemade spelt chapati. It was divine!
I’m being a LOT more food selective, as I recently suffered a bout of food poisoning – not fun. I tried out a new place without looking carefully at the signals around me, and I paid the price. But I’m fine now.
Sunset through the smog can be something we lament. Or it can be beautiful. Or both. I spend my days taking care of my body, working on my books, preparing papers for the Lama’s visa to the US, and of course visiting ancient sites in Kathmandu, of which there are so many.
I’m VERY excited about my two books. The first one is almost finished. “TimeSleuth” has been coming for three years. It’s about dissolving trauma in my past lives, and 60 hair-raising stories to heal the history of my existences. There will be some surprises in it. The second book is “What Did the Buddha Really Say?”, of the Buddha’s actual words and quotes, directly from the Pali language. This one is challenging.
One of my last days at the Butsugen Hotel, it was chilly. The owners treated me to a special breakfast outside with the sun on my back for warmth. They made my favorite ginger tea and fried red rice with curried veggies and two eggs on top. Yum!
Today the Lama and I took a break from apartment hunting, for coffee at the Shambala Cafe. And yes, we finally found an apartment for three months through Boudha Boudha, a FaceBook group. The Lama’s business is here in Kathmandu, not Paro. Our big wonderful house in Paro is sitting empty while we live out of suitcases here in Kathmandu. Ha Ha! We’re discovering how to share our lives one day at a time. And all is well.
Here’s a video of our new apartment. It’s spartan and clean. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, big kitchen, sitting area, and two balconies. We’ll use the extra bedroom for healing sessions and visitors. The only drawback is that there’s no front door. Many traditional Nepali homes just have a gate at the entry with a padlock. So I work here during the day with the gate padlocked. At night we lock ourselves in. Yep. The wind and fresh air come in. We hear all the noise and activity in the other 6 apartments in the building. I’m getting used to it.
I’m learning how to buy vegetables and cook Nepali-style. I look for the freshest foods with the lowest levels of toxins.
Lama’s good friend Tenzin came from Bhutan to visit. So we had a guest right from the first night in the new apartment. Fortunately they’re both wonderful cooks. It’s like having two wild and crazy Bhutanese roommates. Lama loves the new cashmere sweater I bought him so much that he sometimes sleeps in it. Ha Ha!
Hyolmo Monastery Plaque
Today I found out the hard way that there are no addresses in Kathmandu. No street names. No numbers. Uh Oh! They use only landmarks to describe a location. I was carrying a big load of groceries, a new rice cooker, and verbal directions from the building owner. I hailed a cab and tried to explain where I live, in the Tinchuli section of the city.
Well, we drove all around for an hour and every street looked the same to me. The cab driver spoke no English. We finally got ahold of the building owner on the phone, and he directed the cab to our home. It won’t happen again, because I know how to say we live near the Hyolmo Monastery. Here’s the Monastery plaque above. I plan to show this image to future drivers. Ha Ha!
The Hyolmo Monastery near our house was having a Tsechu festival today. That means costumes and traditional dances.
The entrance to the Hyolmo Monastery is near our house. THIS is a landmark I’ll show taxi drivers. They’re dancing inside.
This is the Tsechu dance at the Hyolmo Monastery today near our house. Traditional Tibetan ways are very much alive, and coexist with Hindu religious practices in other neiborhoods of Kathmandu.
This is our apartment kitchen. I’m wearing my new cotton Nepali dress. It’s very comfortable and the weather is warming up.
Thanks for checking in. Next week will be more of same, I expect. Working on my two books, visa, soaking in the culture, visiting shrines. Be well, and I hope to see you soon!