Lama D and I had a relaxing lunch at Schechen Monastery today. Clean yummy food. The best Dahl and Yak cheese in Kathmandu! We are getting ready to go back to Bhutan. Our house is waiting for us in Paro. I’m looking forward to clean air, pristine water, learning Dzongkha, and writing my next book, Kingdom of Happiness, The Bhutan Travel Cookbook.
Asura cave, Pharping
We visited Padmasambhava’s cave in Pharping, high in a mountain monastery near Kathmandu. Asura cave is a cave sacred to Guru Rinpoche. Guru Rinpoche, or Padamasambhava was the wise and powerful guru who brought Tibetan Buddhism to the Himalas in the 8th century CE.
Asura cave is also known as the ‘Upper cave of Yangleshö’. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche explains that: “In the innermost recesses of the Asura Cave… is a tunnel that connects this cave to the Yangleshö Cave down below, about half a mile away. It is not a big hole. Wind passes through this passage and you can feel the draft when sitting near it. Although Padmasambhava could traverse freely through solid matter, he used this narrow tunnel to move between Yangleshö Cave and the upper Asura Cave.”
Inside the Asua cave, the energy is elecrifying. We sat and meditated for a while, and I am still burning. Around the cave is the monastery where several monks live and study.
Outside the entrance to the cave sits an image of the feed of Rinpoche Padmasambhava.
After visiting the cave, we stopped for organic lunch at the amazing Haatiban Resort, owned by a Bhutanese family. The drive up to the resort through pine forests is harrowingly steep. Fortunately we were in a high performance vehicle, otherwise in a taxi we would never have made it to the top.
Saturday May 18th was Buddha Janati, the festival of the Buddha’s birthday. WOW! The stupa was all lit up. Everybody took the day off to participate in parades.
A few school children showed up with signs. Most of them were in Devangari script which I can’t read. But some of them were Buddha quotes in English.
Streets were packed with people from all walks of life for the Buddha’s birthday. Here a Monk makes an offering at the Boudha Stupa shrine.
Everyone brings small bills to offer the Buddha shrine. The rule is total generosity toward holy people and those in need of food or money.
A line of people await an offering. The atmosphere is cheerful. To be generous is believed to help both the giver and the receiver. So it’s a WIN – WIN.
Tibetans had a parade too.
A few days ago we went to the Shambala Hotel top floor restaurant for lunch. Their Briyani is the best in Kathmandu, I think.
My book projects are more and more refined. For example, now the travel cookbook cover is burgundy, and there’s some food on the window sill. Watch for more changes in these six proposals. They’re coming very well and I hope to have a publisher soon.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you next week. Who knows? We may be in Paro, Bhutan.