|Something to think on|
Thanks, in part, to some quality earplugs, Colin slept rather soundly on his snot-filled mattress (it's like a gel bike seat pad), but I had a fitful night of uncontrollable coughing. We finally got up after hitting the snooze for at least an hour and assessed our post-India conditions. I seem to have a severe case of Indian Lung Death, and Colin is suffering from his up close and personal meetings with the Indian pavement. Colin's muscles seized up, bruises appeared, and those ribs are definitely cracked. After a morning filled with hacking and groaning, we made our way, very slowly, across the Buddhist Development Zone and into the Lumbini Bazaar to look for some lunch, more cold medicine, and paracetamol. On the way to the bazaar, we stopped to look at a large group of people waiting for something to appear on an empty stage. The proprietor of our guesthouse said there was some festival today at which the Nepali President would make an appearance, but all we saw was a bunch of security personnel keeping a close eye on the crowds.
|Colin enjoying a bowl of "buff" thanthuk|
|Does anyone else see the humor in the name?|
We did make it to the Maha Devi Temple, which is built on the site of Buddha's birth. The temple itself is a modern and not very lovely building covering the excavated remains of old (back to the 3rd century) temples marking the exact spot of his birth. Once we made it through the temple, we strolled the manicured lawns and talked about the trials of the past few weeks. Our time in northern India was so hard, and we both felt so beaten down by the time we got to Nepal, we're having a difficult time leaving it behind us. As we walked, we came to the meditation park, where we sat on a pallet under a large tree and meditated for a while. Scaattered throughout the grounds of the temple are quotations by Buddha, and one in particular resonated with both of us: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” This is what I thought over, and over, as we sat under that tree. Before we left the grounds, we stopped to watch some Tibetan women at the pool where Buddha's mother bathed before giving birth. They would climb down the steps and sit at the edge, dipping their fingertips into the water and then wetting their faces with it as they prayed. It's been interesting visiting the various Buddhist sites and seeing the differences in worship styles of the many cultures.
Lumbini was a great place to decompress after our recent time in India. Our guesthouse was in a tiny village across the Development Zone from the bazaar, so once the sun set, nothing happened. We sat on the rooftop during the late afternoons and watched the farmers bring in their teams of oxen and the buffaloes, looked out at the fields, and listened to people going about their daily business. It was a good antidote.