Thursday, December 10, 2009
December 10th; today was a very auspicious day.
We started our morning at 5:30 am…loaded 60 marigold plants from the BTMC office and had our morning ritual meal at The Tibet Om Café, as the town was beginning to come to life. The Tibetans at Om have become our family here in Bodhgaya and starting the day without experiencing their beaming faces seems unimaginable! We learned that this was the anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s receiving the Noble Peace Prize and Dasan (Tibetan Tom Cruise~sweet style and son of the family) was happy to share this celebratory day with us.
The family also reminded us that this week is the opening of the United Nations World Climate Change Conference. ~ let today be a great day for peace and hope.
We headed out to Rajgir, for a site visit of one of the eight World Peace Bells that has been placed near the ridge top, very close to the historic Vishwa Shanti Stupa. The hills and caves surrounding Rajgir were home to many spiritual teachers, including the Buddha. Like many others in search of Truth, Prince Siddhartha, after he renounced his royal heritage, came to this city to seek the path of salvation.
We opted for the rather rickety but reliable ‘chair lift’ that took us up to the Bell site vs. the long steep walk; we were on a mission, and the lift was the most expeditious and certainly more fun way to ascend. We took photos and did some design schematics, all the while being wary of the mischievous monkeys that will grab anything from you that is not secured. One particularly aggressive adult even ran up and bounced off of Tim, scaring the daylights out of him!
On our route back towards Bodhgaya, we stopped at the Thai Temple in Rajgir, to deliver the marigold plants as a gift from Wangmo Dixey and the Light of the Buddhadharma Foundation. We also visited a local marble vendor who showed us some beautiful slabs that inspired our design of the meditation loggia for the South Garden.
Arriving back in Bodhgaya, we were able to schedule meetings with contractors and move things along with our plans for the South Garden. We were also given the opportunity to make an offering to the beautiful Mahabodhi meditation garden by planting an existing pond with flowering lotus plants. This water pond gift is the realization of a vision we had with Wangmo and Secretary Dorjee of the BTMC.
We are in Bodhgaya for a relatively short time and we have had good success with helping see small projects to fruition. As this first visit nears its end end, we have great hope for the work that lies ahead and may it bring peace to all living beings.