Thursday, August 7, 2008

India, Nepal and Tibet

Way back when, Sept - Oct of 1992 to be exact, I went with a new age travel group to India, Nepal and Tibet. The real purpose of the trip was to go to Tibet and see Lhasa and Shigatse. Lhasa is where the Potala Palace, once home of the Dalai Lama, is. Shigatse has a monastery where the other lamas and/or ascended masters were. Before I went, I think I had read books by Nicholas Roerich, Alice Bailey, Babaji, and Paramhansa Yogananda. (See why I tend to read much lighter fare now?)

I'll have to dig out and scan some photos.

I love Nepal. I think it's probably one of the most beautiful places on earth. I'm a mountain gal. I love mountains and prefer them to any other geological formations. I find the beach fascinating, and the food wonderful, but I'll take mountains over the beach every time. Give me a chance to go back to Nepal, and I'm there. OK, not really since I've got my old boy Scootie to care for, but the urge to return to Kathmandu and Bhaktapur someday is very strong.

Honestly, this is an instance where the pictures will say so much more that anything I could write. For one thing, for someone on a spiritual quest, much of that quest is deeply personal, and words fall so short of what one feels and thinks. Also, that was 17 years ago. What remains ingrained in my mind are images of the things that struck me most. How to describe the feeling of actually standing in front of the Taj Mahal? Of flying right by Mount Everest? Of looking up to see the 80 foot Golden Buddha looming out of the darkness lit only by yak butter candles?

Hester, since you asked, I'll post some of the pictures and describe them. Photos will trigger memories of things that I can talk about. Like the most gorgeous and huge marigolds I have ever seen blooming everywhere. The incredible colors. India is filled with the colors of spices, as well as more dust that you could ever imagine.

And Tibet? I did suffer from altitude sickness while there. The food was awful. No hot water in the hotel. The local police holding our passports for hours at a time before letting us tour anywhere.

Sometimes at night as I wait for sleep I can still hear the chanting of the monks. Thank goodness I can't still smell rancid burning yak butter.

I see I have my work cut out for me tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I totally have this picture of you in my head now, in a hemp skirt, birkenstocks, and some sort of East Indian-inspired top, standing in front of a monastary.

Just thought you should know. :)

Kim said...

Mmmmmmm. Rancid burning yak butter . . .