I traveled with purpose, and it has been one of the most significant experiences in my life!
In late April I undertook a journey to an unknown land where Buddhism and meditation are indispensable part of the
everyday life of its inhabitants.
I went to Nepal, to Kathmandu to be more exact, where I met the extremes of physical poverty and the abundance in the
connection with the Dalai Lama.
My time in Nepal was very short. I arrived the 27th of April at 11PM and was received by the local God who unlike
ours, had at his right hand six words: “Welcome to the land of Buddha.”
I chose to make a trip to this land to achieve a connection with myself and with the nature, and also to do one of the
things I do best: educate. I applied through the platform called Nvdp which has Community and Volunteer placement organization in Nepal.
Once the representative of Nvdp, Bhagawan picked me up at the airport, we headed to a hostel where I stayed
for the night. The next day we went to one of the most touristic and visited places in Kathmandu the Temple Swayambhunath
or Temple of the monkeys, where primates live freely pacing by the alleys and trees where they also have pools specially
designed for them.
For the Buddhist Newars (the local Buddhists) both in its mythological history, as in their everyday religious practice,
Swayambhunath has a central position, which is probably the most sacred between places of Buddhist pilgrimage. According
to the mythology all the valley was full of water due to a huge lake, which grew by lotus. The valley became known as
Swayambhu, meaning “self- creation”. The name comes from a self- existing eternal flame (swyaṃbhu) on which Supa was built
later, a place where typically the remains of the monks and nuns Buddhist are saved.
Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple, because these sacred animals live in the north-west of the temple. They
are holy because Manjushree, the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning was building the hill where now stands the Temple of
Swayambhunath. As he was building, he was supposed to leave his hair short but he let it grow and with it lice where born
and raised. It is said that these lice have become the monkeys today.
Once I finished the tour which lasted about an hour, Bhagawan and I headed to the monastery that was located about 20
kilometers from the city and which was on top of a mountain.
We move from the center to the north of Kathmandu and the ravages of the earthquake became more evident in the buildings,
the dusty streets and some abandoned houses on each side of the street.
Once we went to the top, the atmosphere was very different. From a city full of noise and traffic, to plenty of silence
and serenity in the mountain. A group of children monks were waiting for us at the door and after a brief introduction of
the monastery Hasantra, I learned that people who lived there were only women. And that most girls were orphan from mother
My responsibility was teach English to different groups of girls. To my surprise most had an excellent oral and written
skills and knew much about the outside world which exceeded my expectations.
My days began at 6: 30 AM, breakfast to 7AM and classes at 7: 30AM. For the them, activities began at 5AM with a session
of meditation and songs, then snacks, cleaning and English classes. After, more meditation doing the latter at least 5
times a day.
It was wonderful to witness this way of life, this “hidden” place in the world where they are all sisters and take care of
each other. My time finished and I was satisfied of my small contribution in the education of these girls, but I even felt
more satisfied as I feel proud to say that I have 80 sisters in the mountains blessed by the Dalai Lama and all and each
of its predecessors.