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Lunch by Sunlight, Dance by Moonlight

February 22, 2015

After arriving in Kathmandu yesterday Lhakpa Dhondrup and I walked around Boudha, enjoying some people-watching, as with the 3rd day of Losar (Tibetan New Year), many people were now out and about and enjoying the day themselves.

The weather was warm and in the mid-60’s, contrary to the current sub-zero temps in Chicago, and so Lhakpa and I wandered to the outdoor cafe associated with Shechen Monastery.

At Shechen, we sat drinking coffee and eating lunch in the sunshine.  I hadn’t eaten since the previous day, nor had I slept, and so after this meal in the sun, I felt quite good.

Sitting there, my mind began to soften.

Whether it was the lack of sleep, the delicious food, or sitting next to Shechen, my vision blurred a bit with the golden light that trickled through the overhanging vegetation in the garden we were seated in, and in that momentary and welcomed absence of thought, all I could hear were the birds and the breeze.  I felt a big smile as my eyes watered some with the light.

After our prolonged lunch in the sun, Lhakpa and I went back to the Stupa to do some more people watching.  Lhakpa wanted to buy some meditation beads and so we went into to a shop.

While he was shopping, a kind fellow from Toronto struck up a conversation with me about music.  As we sat talking about our newest likes in the music world, an French woman (who later I found out worked for Karuna Shechen) came up and invited the Torontoan and his wife to a party later that evening. The Torontoan asked if Lhakpa and I could also come along and so we then all proceeded to purchase some beverages to bring to the party to share.

The party was outdoors in a seemingly secluded area of Boudha, something that I didn’t know existed.  There was a campfire and a live band while everyone danced outside under the stars and a crescent moon. The people present seemed to be a mix of shedra students, some academics, and NGO types.

I ran into an old friend, Gerry, whom I haven’t seen in almost five years.

Chatted with people from Karuna Shechen, Italian NGO workers who work on water and sanitation in Nepal, and others. The party ended up being an unexpected chance to make some new connections for the people of Dolpo.

After an enjoyable first day in Nepal, I came back to my guest house with that good kind of exhaustion that leads to the deepest sleep.

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