Sunday, 17 February 2008

Winter retreat

Seven days of solitude
High up on a hill surrounded by mighty mountains, and almost right in the centre of kathmandu valley, nestled the kopan monastery where i gracefully found my asylum for seven days and nights.

The guest room is minimally furnitured, with a small bed and a table next to a wall cabinet where a picture of the Dalai Lama was placed on a mini thangka. the attached bathroom provides hot water facilities though on a night colder than minus 2 degrees, the only place you want to be is deep in the thick blankets.

Meals are vegetarian and provided three times a day. the kopan cafe opens from 7am till 8pm. after eight most foreign guests will retreat to their rooms, except the monks who are still in their studies and will finish at 10pm.

Turning in early almost promises me an early rise every day. at 6.30am i will join the puja ceremony performed by the residential monks. the sonorous chants of those monks pacifies my mind and cleanses my thoughts. it is good to just sit there and meditate.

I have breakfast at 7.30am, which to be followed by a dharma teaching at 10.30am by the Ven Ani Karin, who is kind to give 4 lessons on meditation.

Most of the time I spend reading dharma books in the library or cafe. occasionally i will chat with monks and take pictures of them at their own leisure.

life is so mindful and peaceful here.

A friendly monk on the rooftop of the Kopan library, Kathmandu.

No comments: