Thursday, 12 February 2009

not empy, not not empy, not neither and not both!

Well, Sudakini is now better! She had tablets to treat Giardia and amoebic dysentery! Apparently the doctor has a habit of overperscribing, a guy in our guest house said if you go with a head ache you will be given a morphine injection!

We are in the swing of cooking for ourselves more. Usually papaya, banana and lemon for breakfast. Tibetan bread and marmalade another favorite. We had pasta today. Really enjoy getting fresh veg in the morning, you have too get it each day as it goes off so quick in the heat. Common veg is green peppers, tomatoes, pees, aubergine, carrots, chilies, beans, spinach. We got a weird spiky thing the other day. The man said to peel it and fry it. It was like a mixture between potatoes, aubergine and parsnip, very nice. Veg is incredibly cheap, like 1p for 6 tomatoes. Chai is gorgeous and Sudakini has mastered the art of making this. Cheese is a luxury here and even then its expensive and processed. Vajralila misses pizza a bit.

A woman staying in our guest house is a chod teacher and gave us a lesson yesterday. We feel like beginners again. We had picked up many bad habits and are having to re learn the technique. Humility is a good thing of course.

Vajralila is immersed in her 'what is emptiness' project and is reading 'pointing out the Dharmakaya' and 'The understanding heart' by Tich nat hahn. Both are excellent. Sudakini already seems to have know for a long time what Vajralila is learning.

Our new chapter has formed and stormed and any time soon we expect it to perform. The FWBO land is in the process of being transformed for the convention in a few weeks. Things are changing fast. Gardens emerging and a massive wooden frame that will be a structure under canvas is looking impressive. Buddhas are being made out of stone and a bamboo bridge appeared this week. At present 24 Indian women are staying there, with their cooks, All 30 in one room. These women got ordained as Bikkunis a few days ago (they needed somewhere safe to stay) which is pretty radical as women are not recognised as able to have full ordination in the Theravada tradition but they persuaded somone to conduct the ordination and managed to find Bikkhus to be there to witness it to make it authentic, although the Bikkhus wouldn't put there name to it (apparently they could loose their passports if they did!) it seems to have been enough to count. We and Aranyaka were there to be supportive and the next day Sudakini and I bought 24 potions of this special indian sweet treat for them to celebrate, we offered it to each woman and then they had us kneel with our eyes closed while they chanted blessings for us. It was very special.

Thank you to those who read and comment, it helps us feel connected xxxxx

Thursday, 5 February 2009


sudakini is trying to combat a persistent tummy bug and has been in bed for three days. Vajralila has enjoyed following her own impulses in the meantime (whilst also caring for the patient); she has been getting up at 5.30 and meditation at the mahabodhi temple. Our chod critic from the other day later came up to us on another occassion after our practice, smiling and asking us to take on the care of some puppies she had been feeding since she was soon to leave. we took this friendly approach as an apology and thought the demon must have been fully fed and transformed. We changed rooms today - hoooray!! now in an upstairs room which is lighter and airier. The niyingma prayer festval has finished and tibetans, ladakhis, nepalis and bhutanese are now flooding out of bodhgaya. Maybe we will have more quiet time now and less crowds everywhere. Sudakinis main focus of practice at the moment is equanimity towards upleasant physical symptoms - after all, there is no me and mine! Vajralila is, in contrast, experiencing dhyana in her meditations and contemplating the meaning of co-emergence and the emptiness of the five skandhas... It all counts. Still three weeks to go until the convention. We are hearing many expressions of gratitude towards other order members who have spent many years coming to Bodhgaya and connecting with the locals - they have contributed in many ways to people here. Nissoka and Lalitavajras names are mentioned often. We are using the computer at Sashi's thanka painting school. Sashi is an indian mitra who studied thanka painting in nepal. We have to finish up cause Annise is waiting to lock up.