We have 10 days left in Bodhgaya and want to savor every moment. The busy season is over. Most visitors, some who spend 3-4 months of every year in here, from diverse Buddhist traditions based in the East and West, have headed North to the mountains and cooler climes. Bodhgaya gets steadily hotter and dustier (if that's possible) by the day. And There are still a few Dharmacharis and Dharmacharinis (members of the Western Buddhist Order / Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha, as its known in India) to be seen around the Bodhi tree. Our international convention finished the day before yesterday and most people have continued on pilgrimage to other sacred sites in India, or headed back to jobs and families back home. But we are still here!
The convention was a remarkable event, especially the early mornings and evenings when nearly five hundred of us in various shades of blue and kesas, gathered for meditation and puja under the Bodhi tree. The Mahabodhi temple is familiar with large numbers of Tibetan, Srilankan and Thai pilgrims but this was the first time WBO and TBM were really visible here. I get a sense our presence had a positive impact. Many Buddhists from other traditions sat with us, even chanted with us, some bowed to show respect and some just gazed or took photos. The faces appeared open and friendly.
Now we are back to a more spacious, and quiet routine of our own making, wanting to make the most of our last days here near the Bodhi tree and Vajrasana. On 13th March we fly back to England. Vajralila will spend 6 weeks at Taraloka and Sudakini some time there and elsewhere. Our plans for our trip to America are slowly progressing.