Suffice to Say, I am in India

No photos yet, as I’m on a school computer and this is my foray into internet-dom. They will come soon.

At the moment, I am mostly amazed that I am here. It took about twenty-four hours of travel to get here, from Los Angeles to New York to Delhi. And that’s not counting the roundabout cab ride from the airport to the center, hehe. Things of note:

The center, formally known as The Karmapa International Buddhist Institute, looks like a Tibetan monastery, and in fact most of its inhabitants are monks. Students from around the world have been trickling in. So far no other Americans, but I’ve met several Germans, a Canadian, and a Dane. Everyone is friendly and everyone is dedicated to the Dharma. This is a good place to be.

There is  a temple in the middle of the compound where people meditate and do prostrations. The statue of the Buddha there is the most impressive and inspiring I’ve ever seen, entirely gold and probably twelve-feet high. It’s quite cold here, which is very encouraging of prostration practice as it heats one up considerably. I’ve been doing one hundred a day, but I might start doing extra before bed to keep warm.

Outside the center, directly close by is all institutions; there is a hospital, the Indian Statistical Institute, and various places with Hindi names that I don’t understand, but which have impressive buildings to go along with them. A short walk away, through a park and off the nearest main road is what I would guess is a more typical neighborhood, where tall buildings stand close together, street vendors sell everything from fresh curry to room heaters, and men speed by on motorcycles while honking their horns maniacally.

There are no squirrels here, but energetic chipmunks with striped backs and a single ring on their tails. There are crows, as there seem to be Corvidae everywhere in the world; the ones here are black with gray hoods that stretch over their breast and half down their backs. The blackbirds, if they are blackbirds, have orange beaks and orange around their eyes, and there’s waterbirds with fat bodies on stick-like legs near the river that runs by a park just a short walk from the center.

I imagine I will be at the center most of the time, working and practicing, but perhaps on weekends I’ll venture out to nearby destinations of interest or to sample the local fare. Everything now is new and unknown. You’ll know when I know what life has in store.
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6 thoughts on “Suffice to Say, I am in India

  1. Hello Jourdie,
    Can’t sleep so I decided to look at my emails on my IPhone and lucky me I found a message from you. You sound great and I’m glad you arrive safely. I talked to Mom and she told me you got to visit Auntie Lita. That’s good. Then she said she missed your call and was bummed. BTW I picked up Taylor and Chris today and they’re doing great.
    Mom called Tay later to tell her Auntie Lita passed away today, so maybe she is in a better place. I haven’t spoken to Mom yet cause it’s too late there and I wanted to give her some quiet time.
    I am excited for you in your new studies at the institute. I am interested in everything you can share. I like your descriptions of the buildings and the birds, etc.
    Be well. I Iove you, Dad

  2. Hey Jourdie! Daddy shared your blog with me. It’s so exciting the you are once again traveling in the world!! What city are you in? I have friends who just came back from a trip to India. They said it was the best trip (different from yours of course) but they were pretty grossed out by filth and stench!! I’m glad you haven’t seemed to experience that (yet). Continue to be the curious, amazing person that you are!! love, Aunt Joanne
    PS I’m sorry about your Auntie Lita

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