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Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

A Look Into Life at the Monastery

We started out on a three day trek on the way to the monastery. It was so beautiful and rewarding.. After each day of hiking I felt so accomplished to have reached our destination with delicious food waiting for us. The second day was the most challenging since it was about 9 hours long. When we finally reached the monastery I was overwhelmed with happiness. It was so beautiful and had such a good energy about it. There were so many cute little monks running around. It was so nice to see them enjoying the monastery and all it had to offer. Every meal we ate with the monks. I loved doing this because they would chant their hearts out in prayer before and after every meal.
Our day would start out at 5:30; all of us tiredly walking to morning Puja. After Puja we would go to the dinning hall for breakfast. Where the air was filled with the delicious smell of Tibetan rolls which became a highlight of my days.
After breakfast we would have a meditation class led by our Khenpo (a highly respected teacher). Each morning he would give us different techniques to use while meditating. My favorite was thinking of someone who has deeply hurt you and sending them all of your love; in his words you cherish them more than yourself. I found that after I did this I had let go of so much anger and was filled with love.
Next we would go to our Dharma class after a small break. We started and ended each class with a prayer chant. Our Khenpo was so wise yet so humble. He would often make jokes and helped us to question Buddhism. During one class he said something along the lines of was there a Buddha? I was surprised he said this; a priest would never question if there was a Jesus. I appreciate how questioning the scripture and really everything is an important part of Buddhism. It allows you to really learn from it instead of blindly following faith.
After lunch we would have a Q&A session with our Khenpo where we could ask him all our questions about meditation, the Dharma, Buddhism, and really anything we were curious about. For our time at the monastery we had a phenomenal translator since the Khenpo spoke Tibetan and only knew a bit of English. She was also very wise and an amazing woman.
One of the experiences from our stay that has really stuck with me was our time on the hillside that was adorned with thousands and thousands of prayer flags. We had the chance to meditate there with all of its powerful energy surrounding us. We also got to hang our own pray flags; on each flag we wrote a persons name so as to hang it in their honor.
Over all my experience at the monastery was very good. I learned a lot about Buddhism, meditation, and myself. I got to connect very deeply with my spiritual side which opened up my heart. I feel so lucky and grateful to have had this experience many will never have the pleasure of sharing.