Just wanted to let you all know what we’ve been upto since the last time we posted.
The last two days of X phase we did a lot of activities surrounding watching wildlife. We went for a canoe ride along the Dhungre river and saw few gharials and a lot of birds. Gharials are highly endangered species of crocodiles that are still found in Chitwan. They have a long snout which helps them catch fish. In the afternoon we went for a jungle walk and saw rhinos, deer, wild elephant and wild boar. It was fascinating to see these animals in their natural habitat.
The next day we went on a shorter exploration to the marshlands of the national park on a jeep. Among many other things we also saw the crested serpent eagle which was majestic.
In the afternoon we went to an organization called Stand Up for Elephants which works on ethical treatment of elephants. It was wonderful to see the work they were doing which included the rehabilitation of abused elephants and raising awareness against the tourism industry where these elephants are abused, overworked and not taken care of.
The next day we took a bus for Namo Buddha Monastery for the Buddhist retreat. We arrived at Namo Buddha in the afternoon. We started off the next morning by attending the puja(ceremony) in the morning. We have the immense privilege of learning meditation and Buddhist teachings from Khenpo David Karma Choepel who also works as the translator for HH Gyalwang Karmapa and Venerable Thrangu Rimpoche. For the next 8 days we will be in Namo Buddha monastery living and learning.