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An evening puja at Assi Ghat. Pujas occur every morning and evening paying respect to the Mother Ganga. Photo by Christine Tsai (2016 Fall Semester Photo Contest Finalist), India Semester.

Comparative Religion

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WTBD Yaks from India

Eastern Himalayas: West Bengal to Sikkim

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Monastery Summarization

Olivia Francois, Participant

 -By learning how to meditate, I have learned a lot by attending the monastery for a couple of days. At first I was really nervous about going into such a sacred place, but the teachings were very wise, and it introduced me into a way of......Read More

WTBD Yaks from India

Eastern Himalayas: West Bengal to Sikkim

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Rumtek Monastery

Aiden Yip, Participant

For two and a half days, we were given the opportunity to experience the Rumtek Monastery. We got to learn many aspects of Buddhism from two monks named Khempo and Karma. Being a monk is a huge sacrifice, so I was inspired by each and everyone of......Read More

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On Pesantren and Waria

I-team, Instructor

Yak of the Week

Indonesia’s motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, or Unity in Diversity, and was intended as a means of unifying an ethnically, linguistically, and religiously diverse archipelago of 17,000 islands (give or take a few depending on who you talk to),......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies – Group B

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What is the Divine?

Lyza Berg, Participant

I am not a Jew. Although I was raised “culturally Jewish,” for the past several years, I have gone from feeling impartial to feeling angry to simply rejecting Judaism from my personal spirituality altogether. And this is not to say that I have a......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies - Group A

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On Languages, Silence, Existence and more!

Silas Brainard, Participant

Exhausted, after hiking the nine and a half hours from Nagarkot, Hotel at the End of the Universe, to Dhulikhel, where we had had our orientation, I was happily surprised to be greeted by another familiar face, Ellen, who had taught yoga to me and......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies – Group B

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Something to Steep About

Maya Parr, Lyza Berg, Participant

Tea. Chiyaa. NOT chai (thanks Dave). Dudh chiyaa, kaalo chiyaa, kagaati chiyaa, ginger tea, masala tea- we encounter these teas whilst travelling virtually everywhere we have traveled in this country. Tea is the constant in our lives. From Day One......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies – Group B

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Oh, To Be a Baby Monk

Kathryn McLane, Participant

Buddhism is a religion, put simply. Beyond the fact that Buddhism is a religion, however, it can be healing, and a healer. Buddhism is the concept of putting others before oneself, and the idea that everyone is one sentient being. Helping others is......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Myanmar

Myanmar: Buddhist Traditions & Transformation

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Group Update on the Rohingya Situation.

Lexi Kanter, Participant

Yak of the Week

*This yak is a compilation of writings and research done by the entire student group* Before we all left for this program, Myanmar was at the forefront of global news due to the conflict occurring in the Rakhine State. Prior to departure a lot us......Read More

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What I Love About the Mountains

Henry Coppolillo, Participant

The Himalayas figured prominently in my decision to come to Nepal. Mountains have been one of the most important things in my life for a long time, but the reason I feel drawn to this type of environment has often escaped me. Recently I’ve......Read More

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My Temple

Benjamin, Participant

Written at Namo Buddha beneath fluttering prayer flags and swaying pines: Where green life tickles my feet and leave red marks after long periods of repose Where small beings chirp and buzz on and around my foreign form Where my good friend, the......Read More

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A Picture Of Namo Buddha

Olivia S, Participant

Yak of the Week

The darkness just before dawn has a unique quality.  The world is still and silent, listening, and awaiting the sun.  A thin line of vermilion cloud hangs low and bright on the eastern horizon, mirroring the rise and fall of distant peaks.  As......Read More

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Reflection: Pashupatinath

Benjamin, Participant

Pashupatinath is one of the four holiest sites in Hinduism.  Every Hindu with the means and physical ability attempts to visit in their lifetime. It is dedicated to Shiva, god of destruction, one of the primary three gods in the expansive Hindu......Read More

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Visiting the Chokati temple

Henry Coppolillo, Participant

Over the three weeks we have spent in Nepal thus far we have been able to visit numerous holy sites, both Buddhist and Hindu, including the several holy caves and monasteries near our orientation site in Pharping, and the iconic Boudhanath stupa in......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies - Group B

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Silence

Alessandro Cohen, Participant

Silence is the sound that makes no noise. It comes and goes without us ever noticing. No matter how hard we try we will never be able to make it stay. There are many different classifications for silence and all come with their own connotations.......Read More