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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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The Colors of the Prayer Flag

Lucas Lepinard, Participant

Describing any wonderful experience is hard, especially one that contains so many separate and distinct memories. I struggled to begin sharing the details accurately through the conventional ways of description so instead I thought I might present a......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies - Group B

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Clarity

Whitney Merriman, Participant

A wise Khenpo said, “We say there is no sunlight but the sunlight is always there. The nature of the sun is to give light. The nature of our mind, like the sun, is always shining. The outer negative emotions cover our mind and we are unable to......Read More

WTBD Yaks from Nepal

Nepal: Himalayan Studies - Group B

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Learning is Experiencing

Nora Hyman, Participant

There are certain things we know without having to actually witness: the moon changes its shape and position every night, monks wear robes, Nescafe has a tendency to make people hyper. There are things we can’t know without witnessing: the......Read More

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Rhythms Unaware

Mark, Participant

Yak of the Week

On our last morning in Nepal, in ancient Bhaktapur, our carved wooden oval window looks over a scene of deeply rooted patterns and a rhythm of life that’s as unfamiliar to us as it is automatic to Newari’s here. How profoundly their or......Read More

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Benaras

Lisa Cordano, Participant

Yak of the Week

The sun sinks behind a 300 year old Mosque, illuminating the perfectly rounded towers. I remember visiting the Mosque during our Muslim week (what seems like ages ago). I stood on the balcony, looking out over the ghats, down at the boats in the......Read More

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A Strange New Normal

Kenna Kuhn, Participant

Yak of the Week

A few mornings ago, as Duncan and I crowded around the outlet to read our parents Field Notes on the program house iPad (hi mom and dad!), we found ourselves distracted by Photos of the Week and Field Notes from other students on other courses in......Read More

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Speech and Silence in a Stranger’s Land: A...

Kimberly Liu, Participant

Yak of the Week

The Kathmandu valley presents a chasm of a contrast to the world outside of the hills which one can occasionally glimpse from a solitary moment on building rooftops: looming mountains of ragged green and reflective sky-shearing peaks through which......Read More

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Practicing – A Disjointed Essay

Anna Maheu, Participant

Yak of the Week

I recently read a short book that was given to me on Buddhism, called What Makes You Not a Buddhist. In each section, the author, Khyentse Norbu, repeatedly urged the reader to not simply intellectualize and then shelve the philosophies he was......Read More

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Apu Ausangate

Emily Smith, Participant

Yak of the Week

As I write, I am surrounded by Alpacas, sheep, and horses as they graze. The herders sit on nearby boulders and watch over, dressed in traditional clothes of colorful hand-woven wool ponchos and skirts. We were at camp after hiking for six hours and......Read More

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SO… WHO AM I?

Nina Saligman, Participant

Yak of the Week

Hola from the heart of the Incan Empire. Your favorite Peru 6 week course is currently approaching our midway point, which happens to be hitting a few of us kind of hard. Midway points are a time for reflection, as my 50 year old parents might agree......Read More

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kawsay pacha

Anne Vetter, Participant

Yak of the Week

Long walks occupy that strange in-between space in the mind; you can think in a way that is not thinking or dreaming or analyzing. It is just another part of the slow pattern of walking. You step forward, your mind moves somewhere soft, you step......Read More

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A step into the mind of a young traveller

Philip Beardsley, Participant

Yak of the Week

Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said:“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  And then he is so anxious about the future that he does......Read More

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Idul Adha in Jogja

Larkin Barron, Participant

Yak of the Week

I wrote parts of this after Idul Adha on the 5th of October. Now we are in Buntau, Toraja, on Sulawesi. Didn’t want to get anyone confused 🙂 I’ll write about our current experience this coming weekend. Last night the celebration for Idul Adha......Read More

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In The City of Life

Stephen Chao, Dragons Admin

Yak of the Week

Death came at 4:30 on a dark Monday morning. I had been lying in my host parents’ room, waiting for them to return from the hospital. My host nieces, Pari and Khushi, were peacefully sleeping in the room next door. We had returned from the......Read More