buddhism and I

Whether it was Kushinagar (a pilgrimage town near Gorakhpur,Uttar Pradesh) or Mc leodganj( also known as mini Lhasa, Himachal Pradesh) or reading ‘buddha charit’ in school, Buddhism has always attracted me, because of its philosophy and temples/shrines, because of the monks and nuns.

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the dalai lama temple

It is not that i don’t approve of my religion (Hinduism/Sanatan Dharma), But being brought up in a very tolerant and open-minded environment (both home and school), i have been taught to be accepting of different cultures and taking the best out of them,i have been trained since early childhood the importance of acculturation and tolerance (maybe because we are migrants).

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Buddhism for me is making empathy a basic practice, channeling the force of mind i.e. meditation, practicing love and compassion, patience and the concept of death, nirvana.

Well since this is meant to be a travel blog i would not go into the theories of Buddhism in detail, would jump to the Mc Leod Ganj directly.

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Mc Leod ganj according to me is not just a place ,it is an experience,

it is a suburb of Dharamshala ,situated in the Kangra district and is situated on the Dhaulandar (mountain)range of himachal pradesh.

It is called mini Lhasa ,because of its high density of Tibetan population,the tibetan govt in exile has its headquarters at Mc leod.

one of the major attractions isthe Dalai lama Temple.Also known as thekchen choling temple.Dalai Lama visits this temple about 3 to 4 times in a year,therefore its name.

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If you want to visit mc leod ganj ,during around his visits you can check his schedule of teachings on the following site link.

https://www.dalailama.com/schedule

I unfortunately could not visit during his visits.

the temple is open from 8 am to 8 pm.

once one enters the temple, one enters a different world altogether

i remembered a song when i entered the premises, of a hindi girl band
‘jahan ho pyaar ka mausam,jahan sab dilon ka ho sangam,jahan miithi ho sab logon ki zubaan,
mujhe aise nagar hai jana, mai aisa nagar dhund lungi kahin na kahin.’

you can always see a number of maroon or yellow-clad monks with allot of peace and contentment on their faces, such sweet mesmerizing smiles they carry, always address you with folded hands ,i was totally impressed.

we saw them chanting one day and debating the other.

inside the main temple their stands a magnificent statue of Buddha,

pilgrims, and tourists from all around the globe flock the corridors of the temple, rotating the temple wheels and chanting ‘om mani padme hum’.

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during the 7 days of my stay at Mc leod i visited the temple 4 times,everytime it was a different experience,whether it was meeting the old tibetan granny or greeting the very sweet japanese baby along with his handsome father,or playing with two naughty tibetam girls ,everyday at the temple or mc leod is different .

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Therefore i say Mcleod ganj is not a place it is an experience a culture in its own.

St.John in the Wilderness !

Well i will begin where i left last ,

after meeting all my co trainees at the office along with our trainer , all of whom came from a diverse background ,two pretty young girls from haryana ,two beautiful gujarati ladies from Mumbai,and one from all the way south, Hubli.

But, there was one thing, that i understand common amongst us and that was our willingness to learn RECBT and along with that ,i think all of us somehow needed a change from our routine lives,and at the end of the journey we all took back very fond memories and have grown in someway or the other.

so, after the introduction,we started back to our guest houseĀ  ,the jogiwara road ,i.e. the road straight down hill from the main market is very steep , it was easy for us to go down but, very tough to go up the incline,so we took another route,via the temple road.

the temple road here ,refers to the road connecting the dalai lama temple (also called Tsuglakhang temple)(i will write a seperate blog to describe the temple).

it was around 6:30 and i was hungry already or should i say i was craving for momos!!.Earlier this year when we went to Assam we could not have momos so i anyhow had to have MOMOs!!,my friends Reshma and BHavika recommended a small stall that had steamed momos and so i took it to my room and devoured on it!!

(This was my first day so i wasnt very confident to eat alone or even with my new friends at a restaurant ).

it was a tiring day so i slept at 9:30 unlike my daily routine.

for the next day Reshma and i planned to go to the kalachakra temple and the church before our workshop begun!!we decided to leave by 7 am!.i slept all excited.

I woke up all excited,this was something i always wanted to do,to explore the mountains undisturbed and not with a pressure of clicking pictures or rushing to work, i was very eager to see what this place had to offer us! i was thrilled!!

so we took off at the time we decided and went to the kalachakra temple first.

yes!! this is what i wanted ,i thought ,it was the best start we could think of.!

(i plan to have a separate blog for both the temples,so not elaborating it here).

from here we went to the main market square ,asked for directions to the church and began!(all on foot).

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yay! 1 km only we thought.

But,on the hills whether it is downhill or uphill , the distance is deceptive,all distances seem farther than their number.

anyways we had allot of time in our hands and we went around looking at the exquisite foliage and mountains on our way down.

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fortunately the sky was clear and we could enjoy the warmth of early morning sunrays!

the weather couldn’t have been better .

and on the way to the church i realized i was really enjoying Reshma’ company, may be this was something i was missing,making new friends who don’t know and dont judge you because of your profession,may be that is what i was missing all these years.(Being a doctor and being in the same place since last 10 yrs,at a position where all people senior to you have been there since you’ve been there or longer,and all new people are juniors,who inadvertently see you as a senior more than a friend.)(this i would say is an occupational hazard of medical profession, since our early day we are taught that a senior is always right ,so you being the part of the system tend to believe the same,feeding into your narcissism,which hampers the development of genuine heartfelt friendships)(my personal opinion). Anyways we went slow ,giggling around sharing our life stories ,our interests,our likes ,dislikes,clicking random pictures without us in them,awing together over the picturesque scenes ,we finally reached our destination.

The St. John’s Church, around 1 km from the main square (mc leod ganj) is located at the most isolated , untamed by humans place!!Set amidst theĀ  magnificent Deodar Forest, this Church is archaic in every sense!unfortunately when we reached the church was closed ,so could not see it from inside ,But the surrounding,the location and the eerie cemetery near it was more than satisfying in itself!( at every instance i was thanking the almighty to have blessed me to come here).


Continue reading “St.John in the Wilderness !”

Gu jun Pyo!!

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Hi readers,i hope this catches your eyes.

Well during my very awesome 7 days stay at the surprisingly vivid and exclusive McLeod Ganj experience(about which i plan to write explicitly, later), this happened two days before I was about to leave.

I went to The Green Cafe at Bhagsu road, to try some carrot cake as suggested by our trainer for the workshop.(I’m so thankful to her!!). It was a Friday, around 6 in the evening and the cafe was filled with people from the USA, Australia, and Germany(i was intently observing everybody while waiting for my cake!).

when this very very adorable baby came in with 2 other girls, the girl carrying the baby had caught my eye earlier than I spotted the baby, as she was helping a dog to get under the shed.

But, being the introvert i am i could not start a conversation until i heard them speak,i could not control and exclaimed ‘are u from Korea?’ i don’t know but i guess they sensed my excitement and got excited in return “oh yes, have u ever been there?”

i said “no, I haven’t But i am an ardent fan of Korean dramas especially one”

they asked,”oh!! which one??”

i said “boys over flowers”.

they talked amongst themselves and said “gam Jan di”

i said”yes!! gu jun Pyo!!!”

and we both exclaimed together “oh he is soo handsome” and giggled,

therefore we bonded over a Korean actor!

thanks to my dear junior from school, who has recommended this drama to me.

I had binged it on Netflix!

yes we blame social media most of the times,but it has helped me in my growth for sure(apart from the entertainment)

about the baby,the picture tells,his name is jun hoo,and he was one of the sweetest bundles of joy ive ever seen.he was reaching out to me constantly ,so i gathered courage to ask the girl if she could let me hold him,she gladly did and he made me soo very happy!!!.

i regret not asking for the girls’ names ,may be we could connect more.(i went to the cafe again the next two days,hoping to see them,but i could not)

But this experience will have an impact on me for days i guess.

I still believe in goodness ,kindness and compassion,such incidences strenghten my belief for the same!

visting south korea is on my wish list now!.

and yes for the drama,do watch it if you like watching college ,cuddly romances!,the actors and the music make it very impactful! gu jun pyo(btw) is the lead protagonist character .

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the carrot cake that had me crave for more
the carrot cake