Bodh Gaya

After Kathmandu, I took a 48 hour journey to Bodh Gaya back in India. The journey was long and involved changing transportation several times.

The periods of transportation between cities are characterized by cramped seating, lots of honking, aggressive driving, hot/ humid weather, and often unpaved roads.

I am met often with stares and approaches of all kinds, peddlers and others who just wanting to converse.

I am constantly bewildered with the atmosphere a native here grows up with. Its just heart breaking. It is a constant reminder to be grateful for what I’ve been given in life.

makeshift houses by the roadside

I was relieved to get checked into a hotel and get cleaned up.

Taken from Wikipedia:

Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous as it is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment (Pali: bodhi) under what became known as the Bodhi Tree.

For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I spent most my time in Bodhgaya either at the Bodhi tree or in my room. It was a significant time of self-reflection. The atmosphere around the tree itself is somewhat unbelievable. Its just like a constant state of being stupefied. Sitting in front of it is like, “am I actually see this?”

It was low season, and so it was not hard to get near the tree to sit. Most the other people sitting around me were monks.

This event happened while some heavy family issues were surfacing back home. There was much material to sit with. I encountered a kind elderly lady at a restaurant just next to my hotel the night before I left. She had an unidentified accent, maybe French Canadian. We had a good exchange. It was so good to have the listening ear of a seasoned meditation practitioner, to be able to get some things off my chest, without it coming off as anything other than what it was. It was an opportunity to communicate my present situation, simple and yet often difficult to find.

 

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