Day 2 – Kathmandu and the meeting of the group
I wake at 5 am, feeling confident that I’ve kicked this jetlag/time change thing. It is drizzling outside and I see the symbolic prayer flags handing outside my window.
I wander down to breakfast and am fascinated by the dragon symbolism everywhere. I have a female dragon tattooed on my right wrist, symbolic for me from my Amazonian shamanic experiences, and increasingly present during other ceremonial experiences I have participated in. I am fascinated to learn that the dragon has a great deal of Tibetan Buddhism symbolism, and I look forward to learning more in my time here with Tibetan indigenous people.
For now, I revel in the fact that my hotel has illy coffee and a quiet place to sit outside in the mornings, and weather that is neither hot nor cold.
I finally meet the group and meet a number of likeminded adventurous spirits, and enjoy slowly getting to know them.
We spend the afternoon and evening together, along with our spiritual teachers (Tibetan Buddhist lama and two geshes) and our medical leaders.
We are gifted with sacred teachings and participate in Tibetan Buddhist prayer mantras. We spend the day learning about clinic work, and we dine in a beautiful outdoor space. We close the evening with a ceremony known as “Chud”. This means “to cut through the ego”. The ceremony involves our spiritual leaders chanting and playing instruments for approximately 20 minutes while we meditate. I turn to Wikipedia for more understanding and learn that
Chöd literally means “cutting through”. It cuts through hindrances and obscurations, sometimes called ‘demons’ or ‘gods’. Examples of demons are ignorance, anger and, in particular, the dualism of perceiving the self as inherently meaningful, contrary to the Buddhist doctrine of no-self.
The goal is for this to assist us with “cutting” our ties to attachments that will interfere with our need to be present, with wisdom and compassion in our service work. During the meditation I find myself losing sight/feeling of my hands and my body and drifting away – but then always snapping back in at the sound of the instruments. Behind my eyes I also see roads of white that I am travelling on and they extend and stretch around a corner…
It’s been a good day. Namaste.