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A day in the life of a monastery volunteer (Part 2)

So where were we? Ah yes, puja… 4:00: puja, which means “prayer” or “offering,” is a truly glorious time of day. No one (except the monks) are required to go, but I try to attend every day. People who are close to me know that while I may have strong beliefs about being a decent … Continue reading

A day in the life of a monastery volunteer (Part 1)

In my last post I said the heavens would have to open and emit the mighty sound of OM before I’d have a chance to post some pictures. Well, it finally happened, although I had to leave the monastery to do it. Yesterday was a day off for us so another volunteer (Aksana) and I … Continue reading

Of monks and monasteries…

In the last post, I mentioned I would elaborate on the monastery and its inhabitants. The mission of the Namo Buddha monastery is to educate young monks grades 1 through 9 (another sister monastery handles the higher grades). Previously, the young monks only learned a traditional Tibetan Buddhism curriculum that included subjects like Tibetan writing, … Continue reading

Going with the flow at the monastery…

When you travel, you must learn to be flexible. This is especially true when traveling to developing countries, but even more true when volunteering. As a self-described “recovering” Type-A personality, mental flexibility isn’t a trait that always came easily to me (and sometimes still doesn’t, particularly when something needs to be cleaned), but I credit … Continue reading

Life happens in Shambhala

“Life happens.” This is the nicer version of what people say to explain the unforeseen events that happen in everyone’s lives. Indeed, life does happen and there’s no getting around that, but the saying has a degree of resignation to it—a feeling of giving up one’s own power and leaving it in the hands of … Continue reading

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