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This tag is associated with 21 posts

Leaving the monastery

Time moves slowly at the monastery. This is proof that the adage “time flies when you’re having fun” isn’t always true, for I’ve enjoyed every day, yet my three weeks here have felt like a few months. Perhaps time slows here because even though each day is full, there is a notable lack of stress. … Continue reading

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

Uniquely Balinese

I wasn’t exactly sure what I would find when I came to Bali. I booked the trip with less forethought and research than my normal trips, so there was a lot I didn’t know. Even though I’ve always been intrigued by Bali, I tried to prepare myself for the very real possibility that I would … Continue reading

That whole ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ thing…

One of my guidebooks describes Ubud as an artist’s community and “the most Balinese of towns”—descriptions that drew me here. However, as of the last seven years, it is probably best known as one of the sites featured in the book “Eat, Pray, Love”—a book that, despite its status as an international bestseller, I thought … Continue reading

Leaving the land of Eretz Yisrael

A day late and several hundred dollars short, we finally prepare to leave the ancient land of Eretz Yisrael, the land of Judea and Samaria, home to seemingly opposing religions and nationalities that have more in common than anyone cares to admit. As I was writing my entries on this trip, I intended to eventually … Continue reading

Mazel Tov!

Today is the day of Tiferet’s (David’s niece) Bat Mitzvah, which is being held at the family’s synagogue in Ma’aleh Adumim, where they live. Ma’aleh Adumim is in an Israeli territory just outside of Jerusalem. In Israel, the term “territory” is the preferred term to describe contested land currently occupied by Israelis. Ma’aleh Adumim is … Continue reading

Exploring the Old City

We’ve had the pleasure of doing a lot with David’s family while we’ve been here. Last night we celebrated the birthday of his eldest niece, Seri, and the night before David’s sister graciously invited me to attend her 50th birthday party. It was a women’s-only party because dancing was involved and women who are Jewish … Continue reading

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