C: I had the same although you do not see me. It was really good. P didn't mention that we tasted our first Yak milk, salty, butter tea here. Not soo bad but not good enough for me to ever want another in my life. P: And this is the Stupa. It is located a bit on the outskirts of town, in the Boudha area. From the always reliable wikipedia:
A stupa (from Sanskrit and Pāli: m., स्तूप, stūpa, literally meaning "heap") is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, once thought to be places of Buddhist worship, typically the remains of a Buddha or saint. In other Asian languages such monuments are called
- chorten (Tibetan མཆོད་རྟེན༏ (Wylie: mchod rten), "dharma place/seat")
- chedi (Thai, from the Pāli chaitya)
- dagobah (Sinhalese, from the Sanskrit dhatu)
- tope (Hindi, from the Sanskrit)
- garbha (Sanskrit, meaning a storehouse or repository)
C: I'm not sure how to write about the first experience of the Stupa. First of all, I did not come to Nepal expecting a "spiritual experience," as many of the visitors to Nepal anticipate. But to understand what the moment was like coming into the Stupa circle for the first time, you must first understand the context of the moments leading up to our visit. We've mentioned this a bit but, being in Nepal, the first days were filled with dust, hectic streets, very early mornings with unfamiliar sounds- albeit beautiful, but sounds none the less, intense smog- just sort of all around chaoticness. Then we arrive here to this pristine white structure, surrounded by the gutteral sounds of chanting monks spilling from the monasteries, recorded chants from all of the little shops, and many many Tibetan women and men, Monks and tourists walking in meditative circles around the Stupa, millions of prayer flags blowing in the wind. It was powerful. Hard to deny feeling touched, deeply. It was a very spirit filled moment for me and I think also for Piero. All of the chaos fell away. In the moments we spent there, we decided that we want to live here, near this kind of peace. Now it is a place that we go to almost everyday. It is also the place where P and I both slowly, respectfully (as some of the holy places here are not open to the public- but as we are now learning, Buddhist monasteries are mostly open to the public as opposed to the Hindu temples that are a bit more off limits to the general public) entered our first Buddhist monastery and received our first blessing.