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Archive for 'India'

India: Dirt. People. Colour. Dirt. Noise. Dirt.

December 29th, 2008

As with my opinion piece on the UAE, I find myself starting this round-up of India with a big fat waiver. India is a vast country with an awful lot of people in it. Obvious as these statements sound, you really have to go there to understand them fully. Committed readers will already know that […]

Portraits of India

December 28th, 2008

One of the most positive aspects of India for me were the people. Particularly in Rajasthan, they were friendly, fascinated by us aliens (especially Dad in his turban) and always keen to pose for a photo. When we showed them their portraits on the digital screen, they were often pleased and interested to see themselves […]

India and Thailand: Between a rock and a hard place

December 27th, 2008

We were headed to Kolkata (Calcutta, of old) to spend our final night in India before jetting off to Thailand. Finally, we’re on our way out of here. Or so we thought. Phil (Claire’s dad and our helpful travel consultant) called as we were on the train, just a few hours away from the city. […]

Gaya: I’m a tourist, get me outta here!

December 26th, 2008

We’ve got an early train from Gaya to Kolkata (Calcutta) tomorrow morning. Our guidebook and a handful of locals have indicated that it’s not safe to travel between Bodhgaya and Gaya in the dark. So we took a cab to Gaya during daylight hours and stayed the night there, much closer to the train station. […]

Bodhgaya: Temple tour and India parcel post

December 24th, 2008

Yesterday, after leaving the Root Institute Buddhist centre, Claire and I went for a farewell drink with Andrej and Freddy from the course. Today I woke up with one of my most horrific hangover in living memory. In India, Kingfisher beer is king and they make two types: Premium and Strong. The restaurant served the […]

Introduction to Buddhism Course: Claire’s take on it all

December 23rd, 2008

I was planning to let Dave do all the blog writing about our Buddhist course. However, having just read his posts, I feel compelled to write. You now know in great detail about the food we ate, his views on religion and how difficult he found the retreat. What you don’t know is that I, […]

Root Institute, Bodhgaya: Leaving home

December 22nd, 2008

Started the morning at 06:30 listening to U2’s ‘Walk On’ at near full volume on my iPod. I’m allowing myself music in between the formal sessions this morning. It’s sort of a reward for the last nine days of silence, I suppose. The Root Institute funds a health centre next door and we were given […]

Root Institute, Bodhgaya: The deafening silence

December 21st, 2008

(Day nine.) Yesterday, with earplugs in, I managed to stay absolutely silent right until the end of the day until the tai-chi man asked me a question. I didn’t want to be rude, so I answered him. Drat! I had failed in my twenty-four hour total silence attempt. Today presents another chance, in fact my […]

Root Institute, Bodhgaya: Food wars

December 20th, 2008

(Day eight.) No teachings for the next two days. Instead we will be increasing our daily quota of forty-five minute meditations from three to seven… By now, most of the class have moved from the classic cross-legged, straight-backed lotus position to one of support; be it sat on a chair, leant against the wall or […]

Root Institute, Bodhgaya: Trip to the Mahabodhi Mahavihara Temple

December 19th, 2008

(This entry compresses days five, six and seven into one post, for brevity.) Last night the Venerable Tamir, our meditation leader, took us for a bit of out to a Festival of Light being held at the nearby Mahabodhi Mahavihara Buddhist Temple which was built right next to the Bodh tree — where the founder […]