20. The capital of Spirituality. Bhairahawa-Lumbini

“It will be few temples and bunch of monks chanting some weird melodies”, I thought. Well, I don’t deny, I’m kind of cynical about all this Buddism & meditation stuff, even though Callum is fascinated by this. For me every kind of religion is a kind of boundary and unnecessary frame which people create to find purpose of their lives or control each other. Although Buddism is the closest to my philosophy of life the primal idea of love and pain has been underappreciated in my opinion, replaced by dozens of gods and Bouddha statues that you can see everywhere in Nepal. Lumbini, as a place of Bouddha’s birth surprised me very positively though as besides being one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I’ve ever seen it’s also a home of beautiful people.

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Group meditation in Lumbini

Before we got there we stopped in Bhairahawa in order to send a parcel to Poland the next day. The parcel wasn’t sent of course because of some ridiculous Nepalese law but at least we had a delicious dinner in a nice restaurant celebrating my 25th birthday. My lovely boyfriend after reminding him about the Big Day managed to organise a birthday cake that the guys from the restaurant proudly brought to me playing some funny birthday songs on their laptop. It’s good to be spoiled from time to time. The next day we were stuck in town as bicycles were the only existing vehicles there. Fortunately a tourist bus full of Buddists from Malaysia and Singapore saved our life taking us from the road and dropping us off in Lumbini.

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Very friendly monks 😉

To my surprise it wasn’t just few monks walking around the temple but it was a huge complex of temples, gardens and forest. Most of the space was taken by nature and comparing to Lumbini market it was an oasis of peace and silence. That’s why we really enjoyed visiting the main Bouddha temple and then slowly exploring the others located on the eastern side of the main pool. The complex is so big though that we decided to stay there for one more day and see the Western side by bike. We spoke to a guide who picked us up by bus and shared few stories while his group was meditating. Beautiful picture I must say but I still don’t know if I’m ready for that. Or patient. It’s difficult to overcome my character that tells me: “Do something!” so sitting and chanting for hours is not really my cup of tea. But I definitely want to try. We actually wanted to do Vipassana (10 days of meditation) in Lumbini but we didn’t want to celebrate birthday and Christmas talking to the walls. So maybe in India.

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The Buddhist wheel of life

The next day started a bit stressfully when a neighbour from the shop nearby played music on full volume at 5 o’clock in the morning. You must know that in this country it’s impossible to sleep peacefully after 6-7 am. People usually go to sleep at 8-9 pm and get up at 5 or earlier. After a first stage of anger ad desire to kill someone you can slowly get used to it if you change your lifestyle and attitude. It’s bloody hard though. Anyway, after I said few words to our DJ and he hide himself behind the counter we went by bicycles to the Western side of the complex. Although there are already so many temples there are still many under construction. Each one is funded by some Buddist country and few of them were really impressive. Especially Korean which amazes by its size & pure silence inside and -the best one- Vietnamese temple that is surrounded by the most beautiful and creative garden I’ve ever seen. By the World Peace Stupa we met a couple from Barcelona who joined us for dinner in the evening. Very nice and cheerful people, like most of Spanish. I have a feeling the atmosphere and people are already changing the more we are going to the West. Changing for better.

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Vietnamese temple with its amazing garden
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