Thursday, August 6, 2015

Nepal Adventure in Photos

I arrived at the Kathmandu, Nepal airport last November 5 ready for the month long "November Course" at Tibetan Buddhism study center Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu.

I lived at Kopan Monastery for the following 45 days.

I left Kopan Monastery on December 20 for Gaden Jangtse monastery in south India to continue my studies with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

These are the highlights of my time in Nepal - in photos.

Welcome to Nepal and Kopan Monastery, my home for the following 45 days.

A tour of Kopan Monastery's campus.

A tour of nearby Khachoe Chakyil Ling Nunnery (Kopan Nunnery), which like Kopan Monastery was founded by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe and is part of NGO Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition.

The November Course was held in the main gompa at Kopan Monastery. The middle row is a photo of my seat and books.

November 16, 2014 Thought for the Day written on the Kopan Monastery office message board.

Life during the Kopan Monastery November Course. That's my bed in the bottom right corner, and an amazing book I was reading, The Search for the Panchen Lama, in the top right corner.

Kopan Monastery is a functioning monastery for young men from Tibet, India, and Nepal. They live, study, work, and practice Tibetan Buddhism at Kopan Monastery year-round.

Friends and my Kopan Monastery November Course Discussion Group. We met daily to discuss the material taught by our teacher, western monk Venerable Thubten Gyatso, who is in the middle right photo.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche arrived at Kopan Monastery on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 27. He taught us daily from Nov 30 until Dec 9. 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave his first teaching during this year's November Course in the Kopan Monastery stupa garden on the evening of Nov 27.

I looked at this Wheel of Life painted on the outside of the Kopan Monastery main gompa each time I placed or retrieved my shoes from the shoe rack below it. 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche teaching in the Kopan Monastery gompa as part of the November Course.

We took a tour of nearby Enlightenment for Animals on Nov 26, home to rescued goats. Injured cow Christmas lives at Kopan Monastery. Enlightenment for Animals, Kopan monks and nuns, friend Lama Dhundup, fellow students, neighbors and I looked after a sick male calf discarded outside of the Kopan Nunnery. Some male calves are not valued because they don't produce milk. In the USA they are sold for their flesh and hides, used to make "buttery soft" leather goods.

Kopan November Course field trip to practice at nearby UNESCO world heritage site Boudha Stupa, the holiest site for Tibetan Buddhists outside of Tibet.

Kopan Monastery November Course field trip to practice at nearby Swayambhunath Stupa.

We concluded the 2014 November Course on Dec 11 with a Long Life Puja for Lama Zopa Rinpoche, held in the Kopan Monastery main gompa.

The Long Life Puja celebration continued outside of Kopan Monastery with guests of honor the very young Geshe Lama Konchog and his student Tenzin Zopa whose stories are told in the 2008 film Unmistaken Child.

Celebrating Lama Tsongkhapa Day with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Kopan monks and fellow students at Kopan Monastery.

Exploring Kathmandu, Nepal before the November Course began on Nov 11 and after it finished on Dec 11. Students taking the November Course are not permitted to leave Kopan Monastery's campus during the course.

Historic Durbar Square, Kathmandu.

Volunteering with Street Dog Care in Kathmandu.

Visiting Room to Read's Nepal office, Teach for Nepal, Padmaknya Multiple Campus (women's college), and the US Educational Foundation center in Nepal.

Visiting Lama Dhundup's Bo Gangkar Manjushree School for Nepali youth from rural Nepal. More in an upcoming post.

Visiting and practicing at Swayambhunath Stupa with Sumi.

Nuns and youth entering the site of the sacred Boudha Stupa.

Visiting and practicing at Boudha Stupa.

Boudha Stupa at night.
If you would like to read the stories behind these photos then you can check out my three blog posts from Nepal: My First Week in Nepal, Kopan Monastery November Course and Last 5 Days in Nepal.

The Kopan Monastery November Course is an annual event. This year's November Course runs from November 14 - December 14. Registration begins on August 15. The course fills quickly so register as soon as possible if you intend to take the course this year.

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