Ever since a doctor recommended I try meditation to reduce stress, after a rubbish year of health, I’ve been practising meditation, following the Tibetan teachings at my local FPMT school. It worked: that was over six years ago and my health has been pretty amazing, largely due to the fact that I just don’t allow myself to get as stressed or anxious any more. That and my amazing husband, who may have asked me to add that.
The home of the FPMT is here in the Kathmandu Valley. Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe founded the school and Kopan Monastery to introduce the Tibetan mediation practises to the influx of westerners to Nepal from the 1970s onwards. It is the birthplace of my calm and I was determined that we would get to visit during this stay in Kathmandu.
The monastery itself is stunning, standing high on a hill above the city. It is like another world; a world without beeping car horns, and pollution and dust. I wasn’t sure what the others would make of it, but I think we all found our calm there.
Although the daily Dharma talks had not yet started up, I was welcomed into Morning Puja with the monks and nuns, which was amazing experience. Outside the gompa, the others were enjoying the monks’ hospitality, and each received a bag stuffed full of edible goodies.
After enjoying the beautiful gardens and views from the cafe, we walked down the valley, towards one of my other favourite places in Kathmandu: Boudhanath. One of the largest Stupas in the world, it is one of the most interesting places (particularly for people watching) on the tourist trail.
Nic & Rob