Here in Namo Buddha a young prince broke the cycle of life and rebirth about six-thousand years ago. The ultimate act of kindness that led there was a special one: The prince fed his own body to a hungry tiger and her young to save them from starvation. That's what I call selfless.
The contrast between the high pace of Kathmandu and the tranquillity we've found on this hill couldn't be any bigger. Valleys full of rice patty's spread as far as the eye can see and when the clouds pull away for a moment the snowy peaks of the distant Himalayas show themselves. The air we breath here feels pure and clear, it feels like it cleans our lungs from the smoggy fumes of Kathmandu where wearing a mouth-cloth has become fashionable, they come in the most amazing variety of prints and colours.
Namo Buddha is characterized by the monastery that shines on the highest part of it's hill. Beautiful gilded rooftops contrast against the green valleys and dramatic cloudscapes. Tibetan prayer flags are everywhere. Not just a few here and there but literally thousands of them, guiding distant walkers to the sacred stupa.
When we heard about the possibility of staying at Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery we jumped onto the bus. Nothing could tempt us more than tranquillity, nature and fresh air after two days of city-chaos. The four o'clock Puja ceremony is open for visitors and contrary to the expected serene mindfulness it's a cosy mess of ancient instruments, chanting, tea and cupcakes. This monastery is buzzing!
Guests get a small, tidy room and are invited to eat in the dining hall with the monks. For dinner: fried rice with vegetables and a bowl of soup.
And for breakfast? White bread with peanut butter. Daar wordt je groot en sterk van, as we say in Dutch. With it we enjoyed a cup of salted butter tea. Apparently that helps to keep warm, something we can use after three months in sunny Africa...