Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Climate Wars" by Gwynne Dyer

I just finished this book and highly recommend it if you want a good, pretty thorough rundown on how we got here, what are our chances, and how the future looks - what are our choices.  Very thorough and informative.  It didn't make me feel any better, but I at least have more understanding.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

11 November 2010, Lumbini, Nepal

After leaving Chitwan at 5:30am, we arrived at Tilak's friend Ashok's in a village en route to Lumbini.  Here is Ashok with his grandmother.

Carolyn, grandmother, and mother

Saying goodbye

After leaving Ashok's, we passed this horror - a motorcycle loaded with live chickens hanging upside down.

Lumbinī (Sanskritलुम्बिनी, "the lovely") is a Buddhist pilgrimage site in theRupandehi district of Nepal, near the Indian border. It is the place where QueenMayadevi is said to have given birth to Siddhartha Gautama, who as the Buddha Gautama founded the Buddhist tradition. The Buddha lived between roughly 563 and 483 BCE. Lumbini is one of four magnets for pilgrimage that sprang up in places pivotal to the life of the Buddha, the others being at KushinagarBodh Gaya, andSarnath.
Lumbini is in the foothills of the Himalaya,[1] 25 km east of the municipality of Kapilavastu, where the Buddha is said to have lived till the age of 29. Kapilvastu is the name of the place in question as well as of the neighbouring district. Lumbini has a number of temples, including the Mayadevi temple, and others under construction. Also here is the Puskarini or Holy Pond - where the Buddha's mother took the ritual dip prior to his birth and where he, too, had his first bath - as well as the remains of Kapilvastu palace. At other sites near Lumbini, earlier Buddhas were, according to tradition, born, achieved ultimate awakening and finally relinquished earthly form.  (from Wikipedia)

At the entrance to Lumbini is this eternal flame in front of what will be a long pool and plaza.
 I was not able to find detailed enough information on the internet regarding Lumbini, which has been developed in a wonderful way, with monasteries and temples built by countries all over the world.  Today is Thursday, and Saturday I'm going to a bookstore where I'm hoping to find a Lonely Planet book that will give me more detail about Lumbini.  In the meantime, I'm going to post this and will not label some of the pictures since I'm not sure which temple it is.  Will correct later.
Gorgeous temple of Thailand

West Bengal pagoda
Sri Lanka pagoda and monastery

Myanmar pagoda

West Bengal pagoda

Myanmar pagoda

Sri Lanka pagoda and monastery

This is a fresco at the Sri Lanka temple

Artists still working on the frescos

Myanmar pagoda

This may be the Cambodia pagoda

These are young monks at the Sri Lanka monastery, studying.  They will eventually go to Sri Lanka to continue their education.

Buddha statue at Sri Lanka pagoda

Sri Lanka pagoda

Archeological site where Buddha was apparently born.

I didn't walk down there in the heat.  Gopal took these pictures.

The glassed-in area is supposed to be the birth area.

The ruins were within these walls.

This bell was near the eternal flame at the entrance to the memorial area.

Paresh just had to photograph the repair to this plastic chair.

Japanese Peace Pagoda