Bodhgaya IV–color and contrasts


Another visit to Maha Bodhi Temple. So much to see and feel here. Color and design.

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The ocean of devotion.




A prostration board soaked in sweat.

The ngondro practice is not mere recitation or repetition. It is the deliberate progressive effacement of ego, a slow drip of purification to reveal that which is already unstained.









An amazing display of flower arranging–mostly marigold.


I spent part of the morning yesterday visiting an semi-rural orphanage/school, the Human Development Charitable Trust, which is completely dependent on the kindness of strangers. The most primitive of conditions. The most radiant faces.


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Abundance and squalor:

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The complete destruction of a waterway.

Thailand has more than a dozen installations in Bodhgaya, including this most beautiful (and from what I can tell, almost entirely hidden) Thai temple I’ve seen anywhere, including Thailand. Its peaked roof is barely visible from the Maha Bodhi temple. It’s actually difficult to find. And it’s huge, including a monastery–of course!–and a large residential facility solely for visiting Thais. As striking as it is from the outside, it was the inside that left me slack-jawed.


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The inner walls and ceilings of most Thai temples are painted with scenes depicting Buddhist philosophy and the Life of Buddha. These were the most finely detailed and colourful of all.


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Buddha’s enlightenment


All in all, a deeply provocative experience for my visit to India in decades. I’m so glad I came, though I also won’t be sad to leave. If I return, it will be for a different reason, at a different pace, and at a different time of year.


Ceiling mandala at Nyingma temple, Bodhgaya


Ceiling painting at Nyingma temple


Nyingma Temple exterior painting


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