August 2014. Close to Boudha, on a roof, a 5th floor, between monasteries, views, a panoramic view, the Kathmandu valley view. Green hills, grey sky, green-grey, lead-grey, silver-grey, black-grey, dark blue-grey. Light blue holes within the clouds allow a moment to realize infinity. It is the rainy season.
The scent of sandalwood, cinnamon, patchouli, cloves and undefined herbs, drifting smoke, deep-fried pastries, vegetable fried rice mixed with the odour of urine and burning trash are passing my sense of smell. Peals of bells, garlings, couch shell trumpets and drumming noises swirl through the air, adding to the chanting of monks and nuns. Birds are screaming, babies crying, dogs barking. One neighbour’s water pipe is running and running and running….The bladder is calling. It’s five o’clock in the morning.
All around the green is greening. The green of the paddy fields reminds of the fresh green of the lime trees in spring in Germany. Amazing! Plant a seed in the ground of the Kathmandu valley and – unless it is in league with the devil – it will sprout indeed. What a pity that houses do not grow fruit but just mould. Whoever wants to reach up high here may climb a mountain, but as we say in German: Keep your feet on the ground and your head in the sky.
I am breathing in, and while I am breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. I am breathing out, and while I am breathing out, I know that I am breathing out…..
Knees are hurting, legs are sleeping. Breathing in…, breathing out…
[Annotation: Don’t think that meanwhile the sound level and smell level have become less.]
Slowly, very slowly and carefully standing up and, ugh, it is done. Dogs barking. Children crying, birds. The sky grows dark, mountains of clouds, castles in the air, giants of the sky. It’s coming down in buckets. Perfect. I have an appointment. It is the rainy season.
To be continued (well, plans can change).
P.S. While all this is happening a lonely mango on a terrace is ripening and does not seem to mind.
~Karma Sonam from Germany
Boudhanath Daily life Kathmandu Meditation Mindfulness Monsoon Nuns Rangjung Yeshe Institute Student life
The Lonely Mango
‘How to share a terrace with three dogs, cockroaches, ants and other little critters and experience Boudha with eyes and ear, nose and mind.’