Above: Paushupatinath Temple, one of the Four holiest Hindu
sites; the other three in India. Right a very polluted, and dried out
Ganges river located below the temple, and the home of the
burning ghats where many cremations are performed.
No Foreigners are allowed in this and many other Hindu temples.
And, if your white, you are not Hindu, so don't even try.
The Boudhanath Stupa, above. Many try to make money around the stupa, mostly selling
handcrafts, but these clowns are new to me.
When Manjusri wielded his mighty sword, cutting a gash in the
Kathmandu Valley, thus draining the lake at Chobar Gap, the
wonderous lotus in the middle of the lake settled on the hillock of
Swoyambu, the place of one of Buddhism's most powerful stupas.
The root, however is on the other side of the Valley at
Guyeshvari, the place of this temple (above.)
Rachel, sidekick and daughter
Kumari, the Virgin
Goddess, is carried from
her temple. Her feet may
not touch the ground until
she reaches puberty, at
which time she is no longer
a goddess, and is free to
marry; but no one wants
her, for once the goddess
status is lost, she is
considered an inauspicious
mate. But, there are those
odd balls out there, and
they usually do marry.
Ayuerveda master Dr. Mandu Vajracharya, spent
over a half hour diagnosing Rachel, but when he
was done and told her the herbs she needed, he
informed her that he would not sell them to her
because he felt she did not fully believe the
diagnoses, nor would he charge her for the
diagnoses. Now, that is integrity. We are going
back begging in a few days.
HH Trulshik Rinpoche and I, March 17, 2010. The
Master is now eighty-seven. It had been three years
since I saw him. It has been over forty years since I
offered my first kata to the Master
Below, HH Trulshik Rinpoche is building a monastery on a hilltop near the
Swoyambu Stupa. Below are some photos of us there on our visit. It is quite a
project, begun three years ago it will be home to many monks and nuns. The
Master has another monastery in Solu Khumbu, the Mt. Everest region of
Nepal, Tupten Cholling, built after the Master fled Tibet. This is near where I
stayed for a year on my first visit to Nepal and where I met the master.
Artists at right work on the walls of the monastery.
Everything has to be drawn first and then painted.
Above, detail of the ceiling, rt, drawing
outline for painting to follow. This
image will be behind central Buddha
statue of monastery
ABOVE:  Yesterday Mar. 22, ,I visited the Swoyambu Stupa, considered to be one of the most sacred of Buddhisms holy
sites, and near where I lived for ten years. I came across an old friend, a monk, and we sat and talked for a good while.
He had been in retreat in a cave for twelve years,  in the
Manang district of Nepal, living near a cave where the great yogi
of Nepal had also stayed; and only recently had returned to the monastery near the Stupa. He will soon return to continue
his retreat.

I asked Lakpa, my friend, why he does not teach the dharma to others. He brought his palm together and lay his head
upon them as if sleeping, meaning that he would just put to sleep anyone whom he would teach. This started a long talk
that revealed the unfortunately true fact that many people look for a teacher with a reputation and are not likely to listen
to or respect someone completely unknown. The fact my over qualified friend's assessment of his ability to teach is true is
a rather unfortunate state of affairs. Moreover, many unqualified people become famous simply because of their
association with a great teacher or being born in the family of teachers.
Children are one of Nepal's treasures and adorn the path everywhere, precocious, and often
looking for an opportunity to show off or practice their English.
Rooftop yard and garden across from my hotel
the place where this is the largest concentration of wonderful Buddhist masters
the place where this is the largest concentration of wonderful Buddhist masters
in a very small area. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet, both Nepal and India
opened its doors to the Tibetans in exile. Many spread out throughout India,
but those who went to Nepal, generally settled within Kathmandu, either in
Swoyambu or Boudhanath, where there are many temples of the four
lineages.Swoyambu or Boudhanath, where there are many temples of the four
The Swouambu Stupa is getting completely
renovated, which includes amongst other
things, about 200 kilos of gold for gilding
This project is undertaken for the most part by
Tharthang Turlku, a wonderful Tibetan
Nyingmapa master who has been living in the
Berkeley California area for at least forty years.
Left: Rachel at HH Dilgo
Khyentse's monastery, Shechen,
Kathmandu, Nepal
My Nepali grandma, strong and spry and seventy-five. She still pushes her way
through Kathmandu's crowded streets and has endless stories to tell. She
came from her Village in Gorka to vist her grand daughter, Rachel and me.
Monks sit in front of Shechen
Monastery, Boudhanath Kathmandu.
Below: Rachel and her grandma, aunt, and cousin.
"Agni" mean fire....interesting name for airline.
A "Pepsi" ad teaches the nature of samsara,
luring us with the notion that happiness and the
sense of completion is attained from outside.
Swoyambu Stupa to teach monks and
stairway to a room I rented at
Rachel at the door of Shantipur, Swoyambu. A single
priest is allowed to enter once a year. There is a
multi-level passage with several doors leading to the
room where a yogi is said to be continuously in
meditation for several hundred years.
heart. As we left she replied that she felt as if she had just
heart. As we left she replied that she felt as if she had just
taken an entire course in ayuerveda.taken an entire course in
I use the roof top restaurant for yoga every morning before sunrise
Right corner of above pic is house I built in Kathmandu about twenty years ago. There was
nothing but fields of rice in front of my home back then.
Tobkey Lama and I; left, 1969, right
April 1, 2010

Tobkey hand carved many of the wood
blocks that were used to print Tibetan
books on rice paper. He was renowned
as a master carver and some of the
best texts came from blocks he carved
by hand. When I stayed for a year in
the Himalayan monastery of his
teacher, Sangye Tenzin lama, I rarely
saw Tobkey when he wasn't
painstakingly carving a character in a
wood block that would one day
become one of many pages of text.
Notes on Nepal 2010
Left: The Kaiser Garden in the heart of Kathmndu is a
welcoming place where for the small fee of about two
dollars on can hang out in the exquisite garden of a
previous prime minister. An oasis in the midst of chaos
only a few yards away. This is the only santuary of its
kind in Kathmanu.
Rachel with our friend Mukya at a Korean restaurant he took
us to. Mukya is building a hotel in  Manang. I am trying to get
him to name it Hotel Maui --- he asked, so I suggested.
"Monkey Girl" Rachel's Niece
Devi, 2nd from right, invited us to dinner. She now lives in the USA and was returning the
following day. So, her sisters and family all put on saris for some pics. Devi was Rachel
and Mudra's nanny from birth on and has been a part of our family since. I built my home
on the hill in the background.
Devi's sister Shanti "making-up" Rachel
Above Rachel and her grandma share
a laugh
Some very special friends. As a monk I lived with these lamas in their monastery in Swoyambu, the Karma
Raja Maha Vihar. Later after returning to lay life they closed the monastery for an hour or so and married
Rachel's Mom and I. The older monk, Chegdor, is eigthy-seven, on my other side is Ngawang. I don't know the
names of the other monks
Rachel meditating at our shrine in our
hotel room.
The hotel owner , Rachel and I had dinner together the last day. i
have known Gopal for a number of years and he is a great source
of information on Nepal.