Photo of the Week
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    [post_date] => 2017-08-06 19:30:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-07 01:30:07
    [post_content] => https://youtu.be/jpC91NnoVSI
    [post_title] => Video Nepal A 2017
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                    [description] => These pieces of travel writing are reflections by students and instructors traveling all over the world. They exemplify the open-minded spirit of exploration and self-discovery on a Dragons course.
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Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Video Nepal A 2017

Hernán Belden,Best Notes From The Field, SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Posted On

08/6/17

Author

Hernán Belden

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    [post_content] => We made it! Nepal A arrived at JFK safe and sound. Some students were picked up and others have already headed for their connecting flight terminals.
    [post_title] => Nepal A has arrived to JFK
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Nepal A has arrived to JFK

Shannon Harriman,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

We made it! Nepal A arrived at JFK safe and sound. Some students were picked up and others have already headed for their connecting flight terminals.

Posted On

07/28/17

Author

Shannon Harriman

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-27 10:07:11
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    [post_content] => Dear Friends and Family,

Your loved one is on their way home to you!  All students, including Maia on her separate flight, have left Nepal.

Here is a photo attached of the group at the airport.

 
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Nepal A Group Heading Home!

The Instructor Team,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Dear Friends and Family, Your loved one is on their way home to you!  All students, including Maia on her separate flight, have left Nepal. Here is a photo attached of the group at the airport.  

Posted On

07/27/17

Author

The Instructor Team

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    [post_content] => The shrill beeping of my digital alarm clock jolted me awake. It read 6:15 am, and for the first time since my arrival, it actually felt like 6:15 am. I silenced the beeping and my eyes and ears slowly adjusted to the gentle sounds of the Bhaktapur guest house. Half-asleep, I rummaged  through my half-packed backpack and found some hopefully half-clean hiking gear and ran outside to meet the rest of my group for an early morning journey to the Ganesha temple of Bhaktapur. We began the hike by exiting the guest house through a small, vine-covered metal door. The path to the temple was windy, narrow, and beautiful. Along the way we were greeted by many smile-faced-pajama-wearing Nepali toddlers, a van seemingly bursting-at-the-seems with laughing teenage boys, and the occasional cow wandering in the street. We arrived at the gates to the temple and Rishi-ji, our instructor, gave us candles and seeds to give as an offering to Lord Ganesha. We entered the gates and walked up the lengthy stair case. We entered the sacred grounds of the temple, lit our candles and and offered gifts to the elephant-headed god. Surrounding us were dozens of devotees praying passionately at the red and yellow paint covered altar. A man walked up to a massive Sanskrit-embroidered bell and began to ring it. The deep vibrations began to consume the scene, awakening sleepy dogs, a flock of pigeons, and the hearts of everyone. The atmosphere is difficult to describe, but somehow the whirlwind of incense, chanting, howling dogs, and the vibrations entered my ears and pushed tears out of my eyes. The tears were not of sadness or of joy, but of profound, raw beauty. With lifted and expanded spirits, we left the temple and began our journey to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram of the Kathmandu Valley. The ride from Bhaktapur to the Ashram was supposed to take only 30 minutes, but due to the ever-changing nature of Nepali traffic, it ended up taking almost three hours. In spite of the sweltering heat, we enjoyed every minute of the ride. We entertained ourselves by telling stories of our past, observing the extravagantly decorated buses, and even buying some snacks from local traffic-side vendors. Eventually, the traffic subsided and we arrived at the ashram. We were greeted almost immediately by swarms of toddlers, eager to play with us and in some cases climb our bodies like trees. It was almost impossible not to be overwhelmed by laughter and love upon arriving at this conservatory of beauty. The walls were decorated with murals and the hallways rang with the voices of little Nepali kids. We settled our bags and went to dinner. For the first time, we made the decision to eat without utensils, using only hands as is the traditional manner. After our intimate and somewhat awkward dance with our dinner, we attended the ashram's nightly chanting session. As the sun began to sink below the Himalayan silhouette, we stood outside of the meditation hall, removed our shoes and entered the building with reverence. We entered the chanting room and the atmosphere hit me like a wall. Dozens of ashram children were seated cross-legged on the ground chanting at the top of their lungs, playing cymbals, and traditional Nepali drums. The room was lit with a natural and deep orange light, and at the front of the room was a picture of the revered Sri Aroubindo and The Mother. I sat on a small meditation mat and let the chanting send me into a half-trance. The sound was raw, it was real, imperfectly beautiful. It felt almost too big for that small room, like it was coming from somewhere incredibly deep. I watched the lips of each child, and I heard there voices individually. They were unafraid, they played and sang like it was everything. And I understood. I understood why they sang. I understood why they worshiped statues on the street. I understood why things are different in Nepal, why people aren't afraid to look you in the eyes here.
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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Bhaktapur to Ashram

Mickey Feeney,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

The shrill beeping of my digital alarm clock jolted me awake. It read 6:15 am, and for the first time since my arrival, it actually felt like 6:15 am. I silenced the beeping and my eyes and ears slowly adjusted to the gentle sounds of the Bhaktapur guest house. Half-asleep, I rummaged  through my half-packed […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

Mickey Feeney

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-26 10:57:57
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    [post_content] => im coming back with far to many cool new clothes, new hair, and a very new mindset.

the four seals of buddhism are:

all compounding things are impermanent (which is aligned with the thinking of thermodynamics)

all emotions are pain

all phenomena are without inherent existence (i disagreed with this at first but then i heard it interpreted in this way: nothing exists just to be. things exist to do. my watch exists to convey time to me. i exist to fulfill my dharma. to do my duty in life. its a very asian mindset and very aligned with the philosophy i've always subscribed to. I've always felt like i have to do the best i can, the most i can -- be the best I can. HAVE to.)

nirvana is beyond comprehension (as are many many things -- with the current makeup of the human brain) OR nirvana is beyond extremes (middle path ; ))

since i agree with these, i can say that I am a buddhist. since i meditate regularly (and have learned some techniques to do it everyday and sustain it as habit) I can say i am a practicing buddhist. It's comforting to have a spiritual label, if i'm being honest. labels help you find like minded peoples. I'm going to learn more about Buddhism -- i have SO much to learn, but I just want to say that many buddhist communities, including my homestay family in Patan, say that buddhism is not a religion, but a systematic way to be the best person you possibly can, and a way of thinking. many buddhists also do not worship statues of buddha. almost all buddhists understand the signifigance behind rituals such as chanting, burning candles and incense, and praying, and they see these rituals as a meditation, and they do not put signifigance into what the rituals are -- you can do any rituals you want.

These things really appeal to me and i have such a great amount to learn still but i'm very excited to potentially be guided and encouraged in life by this community and this ideology.
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change

Annabel Marks,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

im coming back with far to many cool new clothes, new hair, and a very new mindset. the four seals of buddhism are: all compounding things are impermanent (which is aligned with the thinking of thermodynamics) all emotions are pain all phenomena are without inherent existence (i disagreed with this at first but then i […]

Posted On

07/26/17

Author

Annabel Marks

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-25 07:16:53
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    [post_content] => Patan

Horns scream

Cars whiz

Dust stings

Air burns

Sun blinds

Vendors yell

Engines roar

People crowd

 

Small door

Bend over

Dark alley swallows

Bricks close in around me

Then they open to a different world.

 

A stupa stands tall in the center of an open square,

A man quietly walks clockwise around the monument,

A dog sits watchfully on the steps of a home,

A cat naps in the golden Buddha's lap opposite the stupa,

As an unknown face smiles at me from a dark window.
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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Patan

Maddy Wade,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Patan Horns scream Cars whiz Dust stings Air burns Sun blinds Vendors yell Engines roar People crowd   Small door Bend over Dark alley swallows Bricks close in around me Then they open to a different world.   A stupa stands tall in the center of an open square, A man quietly walks clockwise around […]

Posted On

07/25/17

Author

Maddy Wade

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-21 11:38:33
    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-21 17:38:33
    [post_content] => 
Dear Summer 2017 Nepal Group A Student Families,
It is hard to believe that almost 4 weeks have already passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long before students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival!
Below is a reminder of the return group flight information for eagerly awaiting families (all times are in local time zones):
Thursday, July 27th, 2017
 
Qatar Airways Flight #651
Depart: Kathmandu @ 9:20 PM
Arrive: Doha @ 11:20 PM
 
Friday, July 28th, 2017
 
Qatar Airways Flight #703
Depart: Doha @ 2:15 AM
Arrive: New York - JFK @ 9:00 AM
 
We will have a Dragons Administrator on call for the duration of the travel day. Should you need any assistance after regular office hours, please call our “on-call” number at 303-921-6078.
We wish all students a great trip home!
Sincerely,
Boulder Admin
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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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July 28th Group Return Details & Reminders!

Eva Vanek,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Dear Summer 2017 Nepal Group A Student Families, It is hard to believe that almost 4 weeks have already passed since embarking on this incredible adventure! It won’t be long before students will be boarding their planes back home. We are sure you are anxiously awaiting their arrival! Below is a reminder of the return […]

Posted On

07/21/17

Author

Eva Vanek

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-20 14:16:37
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    [post_content] => The team A-mazing completed their Buddhist retreat at the Namo Buddha Monastery and is now heading to Patan for their urban Homestay.
Introductory sessions to Buddhist philosophy and meditation was facilitated by Kenpo Karma Phuntsok, a wonderful human being and a teacher for higher Buddhist studies at the Thrangu Tashi Yangze Monastery.
This is the picture of the team with the Kenpo at the monastery.
    [post_title] => Team A-mazing with the Kenpo
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View post

Team A-mazing with the Kenpo

Instructor Team,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

The team A-mazing completed their Buddhist retreat at the Namo Buddha Monastery and is now heading to Patan for their urban Homestay. Introductory sessions to Buddhist philosophy and meditation was facilitated by Kenpo Karma Phuntsok, a wonderful human being and a teacher for higher Buddhist studies at the Thrangu Tashi Yangze Monastery. This is the […]

Posted On

07/20/17

Author

Instructor Team

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    [post_date] => 2017-07-19 09:22:21
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    [post_content] => 

Here resides a raw and rugged truth.

As simple and organic as the feet that carry me.

A universal truth, diverse and extraordinary according to the mind who holds it.

A universal truth, which reverberates and bounces through our skeletal systems silently.

A universal truth that tugs and pulls on the souls of the seekers, the wanderers, the learners, the forgetful and the forgotten.

Here resides an unspoken promise.

A glimpse into emptiness.

Devotion takes many forms, and prayers hide in the tigers den.

Solitude licks his lips as his eyes dance from potential victim to potential victim.

Silence is our mother.

Her screaming force reminds us of consequence, redemption, freedom, revolution.

Here resides a raw and rugged truth,

Clear and wordless.

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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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NamoBuddha

Summer Thyme Laurin,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

Here resides a raw and rugged truth. As simple and organic as the feet that carry me. A universal truth, diverse and extraordinary according to the mind who holds it. A universal truth, which reverberates and bounces through our skeletal systems silently. A universal truth that tugs and pulls on the souls of the seekers, […]

Posted On

07/19/17

Author

Summer Thyme Laurin

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    [post_content] => As I am writing this Yak on the winding road to Namo Buddha monastery,  I can overhear Balamchaur memories brought back by the same Marshyangdi river flowing along the road which flew near Balamchaur. I wish this road was a loop back again to where my Balamchaur mother would be waving with a smile if I came again. As an instructor I am constantly looking for inspiration on how we can inspire peace makers and peace seekers in our student folks and then I get to come with the students to these places.

The mornings are always my favorite part when the students come from their homes. Casually I ask with a smile, "Hey,  how's it going? " And the stories unfold. Every story and every memory I get to hear, inside I go "Yesss". Bam,  bam,  bam.. Every memory there is a profound life lesson,  profound insight, inspiration. And well........ sometimes, sleepless nights due to diarrhea. I can't hear enough stories, I can't hear enough memories.

Some time ago a student of mine called us at the middle of night due to a bout of loose motion and that she pooped her pants. She seemed slightly embarrassed so I went and said, "Hey, don't worry. Pooping our pants is a beautifully humbling experience." She laughed and nodded. We made sure she was ok and before leaving I jokingly said, "You should write a poem about it."

And she did !! The next morning she shared it with everyone. And it was beautiful.
I couldn't control my laugh but deep inside my heart swelled with joy. And why shouldn't it?

I felt wow !! ....these are special experiences. Good or bad,  easy or hard, these experiences inspire. These people, these places inspire. All I do is listen and smile.

I wish we could make every experience a poetry, a story, a song. And I am working for a world with more interconnected humans, poetry, stories and memories.

Love from Himalayas
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SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

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Stories and Memories

Rishi Bhandari,SUMMER: Nepal - Group A

Description

As I am writing this Yak on the winding road to Namo Buddha monastery,  I can overhear Balamchaur memories brought back by the same Marshyangdi river flowing along the road which flew near Balamchaur. I wish this road was a loop back again to where my Balamchaur mother would be waving with a smile if […]

Posted On

07/18/17

Author

Rishi Bhandari

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