POSTCARD#321: Bangkok: Remembering North India, Bodh Gaya: 04.00 hours: This is where the Buddha’s enlightenment took place. I’m in a hotel not far from where it happened, the window is open, sitting on a cushion and comfortably watching the breath. There’s a sense of being near the epicentre, ground zero – the sparkling, twinkling diamond light. From here, it spread through everyone who were able to listen, then, in the course of time, reaching out to all parts of the East. Hundreds of thousands of visitors from Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, South East Asia and other places eventually came here to see for themselves, the places where the Buddha walked.
Something I’d really like to do before running to catch the last bus, is to visit all the Buddhist countries in the world. I’ve been to Bodh Gaya, Śrāvastī, and the other sites in North India, where that sparkling diamond light can be seen. All those centuries ago, the presence of the Buddha, – although typically, we have to line up with hundreds of other visitors and shuffle through these neatly restored monuments with a fence all around and guards at the gate to keep out the beggars.
Better just to find a place in the grass comfortably situated in the shade of these huge Pipal trees. How much of this is as it was, 2,600 years ago? I’m seated on the earth, with the others in my group. I am distinctly aware that the Buddha walked near to here when it was called Jeta’s Grove – Thus Have I Heard. The wind gently moves across my face, becomes tangled in the hair on my head. The sensation of the breath gently touching the inner nasal passages, and the consciousness that arises with that feeling – look around, the same blue sky, brown earth, green foliage, even though the objects I see may not be the same as they were then, the process of seeing is the same, received in the ever-present conscious experience – a manifestation of consciousness experiencing itself in that twinkling diamond light.
“Where there is the mind, where there are mental phenomena, mind-consciousness, things to be cognized by mind-consciousness, there a being exists or the description of a being. Where there is no mind, no mental phenomena, no mind-consciousness, there a being does not exist nor any description of a being.” [SN 1.65]
Beautiful depiction of a meditation. Thank you for that!
By the way, I’ll be in your environ later this summer! 🙂 Will have a short stay in Bangkok, too. Shielagh reminded me that’s where you are now so I’m saying hey!
Hey! Too. Thanks N, send me an email at dhammafootsteps at gmail dot com and the date and your hotel. I will be there for a cup of tea or coffee at the appointed time
Thank you! Will do! Would be delighted to meet you in person!
Look forward to meeting you, hope schedules and the moon and stars allow for that meeting
I’m traveling with family so we’re still figuring out exact schedules but I’ll email you when I know more specifically. Any place/s that is/are a must-see in Bangkok for a family w/ kids aged primary school to high-school? 🙂
I’ll get back to you on that…
Gosh, I wish I could join you and Na’ama for that cuppa! Wonderful post, T. THat twinkling diamond light sounds divine! And it is…
Thank you Sunny, the twinkling light is divinity, I contemplate this from time to time knowing it will eventually fade and disappear as all things do.
Will be in touch as we get nearer to N’s dates
Sent ya’ an email. 🙂 Apropos Bangkok 🙂
Eventually I replied…