Return from Khou Yi: I returned from Khou Yi back to the Dammakaya temple. One of our hosts arranged a wonderful dinner cruise down the river, through the city of Bangkok. After several hours of unbelievable traffic (some people in Bangkok actually build small rooms inside their vehicles to rest or change in). We arrived in the city. The boat was very elegant and the view of the city from the water was spectacular. There are temples all along the shore, and huge beautiful modern buildings tower the sky. There is also the world’s first single support suspension bridge which is a work of art in itself. Above us the moon shown brightly and I cemented many friendships with different cultures and faiths. …………………..
On to Borbordour on the Island of Java : I caught a flight on Garuda Airlines from Bangkok to Jakarta, Indonesia and passed customs there. Then I took a second flight on to the city of Jojoykarta, Java driving until around 10:00 at night. Upon arrival, I was informed by our driver, that we might have some adventure, because the volcano there had erupted and there were problems with roads and weather. After a somewhat adventurous drive, myself and Dr. Meyerhof arrived at Borbordour in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, there were no rooms available at the hotel we were supposed to stay at, so we had to drive around the village to try to find a place to stay. Luckly, we found an acceptable place (they have quite different standards here), and even found an enterprising young man who arrainged a 2 hour massage for me in my room, for $6.00 American. Boy things are cheap here!
After a good night’s sleep, I moved to the Monahara Retreat at the base of the ancient temple. The Monahara is absolutely beautiful. Wonderful Indonesian buildings with tiled roofs, and huge grass lawns with palms mangos and acacia. The temple dominates the background like a huge monument, towering above the horizon. The rest of the view is made up of jagged volcanic mountains covered in green, rich and fertile with growing things. The air is heavy with humidity, but clean and sweet-scented. But the midday is hot and somewhat oppressive to my Northern California blood.
I began my day in a ritual of purification to prepare to enter the temple. The ceremony was wonderful and different and lasted for around 6 hours. It began with Tibetan throat singing, which is haunting and sacred, and then moved to chanting. The two High Lamas sat in the front of the room facing each other, with Lama Ganchen foremost, sitting at a large heavily decorated altar. Between the two Lamas, was a space of about 6 feet. On each side of this space, were chairs, and I had the high honor of being sat there between the two venerable Masters. The energy was tangible. To the side and behind the second High Lama, sat all of the other Lamas and monks, and behind the, Buddhists from around the world. Various rituals took place throughout the day and I finially went to sleep at 12:30 AM, setting my alarm for the following morning at 4:00 AM.