Sunday, 19 March 2017

To Catch a Bodhi Leave Before it Touches the Ground

Day 3 in Bodh Gaya and I just spend the morning walking a circle before heading for the Bodhi Tree again. In I went around 1130 after a late breakfast which was too filling so it was sort of a lunch as well.

Swamp Marsh in Bodh Gaya

Same drill and this time there were large group of people in the temple grounds, some in groups of whites sitting down in the form of meditation following a few monks chanting in what I think is mandarin. It must be either a Taiwanese or some Chinese side of group pilgrim tour. They were pilgrim alright but I could not help noticing some of the DSLR laying on the floor while they were in deep meditation.

Today there were a lot of monks. Some were meditating sitting down and facing the tree, everyone faces the tree …. Does not matter which side you are on but everyone faces the tree when in meditation. So some was meditating while some were simply just chatting and some were walking round and round the Mahabodhi temple.

I just watch the crowd around me in silence with a smile or two sometimes. Two young indian boys in school uniform came and sat next to me, which looks like school was out. It must be 12 or past noon. I don’t have a sense of time since I checked my phone in the locker outside, there was no way for me to know the time. The two boys finally found the courage to ask me where I am from. I answer in as little words as I can for I was not in the mood to hold a conversation. Supple silence and peace just watching.

One of the kid told me out of the blue, that if they sit here no leaf will fall.


I sat here for 3 days here with my friend and no leaf has fall for us to collect.

Do not think of leaf falling …. If you think of it, it won’t fall.

The silence took over and soon I saw a single leaf fall to the ground nearby where we were sitting. I notice a few eyes on the leaf …. But they were too far to reach for it without breaching modesty. I nudge the boy and although his eyes brighten at the sight you could see his shyness as he meekly get up and approach to pick up the leaf. A big grin on his face and his friends face as they pick up their first leaf in three days. They left a few minutes later bidding me goodbye while I go back to a blank state of observation.

Rain clouds was coming. I would see it from afar …. It was only a matter of time I thought …. Maybe an hour … or less.

The chanting group ended and pack up to leave ….. Probably for lunch …. More people come and go … in all that another leaf fall and I picked it up…. I now had a leaf in hand twirling back and forth like a meditation tempo only with me sitting like I am in a park with an imaginary picnic basket next to me …. The masses coming and going all walking by all looking up at the tree and I notice quite a few eyeing my twirling leaf ….. and the first few drops of rain trickle down.

Most left one by one …. As I sit there and the crowd dwindle to left only the prepared …. The few monks with umbrella and rain coats as the sky erupts and a thunderstorm broke out. I sat there unmoving ….. watching as the monks run from one fallen leaf to another, unchallenged by any tourist or pilgrims. Some fell near me and I stayed still …. A pause in the monks steps as he looks at me asking a silent permission if they could take the leaf near me …. They pick it up and I sat there twirling my single leaf in hand smiling.

First Leave on the Left to the last on the Right
A leaf falls to my lap …..

Looking at it I could not believe it was that easy. Dad would go nuts when I tell him this ….. the challenge has been completed …. I did not even think it would happen but it did …. All it took was to wait for a thunderstorm to start …. When lots of leaf fall due to the start of a thunderstorm that’s when it is best to fulfil a challenge such as this. Time to go …. Cold shivers was starting to set in and a fully soak body for a single leaf was worth it …. As I proceeded to leave I saw one small leaf floating by on the over flowing waters on the flow …. One that the monks missed …. 3 leaf on the second day …. How many hours did I stay there I wondered ….

Out of the temple ground and reclaimed my phone …. 2.5 hours …. That’s all …. Headed back to the guesthouse and got myself dry before I fall sick.

I went back that night again with three new friend from Taiwan …. The first time I met them on the streets, I gave them direction to the only 7-11 in town and recommended a good place to eat where it was cheap and clean and
Stir Fry Potato and Naan
delicious (It was next to the 7-11) ….
Going back there for dinner They waves at me …. And I with my blur look was trying to figure out where I met them …. He had to jog my memory and I joined him and his two friends. We went back to the tree that night to see it in the night time ….. no leaf drop at all the whole time we were there …. I guess the morning storm shooked all the loose one out for that day.

A beautiful day in Bodh Gaya ….
Bodh Gaya - Community Field

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