I’ve spent the last two weeks in Bodhgaya with 5ooo devoted Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world and dozens of high lamas leading us in chanting and prayers for peace. Each morning from 6 am we follow along with our chant book, sometimes chanting, sometimes reading the English translation, sometimes simply sitting quietly to take it all in. The energy is charged with something sacred, and that manifests as kindness. People smile alot.
It is a challenge to be in Bodhgaya for any period of time, and especially when it is so crowded and the schedule so full. Many of us got sick, and the power is often out. But the blessings raining down from the Karmapa and the Kagyu lamas create a setting of such intense good will, that no one seems to mind the inconveniences of the material world here. It starts to become clear that compassion and wisdom are not only necessary, but possible.