Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I-MAN visits Kopan

As  he hadn’t truly rested in quite some time, I-MAN was really looking forward to the Dasain Festival as a time to relax.    As of late, he always seemed to be tired, maybe worrying a bit too much about life, in general.  He knew that he and a few others would stay in KTM during the Festival while most everyone else would leave to visit their families in other parts of Nepal, and possibly even in India. 

I-MAN always had more work to do and he thought that maybe he could catch up a bit during his relaxation time, but he also knew that he needed to have some fun and peace. One thing that he immediately did was to visit, with his friend  Enomis,  Mick Jagger’s Rolling Stones Restaurant in KTM called “Brown Sugar”.  After visiting and not seeing Mick, he was somewhat disappointed, but given the taste and lightness of the whole wheat apple and banana pancakes he was really in heaven.

I-MAN also decided to go with some friends, Miw and  Enelra to visit a Monastery called Kopan and a really large Nepali multi-eyed stupa called Boudhanath, or Big B. I-MAN thought that at least some other friends would come but they got caught up in a mysterious universe called Butterflies (are) Free and they were not heard from again as they just must of got lost, like the J. Giles Band.  I-MAN really didn’t understand BaF, so he just tried to stop thinking about it and have a good time.   

I-MAN wanted to visit Kopan because he had seen this Monastery in a movie called “Unmistaken Child” about the search for a baby Lama to take over for an old one who had died.  The movie was recommended  by a cousin who was becoming a monk, somewhere in the United States.  After seeing the movie and determining that a lot of it took place at this Kopan Monastery, I-MAN knew that he had to go for a visit. 

The first step though was to determine how to get to Boudhanath where the “trek” to the Monastery would begin and end.  This was a challenge due to the fact that almost everyone had left KTM, well maybe some taxi drivers were still around, trying to prey upon those who had no other transportation, and it would be quite a walk.  I-MAN really didn’t want to fly because for those few staying in KTM they might think that he was some sort of freak and might try to “kite” him.  This would mean that he would be attacked by all of the kites that were being flown to ask the heavens not to send any more rain, at least not until next year.   I-MAN really didn’t understand this because without more rain, the Stsioam would cause more power outages but there wasn’t much to do about this situation, except, accept. 

Just as I-MAN and Miw were out of ideas Enelra was seen above their heads in a large blue zeppelin with the words Open Sesame Violet emblazoned in pink letters.    I-MAN and Miw were quite surprised to see this as they were thinking that they’d have to play the kati rupiya game with the remaining taxi drivers, and they knew that given the fact that most people were out of KTM it might cost a lot of rupees.

Given that the zeppelin was a dark blue the words really stood out.  Miw looked at I-MAN and I-MAN returned the favor and they both started laughing hysterically.  Before I-MAN could say, “what the “  Miw held up his hand and in his always wise demeanor,  and with a twirl of his right hand, said, “after you”. 

I-MAN really didn’t know how he would get up to the zeppelin, but thankfully Enelra sent down a long hose kind of thing which scooped I-MAN and Miw up to the zeppelin in a matter of seconds.  Enelra upon seeing the two said, “fasten your belt’s and let’s go the big “B” stupa”.  In a matter of minutes the trio were hovering over the stupa, marked by a huge black and yellow bumblebee fluttering over its top. 

The question though was where to “park” the zeppelin as they wanted to get some exercise and hike up to Kopan.   This however was not as difficult as at first thought.  Since most people were out of KTM there were plenty of spaces in the zeppelin parking lot adjacent to the big B stupa. 

As they walked into the big B, I-Man felt as if he was in another world.  The buildings around the stupa were in pristine condition and there were many people, in maroon colored clothes walking clock wise around the stupa.  At one point Miw was lost with the other people, as he was somehow also wearing a maroon colored shirt, but with white pants. There were even very clean restaurant toilets, and as we know from I-MANs first chapter in Nepal, this was greatly important.  

The trio decided to start their ascent to Kopan, a journey which I-MAN thought would be relatively easy, given the map at the Big B, and take about an hour.  At every turn in the road of which there were many, but didn’t show up on the map at Big B, the trio would ask which way to Kopan.  People would smile and point.

It wasn’t too bad and the scenery was pastoral.  But the trio didn’t feel like they were getting closer and then they came upon a magic man, who knew the way.  The man said that he was a teacher and led them in the general direction and pointed across an agricultural field.  The trio crossed the field and went past signpost people, smiling and pointing the way to Kopan.
Finally the trio were under Kopan and another magic man pointed up some stairs which led directly to the entrance.  At the entrance gate the trio had to pass through a heavily guarded LIBAN MTA.  I-MAN had come upon these deadly creatures before and whipped out his special card and injected it directly into the eye of the LIBAN MTA and the gate opened. 

Upon gaining entrance the trio saw many closely shaved maroon colored flowing robes, with large smiles and eyes opened to the universe.  They each carried a placard, which stated, “KOPAN-here you will find peace, understanding and wisdom.  Remain open to whatever you see, feel, touch, smell and taste.  Remember to always remove your shoes and never stop smiling.”  Upon catching a glimpse of this placard which was also pasted close to the LIBAN MTA, the trio felt a sense of lightness, as if they were transported to a place, far from earth. 
The three friends glided along the path as if they had no feet, as if their bodies had no weight and they entered a temple, where they found a large smiling Buddha and a woman crying for she was caught up in the beauty of all that she saw, felt, touched, smelled and tasted.  The three rested and also embraced all that they sensed.  Outside of the temple they drifted onto a path where they saw hundreds upon hundreds of buddhas  resting comfortably in the afternoon sun.  Again the friends rested and breathed in all that was there. 

Finally though it was time to start the descent, but this time the trio would take a longer, but more regular road.  The path was not as windy and soon enough they were back at the Big B, marveling again at the number of maroon clothes walking clockwise and praying near the many eyed stupa. 

The zeppelin was still in its parking place as the three got in and went back to their homes.  I-MAN knew that something special had happened.  He draped the Kopan prayer flags in his room, near the butterfly kite that had almost “kited” him.  He put up the  beautiful cloth hanging near the prayer flags and stuck photos of some Lamas on his wall.  That night, and for those to come, he would sleep peacefully with the watchful eyes of Kopan all around his bedroom.    

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