Friday, May 22, 2015


The Himalayas from Nagarkot
In March 2015, we traveled with our friends and students from the University of Rhode Island to take part in the Kingian Nonviolence and Conflict Reconciliation Orientation and Core Training in Nagarkot, Nepal.  

We were introduced to the nonviolence philosophy and education of Martin Luther King, Jr. with students, lawyers, educators, social workers, NGO staff, and military officers from Nepal and other countries in Southasia.

After the training, we joined the URI students on a cultural tour of Nepal and then spent time on our own, exploring Kathmandu and the countryside.

As we learned, nothing in life is the same after Nepal. 
Boudhnath Stupa - Kathmandu
On the way to Bhaktapur
The Peacock Paper Factory - Bhaktapur
Namo Buddha - Edge of the Kathmandu Valley

Boys of the LRI School sing "Imagine" by John Lennon.
Chitwan -- On the Border with India
Guardians of the Road
Three weeks after we returned home, on Saturday April 25, Nepal was hit with a 7.8 earthquake.  The country has been devastated with loss of life, loss of entire villages, homes and workplaces destroyed, cultural and historical sites gone.
 Swayambhunath is now rubble.
Bhaktapur -- a medieval city is a pile of bricks

People we met now live in tents -- no jobs and no homes going into the monsoon season. 

On the way to Paulines Guesthouse -- all buildings destroyed
Paulines Guesthouse has collapsed.
I find myself caught between tragedy and sorrow, and the utter grace of our trip and its timing.   

It's my koan, a paradox for meditation.  Abandon logical reasoning, the Zen master might say to me.  What happens, then?


Chhetrapati Chowk

Five dirt roads converge
like five spokes of a great wheel
steer me to Thamel,
Mithro, the booksellers street,
Swayambhnath and Home.