Tuesday, August 10, 2010
past fear, into beauty
Swayambhunath is one of the holiest sites for Tibetan Buddhists, second only to Boudhanath stupa, and is charmingly referred to as "Monkey Temple" for its resident population of rhesus macaques. I have a uh, slight irrational fear of monkeys and apes, and so I must admit I was a little nervous upon entering the ancient religious complex, keeping my eyes peeled for any shifty-looking monkeys. At first I didn't see any, but I knew they were there, hiding in the trees or behind Buddhas... watching.
I suddenly realised I was so busy looking out for monkeys, that I was beginning to miss the beauty around me, so I decided this was going to be the last time I'd be afraid of them. Fear is often so unnecessary, it pulls you out of the present into this bizarre place of your own creation. What was the worst that could happen? The monkey bites me and I have to go get rabies shots? Wondering "what if" was such a distraction, that I made up my mind to stop all the iffing and began to pay attention to my surroundings.
And my oh my, were they gorgeous.