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.


Julia Kelly said...

wow- this place looks like a feast for the eyes and thanks for the reminder to live in the moment- it is so easy not too!

szaza said...

It's so easy to get caught up in silly things and be distracted from the moment. It helps to be taken out of your element into a place so foreign, you can't help but pay attention.

Swayambhunath is a marvellous place!