Tag Archives: Ferdi Kayhan

My Pilgrimage Complete: Life Continues Like a Wheel

Bodh Gaya, India.  Four years ago I wrote the most-read piece of my life: Will a Vow of Poverty Fill the Void in My Soul? One of the reasons I was interested in this pilgrimage is to meet so many people who have taken a similar vow – the hundreds of thousands of monks who have descended in Bodh […]

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On the Banks of the Ganges: Reflections of a Journey in Time

Varanasi, India.  I realize this is winter in northern India just like in New York, but I had thought that India would be warmer and greener.  The countryside is often drab, so different from the vibrant rice fields of Bali.  Here, they appear to be either dusty or muddy.  I was unprepared for the cold […]

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Buddhism and the Universal Concept of Social Responsibility

Bodh Gaya, India. Studying in Japan back in college, I had a very unique Buddhist experience, one of which I did not understand until years afterwards.  I had joined a Buddhist student group that took me to the far north of Japan where we re-planted the mountainsides (“Shinnen No Mori”).  This was an international concept […]

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Rediscovering the World’s First Great University in Buddhist India

Nālandā, India.  The next stop of our pilgrimage is the ancient center of higher learning, Nālandā.  Unknown to me before in New York, the Buddhists built the first great university in recorded human history.  Established around 500 BC, it had over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers from around the world.  The library was located in a […]

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Dalai Lama: Most-Photographed Man Prepares to Retire

Bodh Gaya, India. The 14th Dalai Lama, known to his followers for having a charismatic personality and universal values, is actually named Tenzin Gyatso.   Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures – Pope-like – in the Gelugpa line of Tibetan Buddhism.   Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the current Dalai Lama is also […]

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Under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya Where the Prince Became The Buddha

Bodh Gaya — the place of Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment under a Bodhi tree considered the most sacred place in Buddhism — is not much to look at upon arrival.  Flat, dusty – I could be in Haiti.  I was amused on the flight here when I realized that Buddhists come in two classes: business and economy.  The […]

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Next Step of Indian Pilgrimage: Vultures’ Peak Where Buddha Preached

Rajgir, India.  Following several days in Bodh Gaya, where Buddha obtained enlightenment under the tree, we continue our pilgrimage to another holy site of Buddhism: Rajgir.  One of eight great places of the traditional Buddhist pilgrimage, Rajgir is located in a green valley surrounded by rocky hills. Here and nearby, especially at Vultures’ Peak, many important […]

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