Buddha's BDay Bike Ride
After 9 or so miles and and nearly 3000 ft. of elevation gain (this means I went up a whole hell of a lot of steep hills!), I pedaled up to a small temple and was served a tasty, huge meal after some quiet time sitting in the temple, enjoying a mantra meditation while the monks chanted in the background...
In the last photo, you see a hill leading up to the hospital, about a mile from my house. This hill is looooooong, and very steep and happens to be the last hill of my 15.5 mile ride, ugh! It is much steeper than the photo shows, I swear!!!
In the video you can hear the monks chanting in the background (and a little bit of me), and people outside the temple laughing and preparing food. Inside are the amazing stone carvings of the Buddhas in various arrangements. Notice they are holding each symbol of the Chinese zodiac. Close up of Monkey, which is me of course! Also note ornately carved chests and the brightly colored paint. Fruit and food are prepared and offered to honor the Buddha, which is later eaten by the monks, etc. You can see incense burning in offering, along with money left for the temple. The rituals are truly inspiring. I enjoyed a fabulous meal with a group of Koreans I didn't know and of course we had difficulty communicating, but they were welcoming and gracious and made sure I ate too much! This hour was a welcome respite before I got back on the bike to pedal the 6 miles home!
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...is gadding about!