Recent Lincoln School News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Grade 6 Explore Nepal

Some people might say their Explore Nepal was the best. The 11th graders went mountain biking, the 9th graders built biogas tanks in Chitwan, and the 10th graders visited The Last Resort. Overall, the other grades seemed like they had an amazing trip. Our Explore Nepal was pretty unique. We visited a Tibetan monastery where we learned how to meditate, help others, and accept change and impermanence. We spent a fair amount of time with the local monks that lived at the monastery. On our first day, we went to a paper factory, where we saw the whole process of making paper, and even got to try out one of the steps ourselves. There were hundreds, maybe even thousands of designs! We got to buy goods from the shop at the factory. On the second day, we went on a silent walk, and reflected on change and impermanence in Kathmandu. We wrote about what we thought would happen to Nepal in the future, and about our role in changing the world.
One of our worst and favorite days was on the third day. We hiked up to another monastery in Shivpuri and had lunch there. We made human pyramids, and took lots of selfies with our sunglasses. After lunch, we hiked back down to the monastery. Or so we thought. Since half of the group was way in front, we didn't realize until a third of the way down that one of our friends had fallen and sprained her ankle. We played charades while we were waiting for transport for her to get home. After an hour of waiting, we made our way down the hill. It turned out that we ended up going the completely wrong way. Around 4:30 in the afternoon, we found our path and headed back to Kopan monastery. We arrived at the monastery at around 7:00 pm, had dinner, and went to sleep. It seems like a lot of people reflected on that one exhausting day.

For the fourth day, we hiked to an incense factory and nunnery. We learned about the living quarters for the monks and nuns, and the importance of debate in Buddhism, and we saw a huge sand mandala. Then we got to see the machines used to make the incense, and bought some from the gift shop. We also met a very cute and friendly pug named Tenzing.  When we got back to the monastery, we worked on our own mandalas, which are shaped in a way that they can all connect, which represents our interdependence.
On the fifth day, we finished up the mandalas, and dropped off some books at the nearby school. Then we packed our bags, and went on the long ride home. On most of the days, we had teachings from a nun named Ani Karin, who was very learned in the ways of Buddhism. She told us all about accepting change, and interdependence. We had a meditation session and had two teachings from Cherok Lama. Overall, it was a really great trip, and I think we all learned a lot from it.

by Zoe and Maren