He credits this little sandwich, which he named “Meditator’s Delight,” with his well-being. (This and his UV water-purification pen.) The sandwich is—brace yourself—peanut butter, garlic chutney, and chili sauce on rice cakes. Sounds kinda Thai, right? Almost? He swears it’s surprisingly tasty…but I’m gonna have to just trust him on this one.
While he spent pretty much every waking and sleeping moment within the monastery grounds, he was able to walk down to the market for supplies. The catered lunches were largely Northern Indian food, with vegan options, but there was nothing for him at breakfast (again, not all Buddhists are vegan).
He’d packed a couple dozen Clif bars and Tofurky Jurky, and he picked up some vegan sausages and other treats on his previous stop in London (some jobs are just THE WORST), but he needed to supplement. Especially that immune-system wunderkind, garlic.
The downside of this setup? Look at how close those cushions are. A few hundred folks from all over the world spent their days in this space, bringing their new and exciting microbes to share with one another. Tom said not 30 seconds could go by without a sniffle or cough or some other such phlegmy noise; he called it the upper respiratory orchestra. If I were faced with this many cold-havers, I’d order me up a Meditator’s Delight too.
I can’t share all his stories with you—he has so many amazing tales that all I can say after each one is “Thanks for coming home!”—but here are some super fun photos of Nepalese animals:
In the city, these monkeys were everywhere, and you had to be careful to avoid eye contact because they’d attack. Check out that little guy in the center of the photo, stealing the Buddha’s offering. What a noodge!
And this is the best goat ever. The monastery has loads of rescue goats (and cats and dogs and such) who roam the grounds. Tom, of course, made friends with them all. At the end of the course, he went to a big picnic where one of the performances was a play featuring a bunch of super young monks (like 5 years old!) dressed up as a brahman, a farmer, and a goat to teach people compassion and why it’s wrong to kill animals. And yes, it was apparently as adorable as it sounds, complete with kids forgetting lines and goofing off.
I seriously need to find some buried treasure so I can go on these trips with him. This year’s obligations include—ugh—Australia.