Woke up this morning and sat two periods of zazen at EHZC. On the way to work, the thought arose that 1,860 posts and over seven years was probably a sufficient investment in blogging. Use the time for other stuff, e.g. books, and community forestry, and more zazen. Bows of gratitude to everyone who visited these pages over the past years. Later. [NOTE: Image above shows me anticipating the last post of "thus i have seen" years ago at Angkor Wat].
There is a gorgeous pagoda on top of Sagaing Hill overlooking the Irrawaddy River. From the courtyard, you can see three former imperial capitals – Inwa, Amarapura (see U Bein Bridge), and Mandalay, as well as countless other temples, pagodas, monasteries, and nunneries scattered across the landscape. I was most intrigued, however, by the main Buddha statue inside the pagoda. The right hand (shown inside the red circle) has six fingers. And this was done on purpose, it is said. And it is the only statue of Buddha in Myanmar so represented, it is said.
Monk walks across the U Bein bridge over Taungthaman Lake (see U Bein Bridge). Over a year since I have been at this lovely spot.
There are so many stupas and temples at Bagan. Many don't have names, only numbers from the Ministry of Culture, Department of Archaeology. Of the 3,000 or so structures that cover the plain of Bagan, most people visit only three or four of the most well-known temples. But with bikes, you can find structures that no one is visiting. And you can walk inside, by yourself, and explore and see a beautiful Buddha statue.
And find a stairway covered in bat guano that clearly no one has climbed up in a while. Or, maybe you are not supposed to climb up this passage. But how can you resist? Bagan is an amazing place.
[NOTE: I am struck that Structure 1410 looks a little bit like the Alamo].
Had a productive field session in the Village Management Area (VMA) of Nam Sabi. Made a basecamp deep into the VMA (more on this later), and started reading the growth bands that we had put on a sample of timber trees exactly a year ago. Scheduled a follow-up survey to finish reading the bands with WCS, Forest Department, and a team of villagers in about a week. Image above shows us pushing the boat out into the Chindwin River to return to the ranger station in Htamanthi.