Entries by Dr Louise Hayes

Discovery — a way to rebalance elements 

From my apartment window the gigantic eyes of Buddha stare at me once more. Until this moment the eyes were covered, but as I write this, men unveil the all-seeing eyes on the golden tower that rests above a stark white dome. Boudhanath Stupa is a 1600-year-old giant mandala. Now it’s golden tower glitters in the […]

50 Rupees exchanged for shared compassion.

As I walk the morning kora I marvel at the older women. I love their dignity: long hair in braids, often woven with brightly coloured thread, ‘uniform’ of long skirts with sneakers, multi coloured striped sashes as symbols of marriage, and the ubiquitous left hand swinging their mala beads as they chant ‘om mani padme […]

The ‘Himalaya effect’ begins

I rarely see it coming. I arrived in Kathmandu and felt grumpy. It’s dusty, dry and cold here, in the depths of winter. The internet isn’t working and I have a full day of Skype supervision scheduled for the next day. The stupa isn’t repaired and I felt sad and grumpy about that too. The […]

Then Kathmandu goes eerily quiet

I am scared tonight, more than I was yesterday after the quake. It is the evening of the second day and I’m frightened because it’s dead quiet. There is no sound. The relentless hustle and bustle of Kathmandu has been silenced. Even the barking dogs are quiet. I look all the way up the valley […]

The earth roars under Kathmandu

It’s a quiet Friday spent reading in a coffee shop, chatting on the advantages and disadvantages Nepal faces after 30 years of international aid. The topic turns to the regular disasters Nepal faces: landslides, avalanches, monsoon, and–you guessed it–earthquakes. I say, “In an earthquake you climb under a table.” However in Nepal there is rarely […]

Taking my mind and body for a walk

You need a strong body and a peaceful mind to live in the Himalaya. As we walk I see both everywhere in the hill people. What’s more I am confronted by my weaknesses in both. “You are neither mindful nor strong,” my mind flashes these messages like an annoying neon sign. As I write this […]

The sweetness of new contexts

Yet another Kathmandu rookie error. In the shower combined toilet, I drop my expensive bon voyage gift of hand made soap on the floor, it shimmies across the floor and scoots down the toilet hole faster than a goal shooter’s hockey puk. I can’t grab it while holding the water jug, and shampoo, and keep […]

My inbox is not a friend

I look around the Asian style longboat, some travellers are reading, some just staring out, many are are asleep on each other, heads in laps, collapsed together like rag dolls. Time stretches like the suns rays across the teak boards. Time. I have found you again. Welcome back. My destination is nowhere, a two day […]