Boudha, Nepal is a special place. It’s considered one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Kathmandu. The ancient Buddhist stupa of Bouda (also called Boudhnath) is one of the largest in the world. The region is also home to a growing population of Tibetan refugees who have built over 50 monasteries throughout the region. Boudha is a center of enlightenment, pilgrimage, and prayer, made all the more mystical by its proximity to the mighty Himalayas. According to The Lonely Planet, “this is one of the few places in the world where Tibetan culture is accessible, vibrant, and unfettered.” Interestingly, Boudha and Lhasa have always been linked by trade routes, so today’s intercultural community is no surprise. Boudha is a vibrant and culturally rich city but many of its residents have never had access to formal schooling. Enter: Vajrayana School.
Empathy is one of the most important qualities a person can have. Without empathy, we are each an island. It is difficult to feel a deep connection with someone else when you can’t imagine yourself in her place. We may understand our connection intellectually, but true empathy means feeling a desperate humanness, a sympathy that compels us to act. I think experiencing different lifestyles at a young age teaches empathy early. When a child sees another child, she feels a kinship. I think this natural affinity dissipates as we age, unless we are taught that it’s right to feel, to care, and to have the desire to help.