Prayers in the form of beads and thoughts, with the sunshine of my friends and family. This was how I spent my 20th Birthday.
Trish, Dan and I travelled up to Eskdalemuir in Scotland to find the haven I know well amongst the mountains. Kagyu Samye Ling is where I wanted to spend my birthday and I’m lucky enough to have a friend who would drive there in the form of Dan. The Buddhist Monastery is far from other, crowded places, and can be used a refuge from the fast pace of everyday life or somewhere to relax, sending your thoughts elsewhere and love all around. Kindness was sent to me in the form of Prayer Beads awaiting my arrival in the Monastery shop – Marti made sure to send his love on my birthday.
In the morning Trish was awoken by an over-excited Hannah to have a present-opening session on her bed with my family on Skype – glad they could be with me in some way! I had so many lovely gifts from my friends and family, and money to help me on my way with my travels – all gratefully received and so many lovely new things. I can’t wait to grow my Alpine Strawberries from Trish and I wear my pink Zebra scarf from Connie on most days. My new Tiger top from my family was worn in the evening and my new beady handbag from Nan was used during the day. Pretty bracelets from Trish and Tors, and a lovely make-up bag with fairies on from my family! Too many things to mention, I could go on.
Later on we found ourselves in the Monastery gardens, taking lots of photos, watching the many frogs in the pond, and with birds all around us. It was good to be back.
Next we moved round to the Cafe to have some food and coffee, just chilling out together. The shop was next as Marti had instructed me to go there to pick up my amazing present. Dan also bought me a lovely notebook to take on my travels to Gambia and Costa Rica (which I’m ever more excited about!) – so many thoughts will need to be written. We also had the wonderful experience of listening to a singing bowl, and trying them out for ourselves. They are so beautiful and one in particular seemed to have a peculiar effect on me which set my heart beating faster and a wave of energy from my navel area up to my throat – it was just the note for me apparently! I also got some new prayer flags which have now joined the others around my bedroom to remind to keep living even when University work and busy life gets me down.
The Temple was as awesome as ever; beautiful colours, hundreds of Buddhas, and the awesome energy which hits you when inside. Walking up to stand before Buddha is powerful every time and makes me feel humble and it is a place where I can have a clear mind to think of others who need a special place in my heart and mind at this time. We offered candles outside the Temple, sending love and hope to those close to us who need support. I love this place.
After spending a time in the temple we wandered back towards the gardens then over the road to Fairy Hill which is covered and surrounded by Prayer flags. Another calm place but with little indications of fairy activity – shiny objects in tiny hollows and small shrines.
We headed home, where I had my dinner cooked for me by friends and a trip to the pub was in order! Trish made me a wonderful Birthday cake with lots of strawberries – my favourite.