Monasteries (34/95)

yes, I decided to count again for a few days…

After a short hike up a hill, we made a stop at one of the monasteries. Boys start their training to become monks as young as 5. Which means obviously that parental or social pressure weighs heavily into the choice. Even prior to modern housing where the whole family lived in one room, I don’t know that anyone at age five can really make a life long decision – even death isn’t clearly understood till a few years later.  Anyway, the boys are referred to as monks from the beginning. A boy or young man who opts out somewhere along the line is called a returned monk which just may be a bit pejorative.

In this more enlightened era, although there is obviously state supported religion (Buddhism), the holidays, festivals and roles of the monks are integrated into the daily life of most. The boys not only learn the scripts, prayers, musical required instruments, today they are also taught their own language, English and usually a trade (self-sufficiency is nothing to frowned on).

Just a few pictures from the Chime Lhakhang –

We passed through one of the small villages on our walk – through rice fields and past vegetable patches

and then of course – there is phallus phun – on the side of houses for luck and fertility.

part of the day included a visit to a local woman’s house. A widow for the last 20+ years, she rents out part, gets a portion from another working her fields and hosts groups coming through for “tea” which had something to do with butter and hot wheat wine…..

Following lunch, our final stop was at Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Choeling Buddhist College which was established five years ago by the recently retired IV King who just happens to live across the street high on the hill.

The retired kings home

The retired kings home

Unlike with the boys, the age of entry here is much higher and a personal choice. I did mention this is a monastery for nuns didn’t I?

On the trip home we viewed from across the river the historic fortress which burned several years ago. The temple has been restored in traditional style and reconstruction on the rest of the compound is underway

the restored Temple portion

the restored Temple portion

the rest of the compound yet to be redone

the rest of the compound yet to be redone

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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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