Study: Exploring Bhutan
In 2009, Nancy Spence and a few students traveled to Bhutan to study the practice of Buddhism there.
Of the trip, participants had this to say:
A few words about my trip to Bhutan: It was the trip of a lifetime—a spiritual journey where I witnessed and experienced the fullness and reality of living one's practice every moment of every day in a way that included both oneself and the community. Buddhism is a way of life in Bhutan. Despite the paucity of money and worldly goods the attitude of the Bhutanese is one of happiness, joy, and gratitude. Some of the highlights of the trip were the trip to the Tiger's Nest, the Festival, the local market day, and meeting the locals as we traveled from town to town, especially the mothers with their children in tow. I am forever changed because of my pilgrimage to this lovely country.
For me, Bhutan was an opening to a completely different culture than I have ever experienced. It was amazing to witness a society of like-minded people living in harmony. I was very impressed by the simplicity, the beauty and the deep respect for nature and for each other.
This certainly brings back the very special feeling I had with our group last year...the bond was so much deeper than with most of my groups—the shared spritual bond was exceptional! Also, seeing the country for the 3rd time, and this time having had such a deeper experience with a very well educated local Bhutanese Buddhist monk made all the difference in the world. I had been aware of the often 'canned' responses the guides are taught to give, and the open and very honest replies from the monk were so refreshing and enriching...bringing in an even deeper level of feeling and empathy with the local culture. The constellation of our group was also so terrific, with each member bringing in her/his own life experiences—it was so rich on a very human and personal level.
Below are some images from their trip.