Buddhism in Bhutan

       Siddhārtha Gautama, the Awakened One who became the Buddha, was born probably in Nepal some time around the 5th century BCE. His early life was of unmitigated ease, but as a young man when confronted by old age, disease and death, he became an aesetic for more than a decade. Then, enlightenment showed him a middle course between hedonism and aeseticism, based on the "Four Noble Truths": life is suffering; suffering is caused by cravings; suffering ends when craving ends; there is a path to this liberated state beyond rebirth. For the rest of his life, he taught what he had learned.
       In the 2500 years since then, Buddhism has evolved into several branches and even more traditions, mostly in Asia but has adherents throughout the world. Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan. 
       Below are some aspects of Buddhism we saw on the trip. Photographs inside temples were not permitted.

             The Buddha is everywhere: a huge statue above Thimphu, on slate in a chorten, painted on a tree.

           Family walking to pay homage.        Butter lamps lit in homage.          Processing clockwise around chorten.

             Monk in monastery courtyard.          Young monk drying robes.          Young nun paused in her chanting.

                 Six very young nuns posed for my camera. They smiled at me; I pondered about them!

            Traditional: Monks in "Black Hat" dance.           Elsewhere, a cell phone gives a touch of the new.

         A little football releases energy among adults...   as does some rough-housing amoung young monks!