Bhutan day 6


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May 1st 2011
Published: May 2nd 2011
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Bumthang ValleyBumthang ValleyBumthang Valley

A great walk along country lanes
Sunday, May 1st marked traveling for over a month. We began our morning with some group time in a simple meditation space here at our hotel. With all the traveling we've been doing, this was the first opportunity to have some group process. After a quick tea break, we spent the mid-day walking from the hotel through pastoral dirt farm roads, over hill and dale. Happily, no steep climbs today. Just ambling through cow and horse pastures, over streams, and enjoying several encounters with local children. Our paths led us to the important Kurjay Monastery where Padmasambhava meditated in a cave and left his body imprint in the rock. That cave is now enclosed within the temple which was empty of monks as they all arrive from Trongsa tomorrow for the summer months. Behind the monastery is an enormous cedar tree which, as the story goes, is the tree which grew from Padmasambhava's cedar staff which he planted in the ground. This monastery is also where the first 3 kings were cremated.

Some more walking brought us to our picnic lunch on some broad rocks by a rushing river. After lunch, we crossed the river on a rather shaky suspension
Holly with cow friendsHolly with cow friendsHolly with cow friends

Holly loves that the cows are free to roam
bridge to continue along a trail, and then another country lane, to yet another monastery where our group had the opportunity to circumambulate inside wearing a 500 year old chain mail shirt. Apparently, circumambulating in this manner gives one big credit karmically. Also, deep within the temple was an area with a large statue of Padmasambhava and his 8 manifestations. We were shown some red staining coming from a decorative dragon's ears and eyes, and told that these were blood tears emitted on the day that China invaded Tibet.

After a good day of walking, we enjoyed the traditional herbal hot stone bath here at the hotel. We were able to bath together in 2 side by side rectangular wooden tubs. Bark and other herbs permeated the water. An attendant was posted on the other side of the wall to respond to our requests for more hot or cold water. Sauna, hot tub, steam bath, this was the Bhutanese version and just as soothing and satisfying!


Additional photos below
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Bumthang Valley

Apple blossoms just like home!
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Bumthang Valley

Kurjay Gompa where Padmasambhava left his imprint
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Bumthang Valley

White prayer flags are for the dead and colored are for the living
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Bumthang Valley

Shaky suspension bridge with a few missing planks!
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Bumthang Valley

These phalluses are the outflow for a water-powered prayer wheel


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