Buddhist Bhutan Bliss

May 27, 2011

Bhutan travel and Buddhism

Bhutan is an extraordinary country unlike anywhere else on the planet and some of it is because of the people and the Buddhist culture. It is the only country in the world that puts happiness at the core of public policy and it is integral to the nations cultural and political security and Bhutan's Buddhism appears to play a huge part in this.

"On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him; if he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom." Buddha

"Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity." Buddha

"On my path, all are considered equal" Buddha

If you are a Buddhist, you really do not want to miss visiting Bhutan. We're not Buddhists, but much of the compassionate philosophy is compatible with our thinking and we even sent our child to a preschool on Buddhist property long ago in Santa Cruz. It was fascinating to learn more about Buddhism in Bhutan and our 10 year old really enjoyed experiencing the rituals like the prayer wheels in many glorious ancient temples.

Prayer flags are every where in Bhutan... on trees, on poles, on bridges throughout the country. Prayer wheels are everywhere as well and devotion to prayer is part of the daily life. We found that very moving and heart touching as we walked this sacred land where 70% of the land is forested purposely and 90% of the food is organically grown ( thanks to their "gross national happiness" /GNH policies).

Most of the GNH policies find their roots in Buddhism.

"Happiness is about one's outlook on life, and Buddhist values help people appreciate and focus on what they have instead of what they do not have. Values such as compassion and respect foster greater social interaction." Karma Tshiteem ( Bhutan's GNH secretary)

Bhutan Budda..enormous!

Family travel is sometimes learning about other cultures and religions. Thank you Bhutan for teaching us more about Buddhism!  We're grateful and honored to have been the first family travel bloggers invited to visit Bhutan by the Tourism Council of Bhutan and will be writing much more about our captivating travels there.

The first photo was taken in historic Bumthang, one of the most spectacular ( and isolated) valleys of Bhutan and the heart of Buddhism at a famous 6th century monastery. The beautiful (and gigantic) Buddha  photo was taken in the largest city, Thimphu, majestically sitting high on a mountain overlooking the city and surrounding area like the Christ statue overlooks Rio in Brazil.

In honor of Bhutan and it's magnificent beauty and people, I've gathered a few of my favorite Buddha quotes. Do you have a favorite?

"Do not believein anything simply because you've heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anyhting simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on teh authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conduscive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

"Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their own suffering."

"Whatever words we utter shoud be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill."

"You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection"

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