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The Tiger's Nest in Bhutan. Photo by Chelsea Ferrel.

Buddhism Pilgrimage Learnings

Since being in the Himalayas, in Nepal and Bhutan, we’ve been on somewhat of a pilgrimage, going to many Buddhist sites, for example, the Namo Buddha and Bota Stupa; the Namo Buddha is where Prince Mahasattva sacrificed his life to a tiger and the merit created the conditions for him to be reborn as Prince Siddartha, first awakened Buddha and the Bota Stupa is one of the largest stupas in the world where great aspirations are made. Oh, and how could I forget, on the day we went to visit the Buddha in Thimphu, we saw one of the queen dowagers and a princess. We were all quite in awe, then Hemant proceeds to shatter our starry eyes by saying that we’re all just human beings.

On the way to UWICER, we went to a Dzong, and sat down to watch some dances, taking part in their new year traditions in a way. Somehow, I ended up sitting sandwiched between two families with 3 generations of women that integrated me into their enjoyment of the new Tibetan new year. The little girls called me sister in Bhutanese, the moms explained to me about how just watching the mask dance brings auspiciousness for the coming year( I did not comprehend the dance in the least bit..), and the grandma kept trying to feed me. They were all so so sweet! Thinking about aspirations, one of the ones I keep in mind frequently now is for everyone in the universe to become better human beings because I’ve always strongly believed in the innate good in humans and that people influence each other so there would be more goodness circulating in our world.

Most recently on our pilgrimage so far, we went to visit 3 holy sites yesterday where at one of them, we sat inside and meditated for a while.