Bhutan: At The Highest Level
I had only been in Bhutan for five days when I saw this poster. It had taken me only those five days to realize the extreme importance, and the deep belief and faith, of the Buddhist religion in the country.
Buddhism is part of everyday life in Bhutan. Its values and concepts permeate everywhere. In visiting temples and monasteries, I heard mesmerizing music and chants, heard people praying, and listened to monks memorizing their studies. Buddha statues, paintings, and artwork adorn these temples and monasteries, as well as other places. I learned religious stories and their meanings, and was told about several significant historical religious figures. Prayer flags flapping in the wind, and the turning of prayer wheels, release blessing for all sentient beings. People circumambulate chortens (a religious structure containing Buddhist relics), while using mala beads to count mantras being chanted. Meditation, prostrations, and performing a variety of rituals, are part of daily life of the Bhutanese. I even learned a few mantras myself in my five days, attended a Buddhist festival, and saw many monks in their red robes.
So when I saw this poster, in the lobby of a hotel of all places, I stared at it for several moments. I looked at the faces of each boy. Each monk who had begun to learn the value of their Buddhist religion.
Then I read the words. Over and over again. At the highest level. At the highest level. Something resonated in me with those words. The meaning behind the words. Those boys were learning their Buddhist religion, and the depth and importance of it, at the highest level.
But more than that, they are striving to live their lives at the highest level. To achieve their highest possible goals. To attain the highest possible level of happiness. Beyond that, perhaps all people in Bhutan, not just the monks, strive to live their lives at the highest level, to achieve their highest goal, to attain the highest level of happiness.
And beyond that, people all over the world strive for the same. To live our lives at the highest level.
So I took my one photo of this poster. And while the flash against the glass unfortunately created a reflection, I still stare at this poster. To remind me. To remind me of the deep level Buddhist religion plays in Bhutan. To remind me of the level that they strive for in their lives. To remind me of the level to strive for in my life. At the highest level.
Sweet (and the highest) Travels!3 comments