Photos from the 22nd July (celebration of Buddha’s first teachings)

As promised, Lama Namgay has taken some great shots of this auspicious day. Many Bhutanese pilgrims made the 3 hour trek to Phajoding to celebrate Buddha’s first teachings and on their arrival were met by the monks and offered Suja, the salty Yak butter tea served out of an aluminium pot – a great way to get everyone into the spirit of the festivities. The monks and the Phajoding horses helped to carry up supplies for the big day too – a great effort !

“Drukpa Tshe Zhi” – the first teachings of Lord Buddha

Today is one of the most sacred days in the Buddhist calendar – being the date of the first teachings of Lord Buddha 2600 years ago. The Phajoding monks are busy conducting a big puja (prayer service) and are expecting many Bhutanese pilgrims to attend. Photos will be posted soon so stay tuned!

After Lord Buddha attained enlightenment at the age of 35, he gave his first sermon in the Deer Park at Sarnath – present day Varanasi in India. The day honors the first teachings of the Four Noble Truths. In Bhutan, the day is observed and celebrated as “Drukpa Tshe Zhi”, literally translating as the fourth day of the sixth month according to the Bhutanese calendar. On this day, Buddha talked about the Middle Path and the doctrine of the Four Noble Truths to five monks which became known as the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma (dharmachakra).

Gardening monk style

One of Lama Namgay’s favourite past-times is to garden. As an adjunct to the monastic curriculum he has introduced regular organic gardening sessions where he is teaching the monks the art of composting and an appreciation of nature.

Recently, he and the monks developed garden beds and planted some flower seeds which are already beginning to sprout – much to the delight of all the monks.




New addition to the Phajoding family

Phub Dorji has just joined the sangha at Phajoding Monastery. He is 9 years old and sadly he, along with his brother and sister, were abandoned by their parents. Shortly after they were abandoned, a lovely couple took them under their wings however they were unable to financially support all 3 of them. The 2 brothers were placed in monastic school while their sister is being cared for by the couple and is attending a local school. Welcome Phub – may your life be filled with happiness and joy.

Long lost horse is found

At Phajoding Monastery we have 3 horses who occasionally help us carry up some food supplies – but most of the time they are left to graze in the meadows surrounding Phajoding and are considered part of our family. So when one of the horses went missing over a month ago it was a big loss to us. But we are happy to inform you all that we found the horse recently. A few of the monks spent their Sunday trekking over a mountain pass and found him roaming with some yaks  – everyone is excited to have him back. Here is a photo of the missing horse….we have named him “Lucky” !