blessings

Blessings | His Holiness Je Khenpo

On the day of our departing, there was a massive blessing ceremony by the one person whose relationship to the King of Bhutan is on an equal. This is His Holiness Je Khenpo. Arising early that morning, prepping to head out, there was a series of bellows coming from across the valley that either were some bull roaring conquests, or…alternatively, Bhutanese prayer chanting, that deep bi-chordal sound that the monks make in their deepest intonations. I’d asked the young sleeping innkeeper (who’d returned my jacket with passport and all my money, wallet and everything earlier at 6.am — I’d left it at the lobby desk when I’d been working there, 11ish, the night before) what that sound was, and he’d mentioned that it was a blessing ceremony for Paro — the previous night, we’d been to the other component of this.

Our flight, arriving at the airport, had been delayed. And to Tsewang’s reference, this meant that we were expected, therefore, to be blessed by the H.H. Je Khenpo.

We and, to Tsewang’s review, about 15,000-20,000 other Bhutanese, were there in the simmering heat awaiting that time — the moment of blessing.

Frankly, I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t happen — that he’d even pass by us — but we were, somehow, in the second row…

Here are some images.

A betel nutty Lama from Taiwan. I couldn’t quite figure him out…

The opening rows of situated monks for the blessings.

The crowds, the people, the spectacle…

The rice patterned pathway, being laid:

The old, the young, the in-between…

The arrival and blessings of H.H. Je Khenpo

Bhutanese boys, being (with me) boys…

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