Bhutan Journal

Taksang Monastery | The Tiger’s Nest
For a decades, coming to this remote outpost, was a dream. You could call the entire trip to Bhutan as the exemplar for this sense of remote connection — something powerful and distant; something marvelously contained, like a mysterious jewel. And for me, for many others I’m sure this place captures — and captivates, all. For the heart of the practice, the mystic character of the entire spiritual community of the Himalayas, Taksang is the diamond in the heart of the lotus of Vajrayana Buddhism, in which every sentient being becomes a manifestation of the genius of divinity. All things, living and mind full, are deity. I’ve pulled a quote from a site, below, that gives a little backgrounder (this overview from another tour group that is more pilgrimage based, focused on that string of travel.

I’d offer that surely this trip was for me, yet another string in the miracle of the pilgrim’s discoveries, I don’t know that I go there just for that. That wandering is a form of spiritual encounter is truth, for me. But wandering, and wondering is another engagement, as well. When you wander, you look into things, into your sight of things, of people — and you consider how you relate to them. What they might mean for you, what they might mean for your life; and how you fit into theirs.

The concept of contemplation and exposure to mystery is surely another part of who I am, what I look for, what I explore. Contemplation is wholly about sacred space (Latin: con + templum – with temple). But what is sacred space. Every where, I might offer, is a potential for exposure to the divine.

Here, however, the vibrations positively flow, in one long potent and golden emanation.

But what was the feeling? In coming into the opening views, being close, there was a profound sense of almost an perilously powerful loss of, literally, gravitation; it’s like I couldn’t keep my feet down. I wept, spirit resounding. And this might be a combination of the dramatic exposures — the magnetic visuals, the sheer feeling of wildly open and treacherous pathways — heights and the distantly long drop to the bottom of the cliffs. Amazement.

Here, then, that:

The predawn run, mystery — misting.

A distant glimmering, the edifice reveals.

The bare, detailing.

More seen, yet remote.

Clarity, closer.

View, across the chasm.

Darkening — the Sun emerges behind the rock.

Prayer full — flag split screen.

Stairway — to nothingness.

A chain of prayers — to Taksang.

Mystical filigree — at the edge of light.

A vale of prayers — to the mist beyond.

A hermitage — tucked in the mountainside.

Flags — spanning the chasm.

A cascade — from light.

Reaching the place, the mist settled in, swirling and rising from the waterfall, and there were no cameras allowed, into the interiors of Taksang.

I was there, just before the site was opened up.

The first one in, on the most auspicious of days.

Dazed and shaken, in the mists, the mystery, of coming home to something that I’d dreamt of, for decades.