“It takes a certain past karma to be able to pursue Dharma. I was born to parents who were neither too rich nor too poor which enabled me to become a monk without any obstacles. My father was in the army and he’d be sent to postings around the country while I stayed back in the remote village I was born into. We didn’t have to wear school uniforms and the nearest shop to buy amenities was miles away. I walked barefoot to school like the rest of the village kids. At 8, I insisted my parents let me ordain as a monk. I was one of the youngest in the monastery. I believe that when you are destined, you’re always led to that path. The monastic life today is a luxury for me. Thanks to a deeply religious King and his people, we enjoy everything for free- our meals, the mattress to sleep on and even the soap to wash our faces. We are indeed fortunate. Essentially, the rules dictate monks to not indulge in anything leisurely. However, people from the health ministry come to us and advocate on keeping fit by playing sports and doing exercises. I think this is acceptable since Buddhism is about maintaining a balance in whatever we do. We mostly play football and volleyball during our free time.

I have been a monk for the last 15 years. The first 8 years are for the primary education of a monk. After that, we are free to choose, whether to upgrade to a higher university degree or be content with the obtained level of study so far. I felt like I wasn’t ready so I stayed back to teach in the same monastery. I also wanted to repay the institution that fed and educated me all these years. I committed to staying as a teacher for 7 years and by the grace of Kencho Sum, I finally fulfilled that. I’ve been accepted to a Shaydra in Mongar which I will be joining soon. The last 2 years have been hard on me. What started as swelling in one of my legs turned into a form of paralysis. I couldn’t walk without the help of my students. Starting the treatment first in Mongar and now in Thimphu, there has been some improvement and I hope for a full recovery before my classes start.”

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