“20 years ago, I saw the central monk body for the first time on their way to Thimphu for their summer residency. The red robe piqued my interest & since then, all I wanted to do was become a monk. I graduated from the Tango Buddhist Monastery in 2016. Currently, I’m in the middle of my six-year meditation practice at Pang Karpo in Punakha.

Last year, I finished a three-year mediation course under His Holiness Drupthob karma Jurme’s guidance. Completion of three years of meditation is a significant accomplishment for a monk. I believe that stepping to another stage of 3 years of meditation will make one more content and offer depth to their grasp of the teachings of Buddha. And having begun a dharma life, one must have a good closure to the journey.

I wake up around 3:30 a.m., brush my teeth & wash my face. I begin my prayers & prostration by making offerings to Buddha. My morning prayers take about 4 hours to finish. I just drink water or occasionally mix it with the flour. During the course of retreat, one meal a day is all that a monk take.

We also have to live in total isolation. The only people we can see are our guidance Lama, the storekeeper, and the doctors if we get sick. However, if utterly necessary, with permission from the Lama, we could meet people. The storekeeper helps with my grocery shopping from the market. He does the same with everyone at retreat. Unlike us, he’s free to interact with others and leave the retreat campus. Currently, 25 of us are in the retreat currently at Pang Karpo. The Zhung Dratshang funds the retreat houses; only a few houses are established with the help of sponsors.

I believe there is no limit to how far one can take the practice. However, If you are unable to pursue dharma, do not harm others or the self; this is the first step toward dharma.”

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