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Get Thee to a Nunnery

June 6, 2023

One hot, sunny day, not to confine ourselves to monks, we ventured to a nunnery. The girls — I’d estimate twenty or so — were all teenagers; girls don’t become nuns as young as boys enter the monastery. The similarity was striking, however, as the girls were giggly and energetic as their counterparts in the lay world. Two of them were practicing the dungchen, a long trumpet-like horn whose sound is sometimes compared to an elephant singing! Like the monks, they also shave their heads.

A return trip to Punakha Dzong allowed us to appreciate its beauty in the daylight and capture the jacaranda trees bordering the river. Inside, we caught a glimpse of monks at their daily rituals — like college students strolling the campus. The lovely painted prayer wheel at bottom is typical for an important dzong.

  1. Marlo Quick permalink

    I love your description comparing the monks to college students. Having no real experience with monks or nuns, I have always thought of them as serious, only praying and meditating. I know that is erroneous thinking but with only literature to go by, that impression has stuck. It is much better to imagine them giggling, playing, and experiencing childhood joys and then growing into adults who retain those experiences.

    I love all your photos, especially the jacarandas.

  2. Cheri Anderson permalink

    It’s so refreshing to see the young nuns especially the one giggling, versus always the boys. The monastery beautiful and I love its gorgeous location along the river. Thanks for sharing!

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