30 July: Prayers for safe travel

On Sunday, Ugyen insisted that we visit the temple Dechenphu Lakhang, to make prayers and offerings for a safe voyage.

On the drive up, Ugyen showed us the school where he had once studied and lived. When we arrived, he vanished briefly, in the direction of what looked like a group of people selling refreshments down on the left side of the road, before the entry to the parking lot. He returned with a plastic bag containing a bottle labeled “whisky” and some foodstuffs. I asked if we should have something for offerings, and he shook his head. “This is better,” he said.

The temple is guarded by sleepy dogs (of course).

Dechenphu Lakhang now has a sign saying that foreigners are not to enter, but Ugyen went and spoke with someone inside and got permission for us to come into the courtyard and also an upper, side temple.

We drank some of the holy water from the spring.

Then we waited in the courtyard while Ugyen vanished into the main building.

After a while Ugyen came and found us and led us to the side temple.

A priest was inside, watching while Ugyen tried to explain to us some of the many golden figures inside. Jeremy and I did some prostrations, following Ugyen’s model, and I left a small offering (about which I later felt embarrassed, for not having given more). Jeremy and I spun the prayer wheel.

We went back to Ambient for dinner, which gave Jeremy an opportunity to connect with young Jigme, who introduced him to Minecraft. That’s why we came half-way around the world, right? So that Jeremy could learn about Minecraft….

Back at the resort, James cut Jeremy’s hair.