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Bhutan: Taktsang Monastery

Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan. Photograph by Kurt Behrendt

In Bhutan, outside of Paro, our group climbed up the rocky cliffs to visit the Taktsang monastery. Popularly known as the "Tiger's Nest," the monastery was first built in 1692 around a cave where the great Buddhist Vajrayana practitioner Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) meditated for three years. Our steep climb took us through an evergreen ecosystem that is unique to Bhutan, and we passed by the foot of a huge waterfall before reaching the monastery itself. While—like so many Buddhist sites in the Himalayas—Taksang was made sacred by a great teacher's presence, the spectacular beauty of the monastery's setting is a reference to the inexpressible nature of enlightenment.

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