DODEYDRA SHEDRA, THIMPHU, BHUTAN
I went to Marshall’s yesterday in search for a soup blender. It was next to the grocery store, so why not? Holy cow!
It was staggering all the crap on the shelves we don’t need and yet consume! Life-size reindeer, dancing Santas, all
sorts of cutlery and dishes and glassware and electronics and gadgets and games and Christmas clothes for dogs,
and overall, in general terms, shit that nobody needs. I left in haste, overwhelmed.
I didn’t need that stupid soup blender after all.
I wonder if I sequester myself in a hermitage in the mountains, would life get any easier, happier?
And if I do decide to get away, I know exactly the place. Bhutan has many of them, and this monastery
called Dodeydra Shedra is hidden high in the mountains, you couldn't tell it's within striking distance
from Thimphu, the busy capital of Bhutan. The only thing that might complicate things is that I'm
a chick and monasteries are exclusive to men.
Almost at 10,000 feet, it was a scenic hike up, with a somewhat challenging elevation gain of 1,300'.
My guide, Sonam, switched up my morning itinerary and brought me here instead of a more trafficked
hiking route. I am grateful to him for it. We encountered all but one couple on the trail, but otherwise
had the mountains and the breathtaking views to ourselves.
By this time, this Bhutan journey has taken on a meditative and contemplative theme, something that
I did not plan or anticipate, but nonetheless welcome. As we hiked to these monasteries and temples,
I felt a sense of deep calm creep up, with each step, with each mountain, with each day.
We went inside the Buddhist Temple, which was a pretty remarkable structure given that it anchored
itself to the rock wall of the cliff. We stopped at a covered shed on the way down and ate local apples.