Gardening the Bhutanese Way

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Voyage One Must Ensue - Drolung Goenpa.



It was a walk through the woods; woods of various girths and canopies. A walk with my family; a family of 7 ladies was worth embarking on. The open spaces were clad with mosses all over except for the path leading to the monastery. Ivies were sprawling over the mosses and then twining around the lean branches.

With no other sounds than the clanging of the branches effected by the gentle gust; rattling of the leaves; chirping of the far-away birds swinging to & fro a lanky twig; & the gentle thud of our footsteps, we caroled against gravity with a gentle hymn pleasing to our ears.

 I moved intently forwardly, my gaze leaping from one wonder to the other. The Ganoderma fungi were statured firm against dead logs. This sent me reeling to the past where the fungus was stationed above my door with a welcome note.


Ferns dangled here & there amid porous leaf molds. I could clearly sense the cordial habitat the forest soil has provided. Rhododendron buds stood ever ready to unfold its compact latent energy reserves from within. The others which took advantage of time waved with precocious scarlet hue. Lichens encased the giant trees in dire parasitic association.

As we moved further up, a slightly different scenic beauty greeted our eyes. The lone violet Plumerias loomed forth through a whorl of powdery tinged lush leaves. Nonetheless, some congregated at a common point to exhibit its exquisiteness.

The open space carpeted with lush grasses just below the monastery provided ample liberty for us to get refreshed. We gasped in the unsullied mountain air.

Down descended the dogs sensing strangers encroaching their zone of dwelling. Their wavering tails and incessant woofing came to an abrupt halt when yummy biscuits from Thimphu watered their mouth. With an air of friendliness & submissiveness, they followed us; sniffing & wavering their tails in gratitude.

We finally made an entry into the primary abode of the 69th Jekhenpo, Je Gedhuen Rinchen; the Visionary founder of the Drolung Sanga Choling Goenpa. It is popularly known as the Drolu Goenpa.


Ascending higher up took us to the retreat centres of many leading ascetic lives. Prostrating from 1 am until night left their palms with painful blisters. Restricting to a single meal per day has made them appear lean. However, they are blessed with the serenity of the mind.


That is the credit of embarking on a journey through the woods. Nature has in store wonders that will send us reeling over the path of exhilaration. It has the power to heal our mental bruises. It will speak so many things but only if we intend to be vigilant enough to hear what it says.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Glimpses of the Royal Bhutan Flower Exhibition


Floral topiaries of pigs showed its exquisiteness in its pinkish hues. The nylon yarn that many of us knit into sweaters and caps has found a reverse role as garments to clad sheep. Nasturtiums swung forth and back with its flimsy blooms in the gentle puff of air. The semicircular ponds were enlivened with constant leaping of fishes.
 The cages were embellished with birds chirping their blissful tunes. Floral stalks and roots embedded in mosses sprawled atop hills. A myriad of hues from white to creamy white, scarlet to reddish, yellow to pale yellow, pink to crimson, violet to azure blue, and tricolor pansies danced to the gentle tune of the breeze.
Powdery Purplish Plumerias were crested amid lush erect leaves while pink Azalias dangled liberally from its twigs. Crumpled ornamental cabbages assumed maroon and creamy white tinges. Chairs curved out of wooden logs assured with spongy mosses were juxtaposed with semi-circular tables of halved logs. The plump and succulent jell of Aloe vera were on the verge of slitting open its fleshy shoots.
Blooms lynching from the hanging baskets exhibited its pendulum swing. Roses in full slip stage rested in basket bouquets. Peculiar florets of orchids loomed forth from its lanky elongated leaves. Its modification into butterfly and moth-like structures sent many into awe-inspiring state. The sallow Daffodils congregated themselves nearby a lucid pond.

The Pennisetum grasses waved its bushy tails rigorously with an aura of superiority; while Ivies rumbled hard over the ground to fight the inferiority complex. The yellow Calcifloria petals arranged themselves into the shape of a Lady’s purse. Petunias in its varied shades drooped its showy blooms in an attempt to be more proactive against the blazing radiance.







The Mammalaria species of cacti stood in dire seclusion. One among the group hoisted yellowish blooms on the top, earning its name the Bishop’s cap. Another group, well known as Old man’s tooth appeared rather unappealing with grayish white hairy growth all over its oblong surface, while others manifested their spiny protrusions as a protective as well as an adaptive mechanism.

Miniature roses grouped into a hamlet of their own. An admixture of Gerberas and Dandelions found their dwelling high up the man-made wall, peeping intently through the bottle gourd apertures. The pine corn-adorned walls made a perfect place for the passers-by to experience an air of resting nest. Between, the various models depicting Bhutanese architecture didn't fail to steal a glance of every passer-by.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Book that will Ignite a Spark to Your Life

I would like to unfurl the Ten Rituals of Radiant Living embedded in the pages of the book, ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin S Sharma. This is a breathtaking book that will keep us balanced in our daily life; a holistic approach to well-balanced professional, personal and spiritual life. The wisdom reflected in the book was profound and I bet anyone who spares a few moments going through these pages will definitely find a positive shift in their life-style. That is for guaranteed- but only if you carry the words of wisdom and manifest it in your daily actions.

Discover the Soul-enriching words as you flip through the pages...
1st Ritual: The Ritual of Solitude

Commune with nature daily. A quick walk through the woods or even a few minutes spent cultivating your tomato garden in the backyard will reconnect you to the wellspring of calm that may be dormant within you. For this reason, I make it a point that I walk through or work for a while with plants in the garden every day. Back at home, my communing with nature is marked by balcony gardening & growing indoor foliage plants.

Being with nature also allows you to tune into the infinite wisdom of your highest self. This self-knowledge will move you into the uncharted dimensions of your personal power.

2nd Ritual: The Ritual of Physicality

Care for your body so you care for the mind. Invest at least 5 hours of total 168 hours a week in some form of physical activity. To breathe properly is to live properly. While most of us know how to breathe to survive, we have never learnt how to thrive. So for 2 or 3 times a day, take a minute or two to think about breathing more deeply and effectively. The theory of effective breathing involves breathing from the abdomen in which our belly should move out slightly as we inhale.

3rd Ritual: The Ritual of Life Nourishment

As you nourish your body, so you nourish your mind. Eat live foods, which are created through the natural interaction of the sun, air, soil &water. These are vegetarian diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains.

If you are eating meat, just remember that you are ingesting dead food, the red meat which’s hard to digest. Therefore, our digestive is one of the most energy consuming processes of our entire body, whereby valuable energy reserves are needlessly depleted by this foodstuff.

4th Ritual: The Ritual of Abundant Knowledge

Read regularly. Read for 30 minutes a day but be selective about what you put in the lush garden of your mind. It talks about becoming a student of life.
5th Ritual: The Ritual of Personal Reflection

Believe in the power of inner contemplation which is nothing but the habit of thinking. The only way to improve tomorrow is to know what you did wrong today and come up with a clear plan so that it doesn't happen again.

6th Ritual: The Ritual of Early Awakening

Rise with the sun & start the day off well. Most of us sleep for more than we need to. The average person can get enough sleep by 6 hours and remain perfectly healthy and alert. To get in pace with this ritual or new habit of waking early, remember the Ancient Rule of 21. If you do anything for 21 days in a row, it will be installed as a habit.

Starting your day off well involves having positive thoughts as the thoughts you think & the actions you take in the first 10 minutes after you wake up have a very marked effect on the rest of your day.
Another thing, laughing is medicine for the soul. So even if you don’t feel like it, look in the mirror and laugh for a couple of minutes.

7th Ritual: The Ritual of Music

Spend a little time with music every day. Playing music when you feel down or weary is one of the finest motivations.

8th Ritual: The Ritual of Spoken Words

Reciting mantras is immensely effective in keeping oneself focused, strong and happy. In Sanskrit, man means mind & tra means freeing. You might repeat, ‘I am inspired, disciplined & energized but loud to keep yourself motivated. This is because words affect the mind in a pronounced way.
The words you say to yourself affect your self-image & your-self image determines what actions you take. Your-self image is governor of sorts.

9th Ritual: The Ritual of Congruent Character

This is best stated in the formula, ‘You sow a thought, and you reap an action. Reap an action, you sow a habit. Sow a habit, you reap a character. Sow a character, you reap your destiny’. It strongly recommends living a virtuous life- a meaningful life aligned with the principles of industry, compassion, humility, patience, honesty & courage. This will yield a deep sense of inner peace & harmony.

10th Ritual: Ritual of Simplicity

This ritual requires you to live a simple life. Focus only on your priorities, those activities which are truly meaningful.

The words inscribed herein aren't any of my judgement. It is simply a replication of words of wisdom portrayed in the pages of the book by Robin S Sharma. He is a Canadian writer, motivational speaker, leadership expert and a former litigation lawyer. I simply meant to spread his words which I believe will have a profound impact on the lives of many who cares to saunter through the pages of this book.