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The Visitor from Bhutan

It's not every day that a visitor from the Vajrayana Buddhist country bordering Tibet pays a visit to our web site, so when it does come to pass, Yadira is prompted to muse about the possible ancient Buddhist roots of Reiki, the smallness of the world, and to dream a little about her mystery guest...

Story by Yadira / Lake Forest, California / February 26 2008

Taktshang Buddhist monastery in Paro, Bhutan Enlarge Image

Taktshang is a beautiful Buddhist monastery in Paro, Bhutan. This one shrouded in clouds high on the mountainside made me dream of this beautiful land.

Distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License

I always marvel at how the internet has brought us all so much closer together; how the words spoken by someone continents away can be heard, read about, or even seen on video; how you can read up on almost any topic at any time (I cannot remember the last time I needed to go to the library to look something up. To find a good novel maybe, but that's just the traditionalist me eschewing download books in favor of something I can physically flick through); how you can make friends, chat, go shopping, buy a house, a car, and even find prospective husbands, wives, and partners: Time to settle down and have kids? Simple, these days you can just Google your knight in shining armor...

Okay, so perhaps that last example isn't quite so straightforward, but I think it helps to illustrate just how much more is at your fingertips these days than say maybe just 10 years ago.

Today, while glancing through the info on visitors to this very web site, I was stunned to find that I had received my very first visitor from Bhutan. Now I don't know about you, but my recollection of the places I'd studied during my geography lessons at school didn't cover Bhutan, so I decided to fill that unfortunate gap in my knowledge by reading up on the place. (Online, of course.)

My research led me to discover that the Kingdom of Bhutan is a nation in the Himalaya Mountains, and that the origins of the name may have originated from ancient Sanskrit words meaning “the end of Tibet” (Bhutan lies immediately south of Tibet, hence that possible meaning). Furthermore, it happens to be one of the most isolated and least developed nations in the world (cue thoughts of “who on Earth might the visitor have been?”). I then learn that in spite of this isolation, Bhutan, according to surveys, is one of the happiest places on Earth.

Map of Bhutan showing the capital Thimphu, where our visitor came from. Enlarge Image

The stats on my web site show that this visitor came from Thimphu in Bhutan. In the map, Tibet is immediately north and India to the south.

© California Reiki

What a wonderful thing to be able to say about a country!

Now it is no mystery that much of the research into the history of Reiki before Usui's time points alluring fingers to ancient Buddhist teachings, and perhaps beyond. Sometimes it is hinted that the healing power of Reiki is simply an incidental consequence of anyone choosing to embark on the path to Enlightenment, some draw parallels between Buddhist forms of healing and Reiki healing, and some say the Reiki symbols themselves may well have Sanskrit origins.

As is often the case with ancient history, the truth may never be known. But that didn't stop me from daydreaming a little about who the visitor from Bhutan may have been. Looking at some of the pictures of mist–covered temples high in the mountains conjured images of monks observing ancient ceremonies and deep in prayer. Perhaps one of them had been tasked with surveying what had become of the ancient healing art since its spread to the West?

Or perhaps it was just a bored teenager sitting in an internet café and mistyping an internet address...

It is odd, but given the remoteness and underdeveloped nature of the region (the Capital Thimphu has few streets and no traffic lights for example), this second possibility for once seems to be the more unlikely of the two!

Tashichoedzong in the capital Thimphu is the seat of the Bhutanese government Enlarge Image

Tashichoedzong in the capital Thimphu is the seat of the Bhutanese government. Many of the ancient “Dzong” fortresses are still standing.

Distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License

I guess I will never know, but I think I would like to keep hold of my little fantasy of the “Keepers of the Knowledge” checking up on the West for just a while longer... And why not? I've enjoyed my little exploration of Bhutan!

To bring my musings to a close, I would like to say the following to the visitor from Bhutan: Whoever you are, thank you for giving me the opportunity to discover something about your country, thank you for allowing me to dream a little, and thank you for inspiring me to write this little story! (All from the other side of the world, and in the comfort of my own home. How impossible that would have been 10 years ago!)

A full article on Bhutan may be found here in my favorite encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhutan

Other references:

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