1/29: Tiger’s Nest
Sunday Jan 29
It is said in Bhutan that in the 8th century the Guru Rimpoche flew on the back of a tigress to a spot in the caves above Paro that is now the Taksang, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery. On the steps below Taksang I saw and felt (and photographed) the joy of the pilgrims as they genuinely experienced Rimpoche’s presence.
My hosts confirm what the books tell me, that most Bhutanese, young and old, urban and rural, believe in the magical powers of the great Buddhist leaders. While I feel contradictions between modern scientific thought and supernatural myth, even my western educated hosts easily reconcile the realities of both. And they have asked me to train Bhutanese teachers to apply the constructivist decoding process to the critical analysis of traditional Buddhist Thangka painting as well as hip hop videos, festival dances and TV commercials, ancient sculptures and web sites. I can not imagine decoding Genesis in a public school classroom. So I am anxious to hear from my Bhutanese colleagues if questions of sourcing, credibility and bias are applicable and appropriate to the understanding of religious media.
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