Visit to Bhutan - by Kelly Granite Enck
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
As a Westerner I had a lot of baggage, yet I was Naked in Bhutan. You can read about my visit in my memoir "From Hollywood to God" on Amazon.com. This blog is a sneak peek into Shangri-La, with tips on how you can visit. One of the most spectacular places I stayed was the Dewachen Hotel in what the locals called The Valley of the Cranes.
In this majestic 16-bedroom palace, hidden in the valley of Phobjikha - Gantey Gompa, 3,000 feet above sea level I discovered "Enlightenment." This version was not what I had imagined — my eyes closed in a meditative state feeling one with the universe. Instead, I was lit up from the nectar of the gods, floating around in half moon goblets, which were literally rolling around the table. Kunga had given us a bottle of the finest Whiskey known to man.
We shared the mountain dew after dinner and I had my first experience of nirvana! We told stories with a common thread— laughter, it's the same in every language. The next morning I discovered another unique beauty of Bhutan— no one gets a hang-over here, the air is too thin! We were in pure oxygen, high in the Himalayas bordered by India and China. These altitudes made indulging on fiery wines forgivable.
We had a huge breakfast of farm fresh eggs, homemade bread, and sweet coffee. Then we were off for another great adventure. There were 2,000 monestaries sprinkled over the mountaintops and I wanted to visit everyone hoping to experience God!
We were driven to the base of each mountain with our guide, Kunga. This was the 10 monastery, in 10 days, and the most famous, "Tiger's Nest!"
It was six hours to the peak. Each mountain had a monastery nestled in the side of the mountain. They were painted in primary colors, representing the gross national product, "Happiness!"
Upon reached the peak, I noticed monks sitting on the edge of the mountain looking out….auspiciously. They all knew God, and I was jealous. :)
We took off our shoes and entered the monastery bowing three times. I feeling more comfortable with this greeting, moved into a more formal bow, kneeling to the ground with arms fully stretched out on the cold stone floor. This was in respect to Buddha and the oldest monk in every monastery. You know you are doing it right when you feel beautifully humbled by the company of a monk, who has spent his entire life alone in this monastery.
The doors to all monasteries are always open and everyone is welcome to enter and pray. Outside you can hear the flutter of a thousand pray flags blowing in the wind and the sweet jasmine lingers from the altars.
Kunga asked for the monk's permission to open the sacred cabinet. "Kelly open your arms" he said.
As I did Kunga placed a large roll of ancient scrolls handwritten by the monks into my arms. I could not believe I was holding the oldest writings known to humanity, the Vedas. These were the revealed scriptures which the Dharma is based on. Kunga knew that I could be changed by higher level frequencies, so he had imagined the Dharma phenomena would help me find God. It is the teaches in Sanskrit—the highest good for All, which is the "cosmic law and order."
After an hour of silence, I had a new understanding of Buddha's teachings. We were surrounded by candles, incense and grace. I longed to feel connected to God, but still felt empty inside. I wasn't sure what "God" was supposed to feel like, I was hoping to hear His voice. But, instead the monk gave me a candle to lit and asked me to make one prayer. I traded my one wish from finding God to a blessing for my two children, Michael 24 and Stephanie 20.
As we said our goodbyes to leave the monastery, the monk motioned for my hand. Then he tied a red strings around my wrist. Kunga translated for him, "I give you my blessing." I bowed three times, and gave him a formal bow---all the way down to the cold floor. His presences was hard to leave, I felt safer with him, then inside my own body. It was strange to trust someone more than you trust yourself. There would be work ahead….:) We bowed as we walked backwards out of the sacred space.
The mountain was covered in fog, that was playing peek-a-boo with 108 tiny Stupas, that looked like dollhouses. Kunga said, the Stupas held the remains of Enlightened-Monks.
This is the remains of a monk who turned into a Rainbow body upon his death. You can see the tiny white balls bouncing out of the glass dome, unable to contain such wonder! :)
I silently called to them, "Please give me a sign that you are here, something anything to know there is life after death." Giant Clouds moved in as I walked around the burials. I heard nothing back, but my own dead silence. A bird flew over, and I wondered who knew more about eternity, us humans or nature?
I recalled Kunga's story of the Black-Necked Cranes. The Bhutanese believe these birds to be sacred and protect their migrations, by not allowing electrical wires in the sacred valley. Those who live in this region use solar panels. The farmers say, the Black-neck Cranes with a wingspan of 8 feet, circle over the valley to bless it. It must be true, because the Valley of the Crane is blanketed in vibrate lime green grass and the farmer's crops abundant. If that isn't amazing enough, these cranes mates for life.
His Majesty Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema
His majesty King Jigme Wangchuck said that instead of relying on Gross Domestic Product as the best indicator of Bhutan's progress, it should instead consider its "Gross National Happiness. To maintain this goal he only allows 7,000 visitors into the Kingdom of Bhutan a year, and by Royal Invitation only.
To get a invitation I wrote a letter to the King asking if I could come to his land to learn the Dharma from the local monks.
The King granted me a VISA, and with the help of my wonderful guide Kunga I wired seventy five hundred into a bank account in Bhutan. This payment included my airline ticket and all hotels and meals for 14 days, inclduing the $250 a day paid to the Royal Family.
I was a little scared about the wire being received, and hoped Kunga was honest. I risked it all for a hike in the Himalayas hoping to meet God. Kunga confirmed the funds were received and purchased our airline tickets, which were waiting for us in the Bangkok Airport.
We landed in Paro, Bhutan and touched the ground at the foot of Thunder Dragon. Greeting us were eagles soaring high above the Himalayan trails, rivers were teaming with fish and the wild life was made with humor, check out the Takin— a moose and deer mix. A full circle rainbow encased us and pillowing clouds the size of city blocks danced in sky.
The Kingdom of Bhutan!
I discovered the biological state of untouched land. When left alone the land's minerals are richer in color and without pollution the natural mists creates rainbows, as common as taxis in New York.
We spent two weeks hiking in on untrodden trails through the Majestic Himalayas in all their fiery and fury, grandeur and glory! But, their majestic size did not impress me as much as the silence within me, that echoed through the land. The hours of hiking with no conversation, radio, TV, or cell phones, caused the silent station within me to become louder, and it scared me, upon first introduction.
After a while, the silence was replaces with delicate sounds of nature, the melody of wild bugs, then exotic bird songs. I witnessed flowers that "only bloom for a single day" and I could have sworn that the forest spoke, but the words are not translatable, they came more as an inner emotional state.
At first, fear erupts from such silence, the a deep haunting remembrance of something lost— my connection with nature. I have yet to fully grasp the profound affect this country had on me, the wise old mountain, the auspicious creatures, the exotic colored flowers reaching for the sun, the strange animals,— who have no hesitation in their purpose and fulfillment of life.
Here in Bhutan I first truly tasted nature, in it's purest state. Has Bhutan made me into Naturalist …? Well, I don't eat animals anymore, and I believe I have more integrity than before landing in the land of the Dragon.
Read my memoir "From Hollywood to God" on Amazon books.
I worked in the feature film industry for 12 years as a Visual Effects Artist on the greatest blockbusters of our time. Thanks to George Lucas! After finishing the last shot on the film Van Helsing, I went to a lecture on the book, Truth versus Falsehood by Dr. David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD. The Doc said, by just standing in Holy sites they could raise your level of consciousness. His magnetic charm and intoxicating laughter made me want whatever he had. I sold everything I owned, bought a backpack, and set out to stand in Holy sites around the world.
My first stop was to The World Sound Healing Conference in San Francisco. I wanted to understand the science of frequencies, especially if everything in the universe was vibrating to their own unique song!
I waited in the large conference room to hear Dr. Susan Yale's lecture on the Harmonic Oscillator.
The room went black. Suddenly, three giant pyramids projected on a large screen.
"You can hear the sound of "nature" between the Pyramids of Giza," Dr. Yale said, pausing, "it's a perfect F Sharp."
No one moved. She spoke slowly, "If you knew there was a place in the world where you could hear God, would you go?"
I always wanted to sleep on the Nile!"
~ from my Memoir, (click link) "From Hollywood to God" by Kelly Granite Enck on Amazon books and Kindle.
All you wanted the entire day was a glance of love. ~ Hawkins
Join the Adventure "From Hollywood to God" by Kelly Granite Enck on Amazon books.
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About the Author
Kelly Granite Enck is a talented author/filmmaker who has written an engaging memoir, "From Hollywood to God." Kelly sold everything she owned and left her career to discover the presence of God. Her spiritual search took her around the world on the wildest adventure of her life. Lucky for us she journaled her discoveries and was brave enough to share them. Her feature film career spanned 12 years with an emphasis on compositing and producing visual effects. She has worked on 17 of the greatest films of our time, like: Armageddon, Van Helsing, Godzilla, Contact and Fifth Element. Her achievements led her to being employed at the most prestigious visual effects company in the world, Industrial Light & Magic. While her FX shots required 50 layers of pictures to be integrated in order to create the excitement felt by the audience, her writing is a simple layer of truth in life’s greatest adventure, looking for life’s meaning. "From Hollywood to God" is a story about the hope we all have with regards to life and love. Kelly writes with such honesty, humor and feeling that we can all see pieces of our lives in her experiences. Even Kelly’s vagabond childhood adds to her writing. She went to first grade in Africa and High School in Alaska while crossing the globe 12 times in-between. She has lived in exotic places like Azores and Okinawa. She rode an elephant to the Taj Mahal, wild monkeys have run off with her lunch, and she has sailed the Icy Strait in Alaska. One of her highs in life was water and snow skiing in the same day between Alaskan glaciers. Kelly has gazed over the Sahara desert while sitting on the peak of a 5,000-year-old Pyramid. Monks have taught her the Dharma, she has touched Christ's tomb, and a giant Bengal Tiger napped in her lap! All of these exotic adventures are weaved into her memoir, "From Hollywood to God."
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