Bhutanese Buddhism

I am not sure if Bhutanese are more religious, superstitious or both. I wondered about that after several weeks of travel, although I came to the conclusion that they are a people unified by stories.

The people seem very peaceful, respectful and happy, and there is no cause for separation, or anger over individual practice, and no one sect, or group is trying to claim that they are better than the others. Approximately 70 percent of the population practice Drukpa or Ningmapa Buddhism, both of which are disciplines of Vajrayana Buddhism, and the remaining 30 percent practice Hinduism, a by-product of Buddhism, a distinct intellectual or philosophical point of view, rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs.

In the west this is almost impossible, each group has its own distinctive identify, fighting to prove their cause as number one, and sharing religious territory is taboo.

In Japan there are 85 million Buddhists with only a handful practising. Most Japanese are not religious and believe more in tradition and cultural activities, and even follow fortune tellers religiously.

In the west we have “one god” in principal, it’s our god, or your god, but it belongs to us, its almighty and singularly powered, while in the east they have many gods, powers are an extension of practice, and they are share them without any real religious conflicts, at least that’s the way its done in Bhutan. The idea of Bön, the country’s animist and shamanistic belief system is still an intricate part of Buddhist practice in Bhutan.

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