the thirdeyeworld

Being Blessed by a 95-year-old Monk

Greetings from Manang, Nepal… Wish you were here!

Photo above taken in November 2010 during a two-week trek in the Annapurnas. 

Probably one of the coolest cultural experiences of the entire trek through the Annapurnas was our visit to the Manang monastery.  Due to Manang’s high altitude (11,483 feet), most trekking groups stop there for a day or two of acclimatization.  An excellent acclimatization hike is to the famous Manang monastery, about another hour and a half straight up the mountain above Manang.  There, lives the magical, 95-year-old Monk and his daughter (who is 65) in a cave monastery.  The highlight of the chest-pounding, barely-able-to-breathe hike up is to be blessed by the monk.  Upon entering the cave, you wait in line and when it is your turn, you receive a personal blessing from the Monk.  He places a string necklace around your neck (or else for $7 you can upgrade to a beaded necklace), says some Buddhist prayers and well wishes (which of course you don’t understand) and then you leave to see the most magnificent, spiritual view of the entire trek to date:  The incredible, mighty Himalayas in all their glory.

It was truly an amazing experience and I did not take those beads off until I landed safely at home in the States a week or so later.  Months later, I am still mesmerized by my visit to Nepal, one of the loveliest, mystical places on earth.

Written by thirdeyemom (for more stories of my trip to Nepal, please see my blog posts at www.thirdeyemom.com)

 

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3 comments

  1. Great shot! Ha.

    I hear that Annapurna will be cut in half by a highway to be completed next year. Ashame. The world gets a little smaller. Nepal is an amazing country though and the beads, probably the best souvenier you could possibly have…

    • Thanks for the comment! It was a fabulous trip and actually I wrote quite a bit about it on my other blog (thirdeyemom). There is a NY Times article regarding the road that inspired me to do the hike (see earlier posts on my blog and you can read the link). Yet when we were there we found out that the author was a little off on the timeframe and the road, an extremely dangerous project will take years. It will ruin the trail YET I wouldn't want to even consider taking the road after my experiences on other roads in Nepal. I have some shots of the road and other commentary on my blog....it is definitely worth a read if you are interested. It was so sad to see the workers out there with no safety equipment whatsoever literally standing on the straight down cliffs in flip flops. The roads in Nepal were darn right scary. Have you been there? If not, a life changing experience!!!!! Thanks again for your comment! THat is the funniest part about writing a blog.

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