Sewala Monastery Bhutan
submitted by: admin on 10/07/2017
The Sewala Monastery in Bhutan was built in 1718 on a sacred Buddhist mountain near the ancient capital of Punakha.
This online Community gives us the opportunity to help support the 98 young Buddhist monks who live there under the guidance of His Eminence Rimpoche Jamgon Tulku. Besides being a place of peace and study, it almost has a role of being an orphanage for boys as many youngsters are left here by impoverished families who do not have the means to raise them. Girls carry much more value than boys in Bhutan, and as such, many young men seek monastic life and Sewala carries the burden of responsibility to care for these youth.
In turn, these monks undergo disciplined Buddhist training with very little funding by the government. From what we discovered, only 25% of the Sewala Monastery budget is provided by the Bhutanese administration, 75% must come from donations. Besides the basics of food and utilities, structural repairs all must be paid for through donations. You can see in this photo at the right the terrible damage done to the monk dormitory/study hall from the earthquake in 2013. This ancient building is in jeapardy of collapsing and it is too dangerous for monks to sleep in, creating a a critcal situation for both housing and safety. Professional contractors have estimated repairs to save this building at US$100,000... and they only give a maximum of 9 months before the structure may collapse. As you can see, donations are of the utmost importance now more than ever.
It is wonderful to see the amazing service that these monks provide to the three local communities in the form of traditional ceremonies for weddings, births, deaths, new home construction, healing, and general emotional and spiritual support for those in need.
The most recent project for Sewala Monastery has been a 7-day prayer for world peace. Day and night all the monks - joined by seniors and dedicated people in the nearby villages - chant and send blessings to all sentient beings around the world for peace. Rimpoche commissioned a special Thangka (spiritual artwork) for this event.
You can see in this photo that he had to devote an enormous room for the months it took to paint.
This Thangka was shown to a gathering of very high-level Buddhist Abbots at the Punakha Dzong on 20 November 2016.
This is a great honor and a demanding undertaking, but a blessing for us all and a wonderful example of the good work that Rimpoche and the monks at Sewala do.
Francesco Garri Garripoli lead the first large study group of foreigners to visit Sewala in October 2016. With the help of Rimpoche and Namgay Dorji, this group of men and women made the arduous trek up the mountain to stay at Sewala overnight and experience sleeping and eating the way the monks there do. It was an amazing and heart-opening experience for both the visitors and the monks alike. If you are interested in joining our next group Study Trip, let us know to find out more. The money from our group given to the monastery was the seed donation to help repair the earthquake damage, but much more is still needed... and time is running out before the damage gets too far gone.
Thank you for signing up to become a free Member of the Sewala Monastery Community to stay in touch with developments, projects, and Study Trip opportunities to visit this beautiful monastery in Bhutan.
Your tax-deductible donation below is most appreciated. 100% of what you donate goes directly to the monastery in Bhutan and is managed by the non-profit, 501(c)3 Kahuna Valley organization on Kauai. If you wish to place a larger donation, please click here to let us know Thank you.
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