Covered in mist and walled by snow walls,
Serene, the lion’s fortress stands,
Voice-less, but I guess it calls,
I’ve reached here, but how? I still can’t understand.
Pearly walls, and golden grass,
emerald trees surround,
Crystal streams with jeweled banks,
Perfumed clouds and frozen kisses abound,
Silken prayer flags with golden letters on silver poles,
all in unison, enlightenment pronounce.
Turquoise studded bronze bridges
over the crystal streams,
and over lotus blooming ponds hang;
While angels hum and sing in flowing silky robes,
in a clear blue sky with a thousand rainbows silently shining,
Humble monks in rose red robes on velvet cushioned golden thrones,
all in one deep and solemn voice sit chanting.
This be the view of the Lion’s Fortress,
from the eyes of one who has seen,
Or, for one who doesn’t have to see to believe,
but believes! and is seeing.
But for this fool with gasping breath and aching legs
in muddy shoes and dirty clothes,
I stare in gladness at a wind swept valley
with meandering streams,
where I can my tired feet rest,
and question why I am living.
The Lion Fortress, also known as Mönkha Senge Dzong, is a cave situated to the east of Bumthang in Bhutan. It was used by the Buddhist master Padmasambhava and later by his main female student and successor Yeshe Tsogyal as a sacred place for sadhana. This cave is an important place of pilgrimage for followers of Padmasambhava and is counted as the fifth among the eight sacred places to visit in Tibet and Bhutan.Featured image of Yeshe Tsogyal.
Bhutan Handbook by Gyurme Dorje.
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