Bringing the experiences in Bhutan back home

It has been an incredible trip, clear around on the other side of the world. The journey to get to and from Bhutan was long and so different from what we are all accustomed to. Back at home we typically expect things to happen quickly, our online shopping orders can arrive same-day, our food delivery desires are available at any time day or night. We are very practiced at expecting outcomes quickly, and having to wait for things is becoming unpopular and in some ways uncomfortable. Our convenient reality was well tested on our return home from Bhutan, there was no way to speed up our return once we left, we had three flight segments and over 22 hours of flight time to wait, slow down, and reflect on the time we had together in Bhutan.

Leaving Bhutan makes it harder to put the conversations, teachings, and landscapes into perspective as we compare our places and practices with those we were just immersed in for the last two weeks. But the lessons from Bhutan are only valuable when we bring them home with us, when we spend time reflecting on the experience, the people, and the beauty of the place. There are many ways for this to happen, but one that we think is most valuable is to find time at home and discuss your student’s experience. We have worked hard over the last two weeks to document the experiences in Bhutan through our blogs and photo album so that you can have a small view into what the trip covered and engage your student in conversation about the trip.

In addition, we thought we would provide a few talking points to help you engage and discuss some of the important perspectives and life lessons that our time in Bhutan was able to provide.

  • Is Bhutan really a happy place? Do the Bhutanese seem happier than our society in Toronto?
  • How do you feel the landscapes of Bhutan influenced the culture, religion, and food of Bhutan?
  • How does the Bhutanese view of Gross National Happiness fit into our Western ideas of success and progress?
  • At what times and during what moments did you feel uncomfortable or out of your comfort zone? What made you uncomfortable?
  • What were the important takeaway messages from all our conversations about Buddhism? Was there anything from the practice that left a lasting impression on you?
  • How did Bangkok, Thailand differ from Thimphu, Bhutan? Both are capital cities in Asia, but different in so many ways.

No doubt you will have more questions. We encourage you to engage your student and to have them share insights and learnings – we know you will likely have to work to draw these conversations out as they return home and want to jump back into their daily routines, see their friends, and catch-up on school work.

We thank all the parents and The York School for the trust you placed in us over the last couple weeks to take your son or daughter around the world with us and into the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. We hope the experience will leave a lifelong impact.

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