Common Buddhist beliefs in Bhutan

  1. Lochey: is the annual household worship. It’s held each year to appease the local deities and ensure the family’s well-being. It’s also an occasion for a family get-together.
  2. Choesam: is the shrine room. In most Bhutanese homes, there’s one where the Buddha and his manifestations are maintained. Every morning, the floor is swept, fresh water offered in bowls and incense burnt. Butter lamps are usually lit at night.
  3. Chilu: is a ritual performed to extend one’s life span and to remove any obstacles that stands in the way of one’s goals. An effigy of the person is prepared and burnt after the ritual ends.
  4. Kora: Also known as circumambulation of temples, monasteries and stupas. It’s an integral part of Buddhist ritual and most Bhutanese circumambulate to gain merit on auspicious days. It’s done in a clockwise direction for an odd number of times.
  5. Chanting: Chanting prayers on a rosary of 108 beads which is a sacred number corresponding to 108 different manifestations of Avalokitesvara (Buddha of Compassion) is a common sight especially on auspicious days.
  6. Butter lamps: Commonly seen in Bhutanese homes and monasteries, the lamps traditionally burn butter or vegetable oil. Butter lamps are burnt to gain merit or for a deceased to diminish his suffering.
  7. Prostration: is used to show reverence to the Buddha, his teachings and other spiritual objects. It is said to purify defilements, especially conceit; prepare one for meditation, and accumulate merit. There’s the kumcha (half prostration) and changcha (full prostration)

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