Finding happiness in Bhutan
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Bhutan has made a name for itself as the majestic, magical and spiritual gem of South East Asia. Not only does the country have a central focus on climate change and national wellbeing, since the 1970s it has been a pioneer of the initiative to scrap the GDP for a different approach to development. In Bhutan, prosperity is measured through the system of Gross National Happiness (GNH) which means a closer focus on the spiritual, social, philosophical and environmental wellbeing of its citizens and its surroundings. Bhutan depends heavily on its agricultural sector, meaning the concepts of GNH are introduced in classroom hours too. Students benefit from basic agricultural practice classes and are shown models for environmental protection. The introduction of GNH into the curriculum has also meant that daily meditation sessions are a part of the regular school day. The loud shrill of the school bell has even been replaced with peaceful traditional music! The Perfect Spiritual Retreat For tourists hoping to get in touch with their spirituality and switch off from the buzz of every day life, Bhutan offers beautiful wellbeing retreats. Retreats ranging from meditation to yoga are dotted across the country, and are usually next to temples, monasteries and religious schools. Tourists can choose from weeks of meditation programmes to simply a few hours in the hills where the beauty and peacefulness of nature can be appreciated without any disturbance. Many tour operators can incorporate a visit to a retreat or Buddhist temple during your trip. Alternatively, you can look for hotels which provide yoga and meditation sessions inside the premises. If you’re excited about natural remedies, the traditional medicine of Bhutan (called Sowa Rigpa) has been developed by its rich array of flora since the 17th Century and can provide keen tourists with remedies for many different ailments.
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