Yesterday dawned wet and misty in Perthshire, and it put me in the mood for a trip to the remote area of Eskdalemuir, in Dumfries and Galloway.
It was the monastery that interested me on this occasion, because I had been wanting to take my delightful assistants there for some time. They visited it in the 1960s when it was only just being established, but they hadn’t seen it as the working monastery and retreat centre it is today.
Since it’s a fair distance from Perthshire, we stopped en route at one of my favourite tearooms and took tea/coffee and freshly baked fruit scones:
I think the scones had just come out of the oven when we arrived, because I saw them sitting on a baking tray and they were still warm when they came to the table. They had also been sprinkled with flour, something I find very appealing:
Our snacks kept us going until we got down to the Tibetan monastery, which has its own tearoom, where we took our lunch:
The tearoom menu is vegetarian and, surprisingly to me, doesn’t serve any of the monastery’s own produce. The food on offer consists of pasties, pastries, cakes and toasties, although they grow all sorts of vegetables and herbs in their garden on site. Every time I visit I wonder why they don’t serve lovely fresh salads from their garden in the tearoom. We chose pasties, and the spinach and ricotta one was particularly good:
The tearoom is very brightly decorated with an exotic feel to it:
The delightful assistants appear to have been cock-a-hoop with the place:
After tea/juice and pasties, we went to visit the temple, where the Mahakala Prayers were underway. Visitors are free to enter and leave the temple during this time and it makes for an interesting experience, as the monks chant and play various instruments, including drums, cymbals and some sort of trumpet.
I didn’t take any photos inside the temple, but this is what it looks like from the outside:
We left our shoes outside on racks outside very elaborate doors:
All round the monastery grounds there were little shrines with candles, coins and odd items left as offerings:
This one had a few quite surprising items, including an onion and some wrapped sweets:
There’s a lot to look at in the monastery grounds, including an impressive stupa with flags, and a corridor of prayer wheels behind it:
It wasn’t perhaps the best of weathers for visiting, but the Peace Garden is always a tranquil and beautiful place:
Apart from the occasional squawk of a peacock:
Toodleoo Buddhas – until next time!