Tucked away between China and India in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan remains unique. Few photographers have been granted permission to reside in this long-inaccessible kingdom, now a democracy, where life quietly unfolds to the rhythm of traditions amidst the magnificent, unspoilt landscape.
Nearly 30 years ago, Matthieu Ricard, a monk and photographer, went to Bhutan to study with a revered Tibetan Buddhist master. He spent eight years in Bhutan with him, and has continued to return to the ‘land of the thunder dragon’ – or Druk-yul, as Bhutan is known in Bhutanese – throughout his life, discovering on each occasion another of its invaluable treasures. As a Buddhist monk, Ricard not only witnessed private religious ceremonies, the life of a great Buddhist master, and exceptional works of art, but has also participated in the daily lives of the people. His encounters and experiences are recorded here in this sublime voyage to the heart of Bhutan, a land where spirituality and daily life are intimately linked.