Yarney: Shedras in the country are expecting more layman participation in the annual 45-day summer retreat programme that begins today.

The programme to invite layman participation that Central Monastic Body started last year.

Tshugla Lopen Samten Dorji said that the feedback from the participant is encouraging. The initiative to include ordinary people during retreat programmes is aimed at encouraging students and civilians to practice and understand religion.

Buddha started the practice of summer retreat to reduce the unintentional killing of microscopic insects and plants that thrived during particular period of the year.

Tshugla Lopen said that although the number of ordinary people who will join the retreat cannot be confirmed yet, it could be significant. “We will make sure that everyone gets a place to stay.”

However, only interested male are invited for the retreat. Tshugla Lopen said that it would be difficult for women to join because of space.

Central Monastic Body will facilitate designated places for women in nunneries if there are more interested women.

Tshugla Lopen said that it is not necessary that ordinary people should stay the whole 45-days.

By Younten Tshedup