I’ve finished editing 1,000+ photos from my trip, and now I’m choosing some additional ones to share from the places I visited during the summer.
Potala Palace, Lhasa, panoramic view
Jokhang Temple, roof detail
Gyantse Kumbum, statue of Yum Chenmo / Prajnaparamita in one of the chapels
Here is some more information about Gyantse Kumbum, excerpted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palcho_Monastery:
The Palcho Monastery or Pelkor Choede Monastery or Shekar Gyantse is the main monastery in Gyantse, Tibet, next to the Dzong or fort. It is most notable for its Kumbum, which has 108 chapels in its four floors.
The Tsuklakhang, the main temple of the monastery was built 1418-1428 by Rabten Kunzang Phak, the second Prince of Gyantse, who was a devotee of Kedrub Je (1385-1438), one of Tsongkapa’s leading disciples later recognised as the 1st Panchen Lama. It became an important centre of the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 1904, the town and monastery were attacked by British soldiers and, although most of the damage was later restored, bullet holes from this attack remain in the monastery to this day.
It was partially destroyed in 1959 after a revolt against Chinese rule.
It was ransacked again during the Cultural Revolution, but has since been largely restored.
…Architecturally, Pelkhor monastery is a fusion of Han, Tibetan and Nepali architecture. The most striking architecture in the complex, a symbol of Gyantse, is the Bodhi Dagoba (Tibetan name: Pelkhor Choede), popularly called as the ‘Kumbum’. It is a 32 metres (100 ft) high structure, a nine-tier building with 108 gates (108 interpreted as nine-tier structure representing space multiplied by the time element of 12 zodiac signs), and 76 chapels and shrines; out of the nine floors, the first five are square in shape while the rest are circular giving it a pyramidal appearance. It is also given the name “the Ten Thousand Buddha Pagodas”, as it has enshrined about ten thousand figures of Buddhas as images and murals. It has hundred chapels overlapping each other, which is called the ‘tower upon tower’ structure. The chapels have the finest display of Tibetan art in “vibrant colour and naturalistic style”; in the faces of the murals Chinese images are discerned. Three Buddhist sects namely, Sakyapa, Kadampa and Gelugpa are represented here. It is considered the largest of the three Kumbums in Tibet; the other two Kumbams are the Jonang Kumbum and Ching Riwoche.
A couple of photos that I like by other Flickr members are here:
Gyantse Kumbum, Tibet, detail of arch
Grazing cow (with necklace), Vashisht
Realize the Undivided Mind
We often feel our everyday existence is a distraction from our spiritual
intention. When this happens, life is divided between the sacred and
mundane, and the mind pits one concept against the other. But belief shapes
reality, and if the belief is maintained that the sacred lies somewhere else
other than Now, our spiritual life will be governed by that limitation. The
truth is that the sense-of-self is not separate from the moment in which it
is arising, any more than the sense-of-self is outside the mind that it
thinks it possesses. In fact, realizing the undivided mind also heals the
dualistic notion of “me” being outside the moment.
Thursday 12th August 2010
Tricycle Daily Dharma
Yeah, so I keep wondering, “When am I going to have a spiritual experience?” It’s kind of a silly question, but then after a week in Dharamsala, where everybody goes for a spiritual experience, I was feeling a little left out. I am, after all, on the edges of the Himalaya, a spiritual place if there ever was one.
I had to remind myself today, during a walk out of Manali to the hillside village of Vashisht, that everything is practice. That is, my state of mind informs my actions and perceptions. Everything in my daily life is a part of my sobriety, just as everything can be meditative. Somewhere in my Buddhist reading was a quote to the effect that sitting to meditate is silly. So today I did a walking meditation along the highway by the River Bea, then up a twisting road to a touristy little village that looks like somethingleft over from the hippie era.
There’s a little temple in Vashisht (yes, I know it’s hard to pronounce), and well as a sulfur hot springs. I didn’t go; something about sharing a small pool of water with other people….
And then, I chickened out. I started following a group of hikers up a mountain path, but when I started dripping sweat in the humid air and my breathing problems acted up (too many years in the smog of L.A. and Chengdu) I stopped. I was wearing shorts, and I thought, what if there are snakes? Poisonous plants? Wild animals? So, I wimped out. My next trip will be the trekking trip. Promise.
Small hillside temple on the road to Vashisht
Kind of a cool hangout – The Freedom Cafe, Vashisht. Terrible coffee, though.
Temple roof in Vashisht
Cool and green – moss growing on rocks
Clouds and trees: Manali, Himachal Pradesh
I think that the photos speak for themselves: Manali is a small, touristy town, but lies in a breathtakingly beautiful region, at the head of the Kullu Valley. It’s now my third day here, and thankfully the rain has let up for awhile.
Ancient-style Himalayan house, Old Manali. I wanted to capture the woman spinning yarn on the balcony, but you can only see the top of her head.
Riverside flower, cafe, Manali
Trees, trees, trees
Hadimba Temple, a short walk up the mountainside, dates from the 16th century
Group portrait: just relaxing. This was too perfect to pass up.
Birds on ancient slate roof, Old Manali
A bowl of lime pickle with the delicious non-vegetarian thali meal at Sher-e-Punjab, Manali.
Above and following: a religious ritual and procession at the Manu Rishi Temple, Old Manali. This temple is dedicated to Rishi Manu from whom human race is said to have started. This land was known as ‘Land of Manu’ and was later renamed Manali after him.
Blowing the horns
Taking it all in
Beat your own drum
Toot your own horn. The sound isn’t pretty, but it’s loud.
Cafe Mount View, opposite the bus station, where I start each day in Manali. Usually it’s a double espresso and a butter and jam pancake.