We couldn't get close enough to HH Dali Lama
this morning to take a picture; so I will have to
leave you with this one shot only a few weeks ago
by my daughter Rachel while she was in India.
HH is shown here as he walks to a children's
school in Dharmsala to give a talk.
My daughter Rachel and I joined a parade today,
July 6, celebrating HH Dali Lama's birthday in
Washington DC, which culminated near the Capitol
building.
My son Kai and I
HH Dali Lama gave a talk today on World Peace on the West Wing of the
White House lawn. MC, of all people, Whoopie Goldberg, but, I must say
she did a great job. Thank you, Whoopie
Prayer flags blow in the winds in the wind from our roof terrace
in Kathmandu this evening.
At the Swoyambu Stupa, Kathmandu, with
Domminic today.
With some monks of the Karma
Raja Maha Vihar, Swoyambu. We
have known each other for over
twenty-five years
The Paushupatinath Temple, one of the four "Hindu" holy sites (the others are in
India) was also home to some great Buddhist yogis. We visited the caves of
Naropa and Tilopa, who were Marpa's teachers, who in turn was the teachers of
Tibet's great yogi Milarepa, below. On the right of the above photo is the stairway
to a yogi, Mahatma Sushil, a Kunalini yoga practitioner, whom we visitied as he
was performing his Sanskrit chants. Further on down the river on the left is the
sacred temple of Paushupatinath and the cremation ghats.
Kai spinning prayer wheels at the Stupa in Boudanath and
reading the Kalachakra handbook.. Right, Boudanath stupa.
My travelling mate, Domminic, in a chance encounter with two best friends and
classmates from Kopan Monatery where they were students together. (Boudanath
Stupa, Nepal)
Indian beauty, Kathmandu,
Nepal
My friend of almost thirty years, Lawang, as we paused for a moment while
circumambulating the base of the hillock on which the sacred stupa of Swoyambu rests.
This little Tibetan girl looks pretty serious, doesn't
she? She broke out in a big smile and waved to me
just after I snapped this picture, however. (Tagong)
Kwan Yin image, Kangding, China
Quinyang Taoist Temple, Chengdu, China. This temple is a very large
compound near the city center, and houses many exquisite temples on the
property, all dedicated to key figures in Taoist history.
Eastern Kham region
of what once was Tibet.
(Photo Tagong City )
Endearing munchkins abound in
the Katmandu Valley.
On the grounds of the Yuangtong Si Temple, I
believe this one house two Kuan Yin images
Often in China insense sticks
are very large, perhaps
because they are often lit
outside temples rather than
inside, because of fire hazards.
Yuangtong Si temple, Kunming, is a Thousand year old Buddhist temple complex,
now undergoing extensive renovation in its main entrance hall. This temple, in the
middle of the grounds has the historical Buddha flanked by two arhats.
I believe this white haired
gentleman to be a Taoist
fortune teller, with a
customer who just got off
the bus in front of temple.
The eaves of all the
temples throughout the
grounds were beautiful
in their subtlety of
color.
Kai stepped out today
saying that he was going
to get a haircut; and that
he did.
Always travel with images to set up an
alter in my hotel for prayers and
meditation
This morning I decided to do my mornning
prostrations outside the hotel and brought
my Buddha image with me and placed it on
the alter of the first temple I found, a short
walk away. It turned out to be a Kalachakra
image in the main temple, my little Buddha
can be seen on the alter in the foregrond.
This shrine I visited this morning housed an image
of Kalachakra. It was under repair and I was the only
one there except the workers.
Kailash about to do prostrations before the Guru
Rinpoche image, Wutai Shan, China.
Stone figurines are all pervasive
Some of these wooden structures are anoung the
worlds oldest, dsating back over 1500 years
An old structure housing a mani wheel (prayer wheel)
Preservation is key now that this area has been
declared a World Heritage Site; Note modern
reconstruction of old temple behind the Tayaun
Stupa.
Fierce "Dharma Protectors" guard the four directions of most temples.
Guru Rinpoche
Elegant rooftops
This beautiful golden Buddha was
dontated by the King of Thailand
Wutai Shan has a complementary bus service that runs
every few minutes between most of the temples that
are accessible by the main road; then you walk. Here, I
got this shot of Kai as we passed the gate to a temple
entrance. The area has some of the world's oldest
wood structures, many fifteen hundred years old.
These wildflowers grow everywhere.
The area is for the most part ancient structures
that are still in use today, with monks and nuns
caring for and living in the monasteries, even
though tourists far out number them this time
of year.
A pilgrim's devotion reflects the sincerity of
heart that will take her far further than the
temple at the top of this long stone stairway.
Although she could walk fine, this very old
women found the stairs too much for her legs to
carry her, so she slowly but surely made her
way with the help of her hands. I am moved,
humbled, and inspired. (Photo: Wutai Shan,
China)
Some of my early pictures (see Tibet section) do not give a perspective of the size of this Stupa at Wutai Shan, China. Known as
the "Great White Pagoda" it is a landmark of the entire area. Moreover it is situated in an extensive temple complex that includes
over sixty buildings, pagodas, temples, monks quarters, etc. There are over twelve-hundred fifty statues, and one "Sutra Hall" has
over twenty-thousand volumes of Buddhist scriptures in Tibetan, Chinese, and Mongolian. The entire complex, known as Tayuan
Temple, was built for a "living Buddha" named "Halima," and is considered one of the five most important meditation centers in
the world. It was built around 1579.
I went to a renowned flea market on my last day in Beijing, they are also
known as "dirt" markets there, because everything is dirt cheap. The market
is called the "Panjiayuan Market" and they sell
everything, both real and fake,
and you really need to know your stuff and bargain well.
Dogs take a siesta on a warm afternoon near the banks of the river just
below the sacred temple of Paushupatinath and within barking distance of
Naropa's cave.
At Paushupatinath temple, bodies burn and the sacred waters flow, a metaphor for
life, as the ashes are carried along a river that will nourish life, as it winds its way
to join the holy Ganges and dissolve in the Bay of Bengal.
My son, Kai and I with a wonderful Dakini whom I befriended
twenty-five years ago through my close friendship with her son, Astaman.
Periodically, she embodies the goddess Harati Ajima and has the ability
to heal the mental and physical problems of the many people who gather
around her during these times. I often accompanied her on excursions to
riverside temples with her many disciples for pujas and at her home only
a few meters from the sacred Swoyambu Stupa. Here we are in her home.
It may not be the largest, but for Buddhist it is considered the most sacred
stupa in the world and the oldest. Even before the stupa was built the hill
itself was a "stupa" for both Buddhist and Hindu yogis who often pilgrimaged
here. In the immediate foreground is the temple of the goddess harati Ajima.
(Kai and I)