Prayer wheel redux

Many wheels to go

The trip to Dharamshala two months ago certainly was photogenic. And I do like photos of faith and the faithful: people practicing their rituals, at that moment when, for many, meaning and the divine are most accessible.

And prayer wheels make for good color and meditation.

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Monk’s mood: Candelight march

Protest

Monks and others march ’round the main square of Dharamshala in memory of a young monk in Tibet who a day earlier had set himself on fire in protest of Chinese rule over his country. As the primary community for Tibetans in exile from Chinese rule, Dharamshala is something of free expression zone for all manner of protest and sociopolitical thought, like the monk’s vigil.

They do here what they would be shot for doing in Tibet.

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Pilgrims and flags

Pilgrims

A family on a pilgrimage walk around the Namgyal monastery at Dharamshala. This venture through the woods is one of the most peaceful “trails” I’ve encountered in a long time.

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Dharamshala mountain way

Solitary

Monk out for a walk on a sunny day.

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Monk out for a hike

Monk walks

A monk hikes along a small trail surrounding Dharamshala’s Namgyal Monastery. The circuit draws pilgrims and is littered with shrines, prayer flags and other objects of devotion.

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Om mani padme hum

Turning the wheels

More than a hundred prayer wheels around the Namgyal Monastery in Dharamshala.

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Pensive monkishness

Thoughtful

Namgyal Monastery in Dharamshala boasts a large cadre of monks who worship, study, chant, argue and more.

Here, they pause in contemplation (probably of the goo-for-lunch they’re about to receive).

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The prayer circuit

Om mani padme hum

Prayer wheels at the Namgyal Monastery in Dharamshala receive a near constant stream of attention.

The wheels, typically containing a scroll covered with repetitions of the Tibetan Buddhist mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, are turned as one walks by. One revolution of the wheel is considered equivalent to reciting the mantra as many times it’s scrawled on paper inside.

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Prayer hike

Walk with God

Taking a walk with prayer beads around Namgyal Monastery in Dharamshala.

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Waving in the spiritual breeze

Buddhist prayer flags

On the hillside surrounding the Namgyal Monastery in Dharamshala, pilgrims routinely ply a forest path. The trail circles past numerous shrines and thickets covered in praying stones and colored flags.

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