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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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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Beads for monks

Monks have to haggle in the market, too

In the market leading up to Dharamshala’s Namgyal Monastery, the spiritual home of the Dalai Lama in exile, a fierce debate breaks out, not over theology or discipline, but the price of prayer beads.

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Majestic views from Upper Dharamshala

Breathe free

With a soundtrack of chanting monks, a permanent Tibetan refugee population and backdrop of the Himalayas, Upper Dharamshala — known to tourists as McLeod Ganj — is enchanting. This view comes from the Dalai Lama’s monastery, the Namgyal Monastery.

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Time for a shave

Alley shave

The central split avenue in Dharamshala is home to numerous tourist shops, a large chorten, travel agencies and a few picturesque barber shops. I do enjoy taking pictures of barbers.

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Monk’s mood

Rest in the shade at Wat Po

Bangkok, Thailand.

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