“The street looks really nice with all these candle lights”, I said. “The atmosphere suddenly changed as soon as the sun set”, she said. “Just before sunset there were all these people walking quickly towards Boudhanath, to start walking around it and recite their prayers. They all see a bit in a rush. Now that is dark, they are quietly walking in the narrow streets near the pagoda where they stop to light these candles.”
“By prostrating before a stupa, we turn our face away from our egos and toward our enlightened nature. By circumambulating—walking around the stupa in a clockwise fashion and reciting prayers—we keep the image of enlightenment at the center of our attention.”
Boudhanath is a stupa in Kathmandu. Located about 11 km from the center and northeastern outskirts of Kathmandu, the stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal.
The Boudha Stupa dominates the skyline; it is one of the largest stupas in the world. The Stupa is on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner, passes by Boudha Stupa to the ancient and smaller stupa of Charumati Stupa (often called “Little Boudhanath”). It then turns directly south, heading over the Bagmati River to Lalitpur – thus bypassing the main city of Kathmandu (which was a later foundation). Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. When refugees entered Nepal from Tibet in the 1950s, many decided to live around Boudhanath. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha (Wikipedia).
Between 2001 and 2005 I lived with my family in Kampong Thom, in central Cambodia. It was my first long term project abroad. I worked a lot in pagodas and with pagoda community committees and learned a lot about how these groups can help their communities and about the recent history of Cambodia. I am greatly indebted to all the people I met during those years in the pagodas of the province of Kampong Thom
Was in Yogyakarta for a week on Bahasa Indonesian language course. I arrived on a Saturday evening and had the Sunday off before the course start on Monday. The temple of Borobudur is just 40 km from Yogya. A good chance to visit the mountain temple complex I heard a lot about when visiting Angkor Way in Cambodia. Went on late afternoon. Foreign and Indonesian tourists climbed the temple and gathered on the top terrace to observe the sunset across the valley. The Buddhas were watching with their enigmatic stare as they have been doing for the last 1200 years.
We stayed at a nice guesthouse in Ubud, in Bali. It was a traditional Balinese house and to get to our room we had to walk a narrow alley and pass through two small yards shared by few families. One of them was an elderly couple who lived in a small red brick house. When we came back from our day tours in the afternoon, he was normally sitting under a small porch on a confortable bamboo armchair. Sometimes reading the newspaper, sometimes listening to a radio, sometimes looking at this beautiful wooden statue of a reclining Buddha. One morning I asked him if I could take pictures of the Buddha and he happily said yes. I liked the fading colours, the frangipani flower on his shoulder which the elderly couple following the Balinese tradition changed every day. Strangely this Buddha is reclined on his left harm, while traditionally he is portrayed reclined on the right arm. Anyway, peaceful, relaxing.
Pagodas and monasteries in Hong Kong. They are like islands in this city. I took these pictures in Nan Lian Garden and the Chi Lin Nunnery on Fung Tak Road and at the Chuk Lam Sim monastery (Bamboo Forest monastery) near Tsuen Wan MTR station.