Views of Labrang

Views of Labrang
Originally uploaded by paulbrockmann.

This is the monastery seen from partway up the hills on the front side

– opposite this shot – and if you look closely, you’ll see a group of

Tibetan woman picnicking on the grass. Lots of people (though

surprisingly few of the foreigners) wander up into the hills for a

better view of the monastery compound. Maybe the foreigners’ schedules

are simply too pressed for time…such a pity, in this place!

After this you will see a ton of shots of various aspects of the

temple. Notice the prayer wheels in the background of some of them.

You’ll see me and/or Dao standing beside prayer wheels, or the how

structures that house them in the background while we’re standing in

the wheat fields. These are part of a very long pilgrim’s trail that

runs around the whole temple and includes many more than a thousand

prayer wheels, all of which are turned by pilgrims truly following

this path. (Once you start turning them, it’s bad luck or something

like that to stop without turning them all, so I never started: just

took photos!) The wheat fields are shared by the townspeople, who work

them together pretty much (he told me his brother worked them since

he’s still in school). The pilgrim’s trail, and the town in general,

is a whole other world…just picture seeing hundreds of people

streaming through the path and turning the wheel, nonstop all day,

many of whom are true pilgrims, who take two steps then prostrate

themselves, all the way up the valley and all the way around the path.

Quite amazing, really.

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