Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Tibet

Tibet 009

1987. One day when my travel partner wasn’t feeling well and wanted to stay indoors to rest I went out on my own and wandered into Barkhor Square. I followed the flow of Tibetans into the Jokhang Temple and wandered around, watched the lighting of yak butter candles. A Tibetan woman approached me, beckoning with her finger for me to follow. She led me up some stairs and I could hear thumping and a song being chanted by voices. She led me into a room that was under construction. A circle of people — monks, Tibetans and a few foreigners — were singing a song and holding hands and stamping their feet to tamp down the new floor. I joined hands and stamped my feet and giggled and did my best to hum along. The circle slowly turned in a clockwise motion and the floor was gradually set. Whenever I think about the Jokhang Temple I feel gratitude and joy. Tibet sparked my interest in the practice of Buddhism, a practice that continues to this day.

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