Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Tibet

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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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Barkhor Square

Lhasa, Tibet. 1987. Shot taken from the roof of the Jokhang Temple.

Lhasa, Tibet, as it appeared in 1987. Shot taken from the roof of the Jokhang Temple. Notice in the far background on the right side of the frame the magnificent Potala Palace–home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama before he was forced into exile.