"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Monastic Visions

The Nubra Valley is dominated by its Tibetan Buddhist monastery.


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“The truly sacred attitude toward life is in no sense an escape from the sense of nothingness that assails us when we are left alone with ourselves.”
Thomas Merton, 1915 – 1968



Pictures taken in Diskit Monastery, The Nubra Valley, Ladakh

5 responses

  1. Toffeeapple

    I like all the colour but is it warm in that room?

    May 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    • Not what you could call warm, but not perishingly cold either. I doubt if it’s ever really warm at that altitude.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:24 am

  2. How do these monasteries compare to a Carthusian (or even a Trappist) monastery in the West? Do the monks make permanent vows to stay for life? Is there a ritual around which the daily life is lived (like, say, the praying of Hours with the Trappists?)

    May 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    • From what I’ve read, in traditional Buddhist monasteries it is possible to join then leave the community up to seven times. After the seventh departure you can only stay as a guest.

      Most of the boys who join as young school children, leave when they grow up.

      Up until recently it was commonplace for families to “give” one child to the monastery, rather like the tradition of one child becoming a priest or nun in Catholic Kerala or Ireland. The trend for much smaller families may well spend the end to that in Ladakh, as it has here in Kerala.

      The monks certainly join in daily community prayer and chanting but their time looks far less structured than in a Trappist monastery.

      May 19, 2012 at 9:58 am

  3. Pingback: Reflections « Neither Use Nor Ornament

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