"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)


From The Rising Of The Sun To Its Setting: Part 4


Sunset’s dying light.

Picture taken in the grounds of Kopua Monastery, New Zealand

From The Rising Of The Sun…

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A lingering of incense..


Picture taken in the Abbey church of Mount Saint Bernard Trappist Monastery, Leicestershire, England

Away Days: High Baroque



Picture taken in the abbey  of Engelberg Benedictine monastery, Switzerland.
Video features chanting from the Codex Engelberg

The Liturgy Of The Hours: Sext

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Sext: the sixth hour

Picture shows the Abbey church and guesthouse, Kopua Monastery. New Zealand

The Liturgy Of The Hours: Terce


Terce: the third hour

Picture taken at Southern Star Abbey, Kopua Monastery, New Zealand

The Liturgy Of The Hours: Lauds

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Morning Prayer

Picture taken during Lauds in Southern Star Abbey, Kopua Monastery, New Zealand

Good Friday


Picture taken in Southern Star Abbey, Kopua Monastery, New Zealand


Stumbling Into Light: Part 8

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A time of quiet

Monks at Kurisumala in silent meditation after Mass

Stumbling Into Light: Part 7

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After None light and shade

Picture of the monk’s refectory taken at Kurisumala Trappist Monastery, Kerala

Stumbling Into Light: Part 6

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Cloistered laundering.

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Pictures of monks’ freshly laundered, saffron habits taken in Kurisumala Trappist Monastery, Kerala

Stumbling Into Light: Part 5

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On reflection..

Picture shows one of the monks at Kurisumala

Wandering Westward: Seeking Solitude

 “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.”

Picture taken on the path to the chapel, at Holy Cross Abbey, Virginia.

Wandering Westward: A Light Meal



Picture of the guesthouse refectory at Holy Cross Monastery, Virginia

Wandering Westward: Monastic Light




Picture taken as the sun rises over the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia at Holy Cross Abbey


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

Monastic Light And Shade


Our route took us on to Likir Monastery, a one thousand-year old Tibetan Buddhist community.
Both its centuries of prayer and our privilege of being their only visitors contributed to the perception that Likir was a place of palpable peace

Climbing the steep hill on which the monastery stands, we walked through shadowed passages, past rows of prayer wheels and into an ascending series of temples.
The monks smiled kindly, but said nothing.
Whatever we might be seeking, it would have to be found in silence.

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Please forgive the advert which precedes this clip.
It came as quite a shock to me but the contrast with what follows is dramatic and perhaps, inadvertently telling..

Pictures taken in Likir Monastery, Ladakh.

Caught By The Light



Picture taken in my room while staying in Kopua Monastery, New Zealand

Urbi et Orbi

The Buddhist monks in Rumtek are not an enclosed community.

They seem to be in constant communication with the outside world.


Pictures taken at Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim.

Care In The Community



Pictures taken in Rumtek Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Sikkim.

Community, Colour And Conflict

Situated less than thirty kilometres from Gangtok, Rumtek is the largest monastery in Sikkim.

Rumtek glories in brilliant colour, inside and out.



But it is also the site of sectarian contention.

A situation serious enough to warrant armed guards, who politely but thoroughly examined our passports and paperwork.
Sadly, Tibetan Buddhists are not immune to the violence and community-shattering controversies which beset all religions.

Pictures taken at Rumtek Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Sikkim.

Northern Exposure: Part 14

Let sleeping dogs lie..

Picture taken at the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang monastery near Kalimpong, Darjeeling.

Northern Exposure: Part 13

Schoolboy monks in the classroom.


Picture taken at the Ghoom Monastery, Darjeeling. 

Northern Exposure: Part 10

Colour by the kitchen sink..

Picture taken in a kitchen at the Rumtek Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Sikkim. 

Northern Exposure: Part 7

Picture taken at the Rumtek Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Sikkim.