This silver temple, a rare gift from a community of silversmiths. The fine print reads that women are not welcome to enter. Margaret and Gail pause with rebellious respect knowing that time will change all that. Gender and roles are not the criteria for a spiritual life. The gift of the silversmiths was tarnished by the code of conduct! A code that was signed like a Pontious Pilate note on the cross. A reminder of our broken humanity.
At the city gate were in biblical times you could buy a team of oxen and seal the deal with a bit of spittle in a sandal, we paused to pose! Capturing our foreigner status in a single image.
The art school for monks. The careful charcoal sketch captured in this over the shoulder digital image holds not only, skill and devotion, but also a dedication to a life of discipline. The devotion to a patient rendering of the stupa in the glittering sun light speaks of formal education and spiritual direction. The pursuit of assignment in above 32 degree weather speaks to discipline.
The stupa captured in the charcoal glitters. Yet somehow the dusty charcoal comes to life in the hands of the young monk.
The steps in the temple, as in most temples are a way up to the shrine. The steps are also part of a journey, a path that reminds the walker that the way up and down are the same. A Greek idea preserved through history. Moses coming down from the mountain, or Jesus climbing up the hill, or Jerusalem built-on-a-hill — all images of an ascent to the holy and a desent into service. This up and down business of the holy is an invitation to the journey. An invitation to come along.