Thursday, November 20, 2008

What, another Wat??

So, yes, I am in the land of Wats, or temples. And yes, I went to another one. But this one was different - older, less gold lamé, lots more trees and more atmospheric crumbliness. Just a few pictures to share:
There's something special about words of wisdom on a placard right under a painting of dogs playing poker.
Monkish laundry.
The hall of stories: I'm not exactly sure what the story is on this hall, but every nook, cranny and paintable surface was covered in vignettes from various famous (and less famous) stories from around the world. There were obviuosly a lot of "Buddha" stories, but there were also stories from Africa, the Middle East, China and yes, Christ's teachings made an appearance or two, alongside some of Aesop's fables. I can only assume this room is used for teaching and meditating on the combined wisdom of the world's traditions.
Why indeed...
A good thought before entering the austere tunnels: The most fascinating sight for me, though, was the old Buddha graveyard. This whole area was full of Buddhas and other venerable statuettes in varying states of decomposition and destruction. Somehow the real beauty lies in the eternal serenity of even a dying Buddha... Death seemed to be a theme on the day. As I wandered to the fish pond, I found a serene yet oddly unsettling scene of a dead dove placed gracefully in the fork of a tree: But just in case I was to become too morose in my thoughts, I was met this happy guy on my way out of the temple grounds. With this much bouncy energy, who couldn't believe in life again?

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