Friday, November 26, 2010

The Sacred Spaces of Don Khong - November 26th, 2010

Sacred Spaces

All our lives are hustle and bustle. Don’t think they aren’t. It is very difficult to find the time in Vientiane to stop and breathe and go into a temple and relax. Also, just like in France, many temples are locked now.

But on Don Khong we did have the time, and while we were pouring over the island on bicycle or motorbike we stopped and visited every temple we saw.

Temples are prayer places and they are also living places; monks and novices move silently in their saffrons, drowse in the shade and eat.

The pattern is usually the same, the statues of Buddha larger than life, his nirvana now gold-plated. In many of these island temples the primitive artwork has been left on the walls.

One very old temple building is abandoned; next to it stands a spanking new temple that looks like a Chinese restaurant in Markham, Ontario. And yet the old structure is so beautiful I wanted to cry.

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