Dalai Lama's meditation chamber murals
April 1, 2003 3:25 PM   Subscribe

The Lukhang Temple, or "Temple of the Serpent Spirits", sits on an island behind the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. On the top floor is a formerly secret chamber (now open to the public) which the Dalai Lamas used to retreat to for periods of deep meditation. The walls of the chamber are covered by a series of stunning wall paintings (Flash) which depict the esoteric practices of Tibet's Tantric tradition, a visual representation of the Tibetan Buddhist path to enlightenment. Although there has been some damage to the temple and paintings, they escaped relatively unscathed from the Cultural Revolution. The current Dalai Lama, who was forced to leave Tibet before he was initiated into the practices depicted in the temple, describes it as one of the hidden jewels of Tibetan civilization. It is also the subject of Ian Baker's book, "The Dalai Lama's Secret Temple".
posted by homunculus (10 comments total)
Great links.... mustn't make joke....arrrrrrrhhhhh

posted by hammurderer at 4:16 PM on April 1, 2003

Gorgeous. Thanks.

(Oh, and the damage report is hysterical: Tension provoked by the incompatability between the varnish and the technique of the original wall paintings. Damn that tension! Better try yoga.)
posted by gleuschk at 4:19 PM on April 1, 2003

The plight of the Tibetan people is very sad, indeed.

The illegitimate Chinese government , hoisted to power by Mao's lies to the common peasant, is a true evil.

The remarkably spiritual Tibet deserves to have their country returned from the Communist parasites controlling the Chinese mainland.

Nothing is so moving as a line of tattered prayer cloths, weathered and blown on the side of a Tibetan mountain road.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 4:32 PM on April 1, 2003

Amazing stuff. I'll spend some time with it tomorrow. Richard Gere and Steven Seagal jokes aside, the Tibetan tradition is amazing in many ways...especially, for us show-me-the-money Westerners, its ability to describe hands-on (maybe that's not the right metaphor) techniques that really work.
posted by kozad at 5:15 PM on April 1, 2003

I think the state of Tibetan culture under Chinese rule is summarized well by this picture of the front of the Potala Palace. In back, the Lukhang Temple, in front, go-carts!
posted by homunculus at 5:27 PM on April 1, 2003

the Communist parasites controlling the Chinese mainland.

'Fascist parasites' might be more accurate, debatably.
posted by homunculus at 5:34 PM on April 1, 2003

I'm partial to the term "thugocracy". It kind of sums up the Chinese government, but I digress.

What a nice post and links! Tibet is fascinating, and the Lukhang temple is a real treasure.

Thanks, homunculus!
posted by hama7 at 7:57 PM on April 1, 2003

Thanks, homunculus! Great links.
posted by sennoma at 10:14 PM on April 1, 2003

[this is good]. Thanks!
posted by plep at 10:46 PM on April 1, 2003

In keeping with the Buddhist philosophy that your enemies are your greatest teacher, it is important to remember that if it were not for the Communist Chinese invading Tibet in the 1950's we westerners would have never had the opportunity to benefit from the vast Tibetan Buddhist teachings and practices. Yes, Tibet did preserve the Buddhist teachings that were almost completely lost in India, but, Tibet was isolationist and very few people outside of Tibet and Mongolia were ever exposed to their traditions. So, by their cruel selfish concurring actions, the Communist government unknowingly performed a great act of compassion by spreading the dharma throughout the world for the benefit of all sentient beings.
posted by amphigory at 10:31 AM on April 2, 2003 [1 favorite]

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