Archive for prayer

A World of Prayer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2012 by stevemccurry
Tibet

Tibet

 

Cambodia

Cambodia

On Prayer
… All I know is that prayer constructs a velvet bridge
And walking it we are aloft, as on a springboard,
Above landscapes the color of ripe gold
Transformed by a magic stopping of the sun.
- Czeslaw Milosz, Polish Author

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

 

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when,
whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
- Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

United States

United States

 

Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan

 

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer.
- G. E. Lessing, German writer and philosopher

Amritsar, India

Amritsar, India

 

Tibet

Tibet

 

United States

United States

Listening is the beginning of prayer.
- Mother Teresa

Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia

 

India

India

Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere,
there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage,
and you will understand that prayer is an education.
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Kashmir

Kashmir

 

China

China

 

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

…there is a God, there always has been. I see him here, in the eyes of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation.
This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him…
there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray,
I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years,
forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity
only to turn to Him now in my hour of need. I pray that He is as merciful,
benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is.
- Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Kuchi Nomads Pray in Afghanistan

Kuchi Nomads Pray in Afghanistan

 

Japan

Japan

To be present is to be prayerful.
- Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Burma

Burma

 

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

 

Brazil

Brazil

Prayer is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings.
- Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople

India

India

Thousands of Muslims in Orange County, California,
came together to pray in Angels Stadium to observe Eid al-Adha,
a major Islamic
holiday celebrating the culmination of the annual pilgrimage, Hajj,
which brings
together millions of Muslims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
- 10/27/2012

The Path to Buddha

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2009 by stevemccurry

I am often asked about which countries I enjoy photographing the most.  That’s very hard to answer, but I do enjoy going back again and again to Buddhist countries, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Bhutan, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Burma.

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Buddha statue in Mandalay, Burma, 2008

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Monk at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet, 2000

The ethics and the aesthetics of Buddhism are melded in a unique way. The vivid color of robes and sacred places contrast with the monochromatic tradition I grew up with.

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Young monks play with computer games in Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, India, 2001

Every time I have visited a Buddhist monastery, I have seen a playfulness among the monks, a joy in the way they conduct themselves and the way they interact with each other.

Young nun, Rangoon, BURMA-10013NF2, Burma/Myanmar, 1994

Young nun, Rangoon, Burma, 1994

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Monks in the Rain, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 1999

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A monk studies Buddhist scripture in the late afternoon at a monastery in Aranyaprathet, Thailand, 1996

As I photographed the picture of the monk and the cat in a monastery in Thailand, it occured to me that all the qualities that I observed – contemplation, serenity, meditation – are ones that are antithetical to the hard-charging, ladder-climbing Western culture.

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Young monks study Buddhist scripture at a monastery in Litang, Kham, Tibet, 1999

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Pilgrim praying at the Buddhist academy of Larung Gar, near Serthar, Kham, Tibet, 2001

The Monks have a way of taking something we could consider mundane, and transform it into something sacred.

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Candles are a form of offering at the Tibetan Prayer Festival, during which thousands are lit under the Bodi tree. Bodh Gaya, India, 2000

Monasteries have always been places of refuge for people and animals who have no other place to go.  Monks will share whatever they have, no matter how small.

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Woman meditates in Bagan monastery, Burma, 2008

Even though they get merits for helping people in need, one never has the impression that they do it for any other reason other than their good nature, dedication, and hospitality.

Quotations from the Buddha:

“Teach this triple truth to all:  A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.”

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

 

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