Friday, May 8, 2015
Every single day the devout come to Jokhang and walk around the temple. Some are chanting, some are plying prayer beads, and some are spinning prayer wheels. Many are prostrating themselves over and over in front of the temple. Some do this every morning before work, some do it on holidays, and some make a pilgrimage from far way. Most do hundreds of prostrations on their small quilt with wood covering their palms as they slide prostrate. It is like watching S LO W burpees. 400 or even 1000 is not uncommon. Another form is to take 3 small steps, and then prostrate oneself, rise and repeat. It takes forever to go any distance, and I guess that is the point. We saw monks doing this, and crippled people and people who had walked miles and miles doing the prostrate this way. There is ALWAYS a lot of juniper incense burning out side and inside the temple. I finally had to don a mask, as my throat was getting so irratated. The temple used to house over 1000 monks who took care of the education for children, and led their followers. After China invaded and the Dali Lama fled, there is less than 400 that call Jokhang home. Still, the streets are crowded with people all day, everyday, and the walk is always clockwise. I had to back track to find the prayer wheels that I missed, and I felt weird bucking the the tide of humans chanting and praying.