The Lama

Students speak with a local Lama after participating in a Tibetan prayer ceremony. After planting some trees on a mountainside in the Wolong Nature Reserve in Chengdu, we were invited to eat lunch at a temple. We dropped our gardening equipment and followed a short and wrinkled man up a steep path for about an hour. His strides were steady, and while we were sweating profusely he remained calm. When we reached the top we learned that this man was the Lama of the temple. He invited us in as another man began to beat a series of gongs and bells. An old woman tugged at the crimson cloths that hung from the wooden beams above. She handed them to him. The Lama pressed ink against a slab and then stamped the cloth with a Tibetan prayer. After we had eaten and spoken with him he invited us to take the cloths with us.