Red heaven on heart

Larung Gar, China

Located in a remote valley at the altitude of 4,000 meters, hidden deep in the remote areas of China, close to Tibet, Larung Gar hosts more than 40,000 Buddhist monks, nuns, and students. And perhaps, there is no place in the world where more shades of red can be observed.

Reaching the destination was not an easy task. It took me several clock turns, an internal exercise of patience and tons of unconditional love to public transport.

Since 1980, the desert-like landscape has been shaped by thousands of tiny red wooden huts built around the Institute of Tibetan Buddhism, transforming the place into the largest epicentre in the world for these studies.

What is doing someone like her in a place like that?– their faces seemed to be asking. Why did they draw away every single thing and devote themselves, their bodies and souls, to the search for a higher spiritual understanding?– I thought.

During my stay, the weather changed the face of the valley with sun, rain, and snow. Its inhabitants, however, strengthened by years of practicing Buddhism, seemed indifferent to those changes with their eyes curiously following every step of the woman, dressed in blue jeans, that clearly didn’t belong there.

Synchronising with this environment took me a while, but once I did, the clock stopped worrying me and I finally began to enjoy the slow rhythm of the rites, chants and the daily monastic life tinged with autumn hue.