"Are you expert in Tibetan Buddhism? Don't worry!" Tibet Favorite Tip by tiganeasca
Tibet General: 58 reviews and 63 photos
Favorite thing: Like many visitors, I brought little real knowledge of the country with me to Tibet. I had read portions of my several guidebooks but found much of what I read difficult to assimilate while sitting in Chicago.
For instance, although I knew Tibet is a Buddhist country, my knowledge of Buddhism was minimal. I had always thought of Buddhism as a religion but Buddhists tend to consider it more of a philosophy or even a way of life. Unless you come well-prepared and well-versed in Tibetan Buddhism, the statues, murals, and almost infinite decorations are nearly too much to comprehend.
Nearly every day I encountered dozens of figures in Tibetan history--Tibetan and Buddhist history are indescribably intertwined--and I learned but a tiny fraction of the stories, myths, and legends of the Buddha and his followers. Images, whether painted, sculpted, or drawn, were everywhere.
But one lesson I brought back is that precise identification may be less important than it seems. There is a great deal to be said for just plunging ahead. Don't concentrate on the words or on individual images. Let the atmosphere wash over you. The sensory experience is of greater moment than the details.
Of course, knowing more will undoubtedly make your trip that much more meaningful. Still, you cannot help but learn and be impressed by the faith and devotion of the people--impressions that will be overwhelming, I think, whether you are an expert or a newcomer.
Fondest memory: The people. In all my travels, I have never, ever met people so willing and eager to laugh. Although there are, of course, exceptions and of course people who have little to laugh about, the vast majority of people we met--whether beggars or children, lamas or shopkeepers--were almost always on the verge of a smile, if not a grin. Laughter seems to come easily to these people and the influence such a "small" thing can have on your day and your experience is absolutely enormous.
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