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| creative encounters |
Toward Jewish-Christian Reconciliation
Ethics, Theology and Animal Experiments
Becoming an Interfaith Spiritual Director
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| practically speaking |
| focus on the interreligious movement |
| open book |
| poetry |
A Great Pilgrimage
| prayers and meditation |
|The Potala Palace
First constructed in the 7th century by the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo, the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, was the residence of the Dalai Lamas from the 17th century until 1959, when the current Dalai Lama fled Tibet for India. Built on the 426-foot summit of the picturesque Marpo Ri ("Red Hill") at the center of the valley of Lhasa, the immense structure rises another 557 feet. Construction of the present palace was begun in 1645 by the fifth Dalai Lama. The thirteenth Dalai Lama (predecessor of His Holiness Tenzin Gyatsho, the current Dalai Lama) expanded the palace to its current size.
The name "Potala" comes from the legendary south-Indian birthplace of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Kuan-Yin in China, Kannon in Japan). The Dalai Lamas are believed to be reincarnations of this famous embodiment of compassion. The Potala was a place of pilgrimage (many lamas and Dalai Lamas are entombed there) until the Chinese seizure of Tibet. Today, it is a museum. The Dalai Lama and his staff, surrounded by a huge Tibetan community, live in northern India, in Dharamsala.
This photo is by Steve Freedman. He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He is a retired engineer, world traveler and enthusiastic photographer.