Earlier this week, Craig had a post showing some of his images of faith in Asia. Craig’s post was in response to Steve McCurry’s A Matter of Faith posting, which was followed in return by David Sanger, who posted Images of Faith. David called for other photographers to make similar blog posts; this is my contribution.Prayers at Night Bagan, Myanmar
I have to admit, I was quite enthused to start up this post; Faith has been a pretty constant subject in my photography and religious faith is something that I find inherently beautiful. Finding images was not the issue, even a very cursory run through my photo library came up with way, way too many photos to post here. Even as I write this post, I really don’t know how many photos I will include. Doubtless it will be too many; editing things down is difficult.
Smoke Gets in Her Eyes Longshan Temple, Taipei
For some photos, I will simply give titles, for others, I will offer some details or an opinion. I hope you will wade through all that I post and I do hope you will enjoy. Thanks for your indulgences in what will be an overlong post.
Outside the Jama Masjid Mosque Fatehpur Sikri, India
To my mind, one of the greatest things about houses of worship in the East is how they are not simply places to pray, but they serve as community centers. People visit, eat, play chess and just generally live in and around the temples and mosques in Asia; I am much more drawn to the community center feeling of these places than I am to the more single use churches in the west. Here at Jama Masjid, the men spend hours socializing between prayers.
Drying Taipei, Taiwan
Similarly, I don’t believe that you would find someone both washing his shoes, then laying them out to dry on a church’s steps, as I found at this small temple in Taipei.
Monk With Dirty Feet Wat Phrae Kaeow, Bangkok, Thailand *
Nun With Umbrella Bayon Temple, Angkor Complex, Cambodia * Prayers to the Reclining Buddha Ayutthaya, Thailand * Monk for Life Wat Mai Suwannaphumaham, Luang Prabang, Laos * JiGong, the Mad Monk Matsu Pilgrimmage, Dajia, Taiwan * Dajia, Taiwan during the Matsu Pilgrimage
I have been told that the Matsu Pilgrimage, the yearly trek around central Taiwan, is the worlds third largest religious pilgrimage. I don’t know if that is true. There is no doubt however, that it is huge. Hundreds of thousands take part.
*Monks Move Fast Luang Prabang, Laos * The Littlest General Matsu Pilgrimage, Chunghwa, Taiwan * Tired Buddhist High School, Luang Prabang, Laos *
Burnt Offerings Agra, India
This was special for me. Just wandering around near my guest house in Agra, this man pulled me into a tiny temple, lit some type of oily solid and prayed with/for me. Language difficulties prevented me from knowing much, but his faith and openness left a strong impression on me.Religion as Political Protest Taipei, Taiwan
Here, Falung Gong/Falung Dafa followers pray in the grounds of Taiwan Freedom Square, otherwise known as Chiang Kaishek Memorial Hall. The prayers serve not only as an act of faith, but also as a statement; just across the Strait of Taiwan, the followers of Falun Gong are not only discouraged from practicing their faith, but they prohibited from doing so, sometimes being detained, jailed and even worse.
Giving alms to monks is an important part of the Buddhist faith. Nowhere have I seen it be take more seriously than in Luang Prabang. * Word by Painful Word Buddhist High School, Luang Prabang, Laos * Confucius Day Celebrations Taipei Confucius Temple
The birthday of Confuscious is the one day in which the otherwise serene Confucius Temple comes alive. Starting at sunrise on that day, it is standing room only.
*Candlelit Prayers to the Reclining Buddha Shinbinthalyaung Temple, Bagan, Myanmar * Monks, Prayers and Candles Bagan, Myanmar *
Cleanse the Buddha, Cleanse Your Soul Scwhedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar * Matzu’s Birthday Celebrations Guandu Temple, Taipei, Taiwan * Lighting Candles – a beautiful woman in a beautiful place
Scwhedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar * Wild Eyed General Taipei, Taiwan * Incense Xingtien Temple, Taipei, Taiwan * Praying While Life Passes By Xingtien Temple, Taipei, Taiwan * Morning Rituals Varanasi, India *
Alive With Color Cao Dai Temple, Tay Ninh, Vietnam
Taking elements from the world’s six major religions and mixing them into a maelstrom of color and activity, the main Cao Dai Temple, just outside of Saigon remains one of my two all time favorite religious spots.
Three by Three Cao Dai Temple, Tay Ninh, Vietnam * At the Foot of Buddha Angkor Wat Complex, Siem Reap, Cambodia
If you have made it this far, I offer my most sincere thanks for your endurance. A special thanks again to Craig for bringing this to my attention and encouraging others to post as he has.