Matthieu Ricard

DRAPEAUX DE PRIÈRES

About this photograph

A forest of prayer - flags near Dechen Choling Palace, Thimpu, like there are so many throughout Bhutan : on hilltops, at clearings, at river confluences, near temples, and atop high mountains. The flags are printed from woodblocks with prayers and sacred images. Once or twice a year the local people replace them with new ones that have been consecrated by a lama. It is said that wherever the wind that touches them goes, it will carry the beneficial power of the prayers to any beings it meets. The other elements are used similarly: prayers carved in the rocks, big prayer - wheels turned by the running water of mountain streams, or smaller ones turned by the heat rising from the flame of a butter - lamp. 1983

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The Artist
Matthieu Ricard

“Matthieu's camera and his spiritual life are one, and from this spring these images, fleeting and eternal. Henri-Cartier Bresson. Matthieu Ricard was born in France in 1946. Since 1967, he lived in Himalayas to study Tibetan Buddhism and is the French interpreter of the Dalai Lama since 1989. He lives in Nepal at Shechen Monastery and devotes much of his time to the preservation of Tibetan cultural heritage. Matthieu Ricard has photographed the spiritual masters, landscapes, and people of the Himalayans over the last forty-five years and published several albums of photography including, in English, Journey to Enlightenment (Aperture, 1996), Buddhist Himalayas (Harry Abrams, 2002), Dancers Monks of Tibet (Shambhala, 2003), Tibet, an Inner Journey (Thames and Hudson, 2006), Motionless Journey (Thames and Hudson, 2007) and Bhutan, a Land of Peace (Thames and Hudson, 2008). His work have been exhibited in New York, Paris, Perpignan, Winthertur, Stockholm and Hong Kong and reviewed in the New York Times and other magazines throughout the world.

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