I Love Tibet!>>travel tales>>108 chants of Om Mani Padme Hum

** 108 chants of Om Mani Padme Hum **
(Amdo Matoe, 1992)

On September, 1992 in Amdo region, north-east Tibet.
I came across the vast grassland stretching as far as my eyes reached.
After two-day trip by bus from Xining city of Qinghai province,
I arrived at Matoe, a small town in the midst of grassland.
Matoe is known as a starting point for exploring the source area of the Yellow River.
But the town itself, 4300m high, was so deserted.

Matoe had a blizzard even in September.
I had to spend much time to learn how to use a coal stove in the guesthouse.
Once a blizzard passed off, the deep blue sky of Tibet came back immediately.
I found a small chapel decorated with Darcho, prayer flags, on the outskirts of the town.

As I approached to the chapel, I found three local old ladies doing Korla,
clockwise circumambulation around sacred objects.

Tibetans carve or paint various kinds of prayer phrases on stones, rocks and animal bones to offer to chapels.
I found such Mani-stones and Mani-bones piled up around the chapel.

One of the ladies opend the door of chapel with her key.
They repeatedly turned around the Mani-wheel.
When I tried to take a picture, they unveiled the cover cloth, so that I looked into the beautiful painting on the Mani-wheel.

When they found my rosary on my wrist, they seemed to feel at ease because they knew I was not a Chinese. Then, they shook hands with me so friendly. One of the old ladies took my rosary off and began to count the beads as she always did with her own beads. She chanted "Om Mani Padme Hum", the Mantra for Avalokiteshvara, once for each bead. The rasary had 108 beads. So she chanted it 108 times. It reminds in my mind, much vivider than any blessings of high lamas I have ever received.

I Love Tibet!>>travel tales>>108 chants of Om Mani Padme Hum