Lhasa – Sera Monastery

August 21, 2005

As my condition was getting well in the afternoon, and so was the weather, I decided to go to Sera Monastery. I have heard that there is a discussion class every afternoon. Sera Monastery is about 5 km from city centre, but the entrance ticket of 50 yuan held my steps.

Two days ago I came to this monastery and circulated it already. Today, as I was still thinking to pay or not to pay the entrance fee, I did circulate it once more. Suddenly I met three Chinese travellers, of which one of them I met yesterday inquiring about traveling to Western Tibet. They told me that they didnt want either to pay the 50 yuan ticket and wanted to climb and jump the wall to enter.

We found a rather low wall. I was anxious to do this, but they one by one successfully crossed the wall of 2 m height. When it comes to my turn, I didnt have any other choice either as they had passed my bags to the other side of the wall. And I practised all of my ability of climbing, jumping, crawling, etc…, and I successfully landed to the other side, which is accidentally a toilet pot. (!)

Well, we have successfully entered the monastery without paying ticket, and my heart still jumps very fast. A young monk watching us with very strange gaze, as it seems he never seen tourists entering the monastery from the toilet. And we pretended nothing to happen (just being lost to be together in a small toilet pot….)

The discussion class of the monks started at 3:30 pm everyday. It’s a lively discussion, much shouting and pat. When they express their mind they clap their hand. I wish I understood Tibetan. And I wish I could upload the photos today.

The afternoon today was very sunny, the first time for me to see real blue sky in Lhasa.

About Agustinus Wibowo

Agustinus is an Indonesian travel writer and travel photographer. Agustinus started a “Grand Overland Journey” in 2005 from Beijing and dreamed to reach South Africa totally by land with an optimistic budget of US$2000. His journey has taken him across Himalaya, South Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, and ex-Soviet Central Asian republics. He was stranded and stayed three years in Afghanistan until 2009. He is now a full-time writer and based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Contact: Website | More Posts

3 Comments on Lhasa – Sera Monastery

  1. Ha,very interesting and exciting!
    I think that you are so smart to be a good climber.
    Monk discussion is really new to me,what did they talk about? The life?The World? or themselves?

  2. walah… abis tu mandi gak gus? mambu to?

  3. Adam Alexander Smith // August 23, 2005 at 6:03 pm // Reply

    Sounds like an adventure,jumping the wall Ming. Nothing like a bit of heart beating adventure now and again. The Clapping and Shouting of the Monks is a method which goes back to the Monasterys of Gautama Siddartha himself, and is a method of destroying Egoistic viewpoints. Each person puts forward a Theory or Claim, and the other has to cut it down by getting to the root of the other persons’s viewpoint. Such as, if the person expressing their viewpoint was actually using borrowed knowledge or relying on belief instead of direct personal experience. It’s a game designed to show each other than nobody really knows anything, and to liberate the person from holding onto things they cannot verify. The slap and shout is rather like a Zen stick method, designed to shock the other person awake in a literal and also metaphysical sense, to cut down the other persons’s argument. It’s a challenge and that’s why the loud Clap and foot stamp is there. How much of this going on in Tibet is still genuine or Pseudo showpiece now, nobody knows. They may be discussing how much they want to charge you for photos. Hehe. Oh what a Cynic i am :)

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