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In Celebration of the Human Spirit and Religious Freedom (Part II of II)

In my last post I presented some photos and facts about my travels to locations where monotheistic traditions are prevalent. Here I will be presenting some of my travel shots from recent trips to Asia, where religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism are practiced. I’ve had the great good fortune to visit the following countries in Asia: Cambodia, India, Indonesia (Bali), Japan, Laos, Malaysia (Borneo & the mainland), Mynmar (also known as Burma), Thailand, Vietnam. I have also had the opportunity to host a group of Tibetan monks that have visiting the U.S. several times: monks from the Gaden Shartse Monastery, now based in South India. The following slideshare show illustrates some of my photos from their recent visit.

When traveling to Buddhist or Hindu countries I am always struck by the devotion that I see exhibited by the local populations. SaraswatiLiving the life in a way that honors the spirits around one is very characteristic of these cultures and religious devotion is a daily practice, rather than a weekly or annual event. This was really evident on our 2011 trip to Bali, a small island in the Indonesian chain of islands. Pictured here to the right is a beautiful sculpture of the Hindu goddess of art and knowledge, Saraswati.

But nature is honored as well. On our 2011 trip to the Malaysian side of the large island of Borneo we found a beautiful, idyllic set of waterfalls that were so remote that they were likely only used by the local indigenous people, as shown to the left. Waterfall