michaelkeppell.com: stories


The Great Debate
by Mike Keppell

Unsure
Unsure
Sera Monastery beckons the unsuspecting tourist who has heard about the 'debating courtyard'. At first it appears devoid of life until a few young Tibetan monks enter the courtyard. They are obvilous to the surrounding tourists who happily snap a few photos of the young students at play.

They gather in the courtyard to reinforce their scripture teaching from the morning. One monk sits on the ground while the other standing monk challenges his understanding. This photo shows a young monk who his being confronted by his colleague. He appears unsure.


Undistracted
Undistracted
Hundreds of monks debate in the courtyard and some appear confident, defiant while their debating partners taunt them with questions on the scriptures. However some just want to escape for awhile and block out the rest of the world as the questions become too difficult.

I believe that this young man wanted to remain undistracted so he blocked out the world in the manner shown in the photograph or maybe he just wanted to fully concentrate on the question and his thoughtful answer.