Rouge Monk

I stumbled across this wonderful monk late one afternoon in an area of Bagan, Myanmar, which doesn’t see too much tourist traffic. I entered the temple thinking it would be empty, but was pleasantly surprised to see this monk sitting there, as if waiting for my arrival. From the few simple possessions that were stored around his area, it appeared he was residing alone in this well positioned temple with views, rather than opting for the more conventional monastery a couple of kilometres away.

He was clearly on his own journey and his presence suggested he liked it that way. He spoke no English, but replied with a friendly nod of agreement, when I gestured to take a shot of him. The whole environment was just so peaceful and quiet and oozed the feeling ‘you are in a sacred space’. So much so, that I hesitated in taking his photo in fear of breaking the beautiful silence with the seemingly manufactured sound of the shutter release. Never before had I realised how intrusive it could be. I nodded back to thank him for his attention as he laid back down on his cardboard assuming the ‘resting Buddha pose’ and continuing his staring back towards the afternoon sun.

Although he seemed comfortable with me being there, I did my best to respect the space, as I crept around ‘ninja like’ in my bare feet, restricting myself to only a couple more shots, as not to destroy the ambience. When I was leaving, I noticed his eyes closed and felt inspired to leave some money for him to wake to as a token of my gratitude. Just before continuing on my way, I turned back one more to reflect on the magical scene I was lucky enough to be a part of, just in time to see him peeking childlike through one eye and offering a beautiful smile of appreciation back to me.


contemplating the light


Colognes Love Lock Bridge
Worringen Church

Photo Blurb
canon 7d,
50mm f/1.8,
1/4 sec @ f/8,
ISO 100

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By | January 14th, 2016|0 Comments

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