JOURNAL - SEPT - Song Of The Yellow Hats
Song Of The Yellow Hats
A hundred young men flood from the prayer hall, hurriedly pulling on their long red boots and brilliant yellow headwear that resembles cockerels’ combs.
Forming a regimented circle around the monastery courtyard, they sit upright in their robes, like the ancient Tibetan frescoes of the Buddha that surround them. They make faces at each other and talk in loud whispers, falling still and silent only when the master lama makes his entrance.
Following his lead, they begin to sway in unison, slowly building momentum. For the next two hours they boom out their reaffirmations and mantras, their chanting voices reverberating around the historic, stone walls and through the solar plexus of all of us privileged enough to witness this profoundly moving spectacle.
And then, in a flash, the music ends. The crescent-moon hats are hastily removed and put away as the monks scurry to their lonely quarters, leaving the monastery on the roof of the world to fall silent once more.