The disciplines of meditation are never far from the life of the Buddhist community in Luang Prabang. Daily practice and study of meditation techniques are a common pastime.
No overview of the cultural life of the community would be complete without reference to meditation. The Buddhist Heritage Project, at the request of the Buddhist Sangha, has mounted a permanent exhibition of photographs on meditation in Luang Prabang. A selection of Hans Berger's photographs made during his ground-breaking community arts project in the 1990's open a window to current Vipassana meditation practice.
The exhibition also includes a large selection of photographs drawn from the Buddhist Archive of Photography, reflecting an historical perspective on the meditation of notable figures from the past...monks, nuns and novices.
The photographs below are drawn from Hans Georg Berger's work in the Meditation Exhibition at Vat Suvannakhili in Luang Prabang.
The Exhibition on Vipassana Meditation at Vat Suvannakhili is a blend of historic images drawn from the Buddhist Archives of Photography, and a series of photographer made during Hans Georg Berger's epic project in the 1990's to document Luang Prabang's unique ceremonies. Here the Abbot of Wat Saen Soukhaham leads the evening chanting and meditation. Archive No. 291-07
In this photograph a young monk prepares to make a traditional flower offering to the Buddha as part of his Vipassana Meditation session. Archive No. 3788-18
"In a classic ""Lotus Position"" pose a novice Meditates. The poise and serenity of his sitting position reflect the elaborate discipline required to archieve the necessary state of mind during Meditation. Archive No. 3803-03"
In this and the following two photographs a novice elaborates the slow, measured and highly disciplined movements necessary to achieve the correct posture for a prone, lying down Meditation position. Archive No. 3773-01
The novice continues the purposeful movements and gradually comes closer to the correct position for his Meditation. Achive No. 3773-18
Finally, and in harmony with the surrounding forest, the novice is in position to begin his Meditation. The slow and measured preliminary movements help to clear the mind in preparation for the state of suspension that permits a true meditative experience. Archive No. 3781-07
This remowned image "The Floating Buddha" speaks eloquent volumes and needs little description. The peace, harmony, focus and elevation above the material expressed in this novice's face and posture encompass the essence of Vipassana Meditation. Archive No. 2463-18