Schwedagon Pagoda

Schwedagon Pagoda

Schwedagon Pagoda

It has a big ‘ol gem at the top and the whole huge complex is a gem! Gotta go on day one! The jewel of Mayanmer, Schwedagon Pagoda seems to be a constant work in progress. All around the pagoda are shrines designated for prayer based on the day you were born. Roy was born on Wednesday – the same day that the Buddha was born. This day seems to be very popular and I betcha anything people born on other days are pouring water on that day as well.

Shrine for people born on Wednesday morning.

Shrine for people born on Wednesday morning.

The love of neon was starting to show when I was here 10 years ago, but now the style has cemented it’s self and now most all the main Buddhas seem to have a moving hallo of lights. Not much else has changed. A number of the entrances seem different – bigger and more ornate. There is lots of the new metal decoration where in the past, like Sule, it was wood and stucco.

Schwedagon Pagoda is a complex of temples and shrines with many side temples for worship.

Schwedagon Pagoda is a complex of temples and shrines with many side temples for worship.

Inspired by Aung San Suu Kyi I had an idea to wear a flower in my hair every day that I am in Burma. So on my first day, I failed to buy myself flowers but later a man came up to me with a string of flowers and he held out his two hands with a string of sweet smelling flowers and offered them to me.

A gift for me from a local man who obviously knew I needed some flowers!

A gift for me from a local man who obviously knew I needed some flowers!

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Jasmin in my hair – not looking so great but the fragrance is wonderful.

 

 

Roy Blakey at Schwedagon Pagoda.

Roy Blakey at Schwedagon Pagoda.

So the universe is providing sweet people with thoughtful gestures are reaching out to help keep me on track… focus on the natural beauty and give to others.

Speaking of giving to others. Every night the temple is cleaned by volunteers who line up and circle the stupa with brooms.

Sweepers at Schwedagon

Sweepers at Schwedagon

Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett

Sweepers clean the path surrounding the central pagoda.

Myanmar (Burma) 2014 by Keri Pickett

 

 

Keri Pickett

Keri Pickett is an author, photographer and filmmaker telling the stories of life, family and community with intimacy, honesty and impact. Pickett is Producer, Director and Camera for the award-winning feature documentary film ‘The Fabulous Ice Age’, about the rise and fall of the great American touring ice shows and one man’s quest to save the history, available on Netflix and Amazon. Her short film, 'Steel // Spirit' premiered at MSPIFF and won certificate of excellence in India. Her award-winning books include Love in the 90s; BB and Jo, The Story of a Lifelong Love, A Granddaughter’s Portrait (Warner Books, 1995); Faeries; Visions, Voices & Pretty Dresses (Aperture, 2000); Saving Body & Soul, The Mission of Mary Jo Copeland (WaterBrook, 2004). The recipient of a Jerome and Minnesota State Arts Board grants, three McKnight Foundation Photography fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts award, and a Bush Foundation Fellow, Pickett’s work is in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.