How We Pray

I am interested in all the different ways people around the world show their devotion and connect with their faith.

Throughout the city of Varanasi, India, circles of women like this gather every morning to pray. These women come at 4:30 am and pray until 7 am each day.Woman in morning prayer circle.  Varanasi, IndiaChildren praying before their Sunday dinner.  Varanasi, IndiaThe Ganges River is believed to be liquid God. Praying in the river erases your sins.Sacred masked dance dramas are performed annually at festivals and help preserve ancient religious customs and folk stories.    Punaka Dzong, Bhutan Man peeking through his mask during a sacred dance.  BhutanPrayer flags overlooking the Himalayas.  It is believed that the prayers written on the flags are carried by the wind to bring benefit to all.  Dochu La Pass, Bhutan.Prayer flags in a valley in Bhutan.An ovoo is a pile of rocks, a shamanistic cairn, usually on a mountain pass or significant location.  One circles the ovoo 3 times clockwise, leaving an offering each time. Common offerings might be a rock, a piece of chocolate, or a blue silk prayer scarf.The refugee Tibetan nuns of Dolma Ling nunnery in Dharamsala, India, have lit a thousand butter lamps in prayer for our loved ones.Hindu woman praying at dawn on the banks of the Ganges River in Varanasi, India.  Perhaps later she will socialize with friends, have a bath or do a little laundry.This monk in Jaisalmir, India is collecting donations and guarding the shrine in his temple.Praying in a small mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.The Mary Chapel in the cathedral of St. James in Seattle, WA.