Pilgrim prostrating

Tibet in the 1930s: Theos Bernard's Legacy at UC Berkeley

Pilgrim prostrating

This pilgrim is circumambulating a religious site in the auspicious (clockwise) direction by prostrating, thereby increasing the amount of merit earned by his practice and purifying himself. The devotee begins in a standing position and touches his hands in the “lotus bud” position to the crown of his head, his throat, and his heart. He then crouches and slides into a full prostration, using wooden or leather hand protectors to smooth out this movement. He then stands back up and takes one step forward before repeating the sequence. Serious practitioners often have a thick callus in the middle of their foreheads from repeatedly touching their heads to the ground.