I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following — which I wrote in a travel journal in Dharamshala, India — is from my 2008 trip.

An enormous appliqued tapestry at the Dolma Ling Nunnery, Dharamshala

After the translator’s teaching on emptiness and the lack of inherent existence, I went out into the temple’s courtyard and tied my two clusters of multicolored string to ropes in the foreigner’s section. The ropes hold up tent-like structures here…