(a 1-foot tall iridescent goddess in the cave greets you as you enter)

Marble Mountain, about 6 miles south of Da Nang, is a Buddhist cave complex. It is full of nooks and crannies, small shrines, magical light, musty damp smells, incense and sacred energy. D and I took "xe oms," motorbike taxis to get there -- a swell drive along the beach. The coastal air and heat reminded me so much of a summer's day in Santa Barbara . . . Weird to be on the other side of the world with the exact weather conditions of mid-August, memories as a teenager spent lazily working on my tan on the shores of the Pacific Ocean swirling by.

(a small shrine glimmers in dappled light)

One of my favorite parts of being in a Buddhist or Chinese Temple is all the tiny altars people create along with their prayers. A variety of items -- fruit, papers, incense, flowers, candles, photos, and figurines -- are placed ever-so-carefully into a tender arrangement. The conglomeration of stuff is so purposeful, humble and beautiful. It always inspires me to arrange my own items, even if they are just travel things (suitcase, pajamas, snacks), with a little more care.

(the 'lucky buddha' stands alone in a large cave -- he was about 12 feet tall and very peaceful)

The Lucky Buddha was really big and special. He stood grounded in the damp and mossy cave, although his presence was very cosmic and other-worldly. The whole place and climbing through the caves and taking in the sea-views was just superb -- a must if passing through Central Vietnam.


  1. move over other photographers...these pix are beautiful. CR

  2. I've just been inspired to meditate--daily. SO beautiful!