Most monasteries and chortens now have a separate side room for burning the butterlamps, to decrease the risk of fire. Nevertheless, the other week I was at a small hilltop hermitage where there were butterlamps burning at the alter and a cat was weaving in and out of the offerings, butter sculptures, incense and all…. possibly looking for a mouse, but dangerously close of knocking everything over…..now i understand how these monastery fires get started, curious cats!


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