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Buddhists Search for Bliss in Remote Tibetan Plateau

The Bliss Dharma Assembly takes place in the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar and marks Buddha's descent from the heavens.

. Tibetan prayer flags, known as Lung-ta, flutter on a hillside above the Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute on Oct. 30, 2015 in the Larung Valley of Sertar county, in the remote Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, China.

Located high in the mountains of Sichuan, the Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute was founded in 1980 by an influential lama of the Nyingma sect and is widely regarded as the world's largest and most influential center for Tibetan Buddhist studies. The school is home to thousands of monks and nuns and is popular for followers from all over the Tibetan areas and other parts of China.

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. Tibetan Buddhist nuns conclude a chanting session as part of the annual Bliss Dharma Assembly on Oct. 30.

The last of four annual assemblies, the weeklong annual gathering takes place in the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar and marks Buddha's descent from the heavens.

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. A Tibetan Buddhist nomad prostrates at a monastery on Oct. 30.

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. Nomads wave khatas as they pray during a morning chanting session on Oct. 30.

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. Tibetan Buddhist nomads listen during a prayer session on Nov. 1.

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. A man rushes past a large prayer wheel on Oct. 30.

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. Monks pray during a chanting session on Oct. 30.

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. Tibetan Buddhist monks make deities from barley to be used during the annual Bliss Dharma Assembly on Oct. 31.

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. A monk prays with lay people on a hillside during a morning chanting session on Oct. 30.

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. Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns make tea from yak butter and milk before a morning chanting session on Oct. 31.

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. People visit a shrine filled with fake skulls at the sky burial site near the Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute on Oct. 31.

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. Monks pray during a chanting session on Oct. 30.

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. Two men carry the body of a relative as they circumambulate a monastery before a sky burial on Oct. 30. In a traditional sky burial, vultures consume the bodies of the dead.

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. A Tibetan Buddhist woman prostrates at a monastery on Nov. 1.

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. Nuns prepare butter lamps on Oct. 31.

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. A young girl walks through smoke from juniper burned as a blessing on her way to a morning chanting session on Oct. 31.

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. A nomad woman prepares tea at dusk following a chanting session on Oct. 31.

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. Tibetan Buddhist monks, nuns and lay-people walk home from a chanting session on Oct. 30.

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. Tibetan Buddhist nomads leave following a chanting session on Oct. 31.

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. A Tibetan Buddhist nomad child stands in the hillside on Oct. 30.

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. Nomads cook and stay warm by candlelight at dusk on Oct. 31.

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. A Tibetan Buddhist nomad spins a prayer wheel, or mani khor-lo, as he sits on a hillside on Oct. 30.

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. Vultures that are used to consume the bodies of the dead fly over the crowd during a funeral near the Larung Wuming Buddhist Institute on Nov. 1.

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