A group of elderly people sit on folding chairs, gazing upon a painting of a golden Buddha sitting in smiling repose. They listen as a museum docent tells the life story of Siddhartha Gautauma, and his journey from sheltered prince to radical ascetic. After the docent recounts the splendor and decadence within the walls of the palace of Siddhartha’s father, he poses a rhetorical question to the crowd: “So what would you do if your life was like the first half of the Buddha’s––that is, if you had anything and everything you wanted, but were confined to one place for the rest of your life?”

Read more: