Friday, April 12, 2013

The Office of H.H. Holiness Chetsang has asked me to create “The Renascence of the Drikung Kagyu.”

Dear Sangha friends,

As you know, since 2007, I have been documenting through photos as many activities of the Drikung Kagyu as I have been able to attend. It started as my offering for the kind support I received at the Tibetan Meditation Center in Frederick when I was going through chemotherapy. Andrew Harkavy, my caring husband, who supports my vows and this project, and some friends in the Sangha, on and off supported my work, making the travels possible throughout the years.
I soon learned that many people who could not attend and even many of the ones who attended felt the benefit of having available to them the complete sets of photo essays covering the events. Thank-you emails arrived from people who follow my trips every time there is a posting announcing new photos. They were also amazed to find out how much was going on in the various Drikung monasteries, nunneries and centers around the world.

Through my picture taking I became aware of the expansion and growth of the Drikung Kagyu since I met His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche in 1987. From a handful of projects – a vision to build and reconstruct in exile after the damage caused by the so-called Cultural Revolution, the Drikung Kagyu went on to become one of the most successful Tibetan Buddhist Lineages in the world. Under His Holiness’ leadership and in many cases direct initiative, many projects have been completed, reconstructions happened and are still happening, and the Drikung Kagyu is spread around the world. Teachings and pujas are now attended hundreds, and in many cases thousands of people. Many people have completed three-year retreats bringing to the west a very important tradition in the path of realization.

The Renaissance of the Drikung Kagyu 

It is this history that I want to tell with a photo-essay book, called The Renaissance of the Drikung Kagyu.  My arrangement with the Private Office of His Holiness is that His Holiness will publish the book in India in a numbered, limited, signed edition, and pay for all my expenses while I am in India, On my end, I have to fundraise for travel outside India.
For example, His Holiness’ office has arranged for me to visit Ladakh in July to attend the Snake Year Teachings, traditionally held every 12 years. Thousands are expected to attend the main program at Phyang Monastery. During that period, I will also travel with His Holiness to the some of the oldest and remotest Drikung monasteries of the region. My photos will document all of this. After Ladakh, I will go return to Dehradun to work on the project and later I will be in Lumbini as well. 

How you can help

I am asking you my friends, that after benefiting for many years from the thousands of pictures I have made freely available to all on Flickr and Facebook that you please contribute to this the travel funds that are needed for the rest of this project.

To complete this project in a timely manner, we anticipate that I will need to make: Three trips to India; one to Europe (this Fall) to visit the centers there as well as to Taiwan and Southeast Asia. For this summer’s trip to Ladakh (the first of the three trips to India), I am taking one assistant with me given the strenuous conditions. I also need a few small pieces of equipment. Andrew has provided the great majority of equipment, cameras, tripods and software over the years as well as “In-Design” software for the book. I am asking you to join me in this effort for the benefit of all beings and of our lineage. His Holiness and his sister Namgyal-la think it can bring many benefit to all and be an important resource for the Lineage.

Attached to this email is the agreement I have signed with His Holiness’ Private Office recently in Dehradun. I am sure many of you will contribute to this effort and will want to have this book with you and in our centers and monasteries. May all beings benefit and may you and yours be well and happy.

Checks can be made to

Angela Harkavy
1926 West Beaver Lake Drive SE
Sammamish, WA 98075

Ani Chime
Angela O Harkavy

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