Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On the Way to India

Today is the day before leaving for India and Nepal. Tomorrow evening I will be on my way once more. Last time I was there in February, it was for the Long Life Puja for His Holiness Kyabgon Chetsang in Dehra Dun. As many of you know, an idea I had for a book, "The Renaissance of the Drikung Kagyu," became a project in which I am working with His Holiness Chetsang approval ever since I returned home last March.

So much went on since then... the world is changing fast once again with political and social movements all over, including Brazil, my country of origin.
My children, grandchildren, relatives and friends went to the streets to express their disagreement with corruption and abuse of power, requesting a transparent democracy. In China and Tibet, Tibetans continue to self-immolate for freedom, and slight improvement seems to be on its way--news of a Chinese experiment with freedom seem to be happening. In my family a very dear member is having really serious health problems, because of that I am travelling with a tight heart. However, I am confident of her recovery because of the courage and the beautiful heart which are her best qualities.

This journey was made possible by 55 people who generously donated enough money for me to go to India and Nepal. I am deeply grateful to all of you who came forward with your donations in Gofundme. I Will be thinking of all and each one of you everywhere I am going!!
I am going to very high altitudes (14,000feet), visiting old monasteries in Ladakh, then Dehra Dun, Tsopema, and in Nepal Kathmandu and Lumbini. The reason for these visits is to photograph monasteries for the book, interview monks who know well the history of the Drikung Kagyu, its conditions after the cultural revolution, and its recovery after Holiness escaped from China--monks who not only witnessed the process but who are also the heroes of my story. I hope to survive the adaptation to high altitude and am trying to be prepared for it taking with me medications and my cpap machine. Last time I was in India I did not get sick once, but in the end had nose bleeds almost everyday. Some of my friends who are there right now have been sick all the time. I guess I am very careful and follow all the rules, so I have been lucky so far.

In Ladakh I am visiting Phyang Monastery, Tsokarmo, Lama Yuru, and others, Holiness Chetsang will still preside over ceremonies and pujas during the month of July, and I intend to be there. These monasteries are fascinating not only because of their beauty and antiquity but also because of the history they carry--this region used to be know as little Tibet. Phyang Monastery is the subject of a very throughout book, called Phyang Monastery of Ladakh. During the last thousand years it was an integral part of larger Tibet and the culture still reflects this, I am told. For me it will be a glance into Tibetan culture without going there. It is a very fortunate opportunity. I will also see several friends I made when in Nepal and Dehra Dun who are natural from the region. I am hoping to have the energy and strength to see and photograph all I can while I am there, and the fortune to meet and talk to all the relevant people.

In October, the plan is to go to Europe, Russia and Israel to photograph Garchen's events and Drikung Kagyu centers. For that I will need you start funding this part of the project. Please go to Gofundme!!!

May all beings benefit from this effort and the history of heroes and the strength of dharma be told in earnest.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ani Chime, In your visit to Ladakh area, are there any non-monk or non-celibate Buddhists or Lamas practicing yoga? And does it resemble hatha yoga? Kundalini yoga? Tantrayana? Any practicing retreats in caves? Seen any Phowa ceremonies? That would make interesting pictures. Any Bon practitioners? Ride a Yak.
    Thanks for your adventures and pictures,