Archive for free tibet

Radiance

Posted in Chiaroscuro with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2009 by designldg

Radiance

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This is a portrait of Karma Topchen, a Tibetan monk staying at the Tibetan temple which is located in Sarnath where I like to come often.
It is nearby Varanasi (Benaras) next to a deer park (Sarnath in Sanskrit) and it is where the Buddha set in motion the Wheel of Dharma by delivering his first sermon to the group of five companions with whom he had previously sought enlightenment.
I was leaving the temple when he came on a bicycle, it was before sunset and the light was perfect enhancing the colour saffron of his garment.
His smile was a peaceful demonstration of happiness and serinity, I took several pictures which I have been mailing him.
He answered me that he liked them.
I believe that it is a blessing to be able to meet people carrying such a radiant energy as it is capable of being transmitted to those who accept to receive it…

“Om Mani Padme Hum”.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG_lNuNUVd4

The Abode of Snow

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2009 by designldg

The Abode of Snow

 

“The good shine from afar Like the snowy Himalayas. The bad don’t appear Even when near, Like arrows shot into the night.” (Buddha – Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.) This is a view of the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas very early in the morning. For those who know me it might be funny to know that I took this picture from the plane which was taking me from Delhi to Leh in Ladakh, as I have a strong flight phobia since I am a child… The word "Himalaya" means "home (or abode) of snow", it comes from Sanskrit hima "snow" and alaya "abode". Sanskrit himá "frost, snow" is also cognate to Latin hiems "winter" from PIE (Proto-Indo-European language) ghyem-. As words, the expression "Himalaya Range" is therefore similar to the Spanish-based mountain range called the Sierra Nevada. Everything is so connected…

The Wheel of Dharma

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by designldg

The Wheel of Dharma

 

This is a close-up of a Tibetan prayer wheel made of metal and wood which is in Sheh palace, in Ladakh.
Here in the Himalayan hills, people believe that according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, spinning such a wheel will have much the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the prayers.

The most commonly used mantra in prayer wheels is Om Mani Padme Hum.
This mantra is the resonant vibration that helps tune a human being toward enlightenment energies.

The earliest recorded prayer wheels was written by a Chinese pilgrim around 400 CE. in Ladakh.
The concept of the prayer wheel is a physical manifestation of the phrase “turning the wheel of Dharma,” which describes the way in which the Buddha taught.

The Real Magicians

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by designldg

 

The Real Magicians

 

“We are the real magicians
For in actual fact nothing exists.
Pleasure and pain are created by attraction and aversion,
Grasping attractions magically creates things,
And if we analyze this thoroughly,
We can’t be certain that even we exist”.
(from My Crazy Tale, An Autobiographical Poem by H.H. the XIIth Gyalwang Drukpa)

Those Tibetan Buddhist monks were coming back from a ceremony that they had to perform in the hills.
I took this picture as they were entering the courtyard of Hemis Gompa, a monastery located in the Ladakh region of the Western Himalayas, at an altitude of 12,000 feet making it one of the highest settlements of the world.

The Valley of Stupas

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by designldg

The Valley of Stupas

 

“You don’t need to visualize the Lama,
For he is inseparable from you;
You don’t need to remember anything,
For he is always in your heart.”
(from My Crazy Tale, An Autobiographical Poem by H.H. the XIIth Gyalwang Drukpa)

This valley of stupas is on the way to Stok palace, the current residence of the royal family of Ladakh.
This amazing Hiamalyan landscape is a poetry of nature following the Indus river through stony hills.

The Liberated Dimension

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2009 by designldg

The Liberated Dimension

 

“A HO!
The mind is the door to everything:
Free from the net of errant duality
The primordially liberated dimension –
To this, the ultimate Lama
I sincerely pay homage”. 
(from My Crazy Tale, An Autobiographical Poem by H.H. the XIIth Gyalwang Drukpa)

Around seven o’clock in the morning, just after a long sunrise I took this picture thinking that there was something there which was reminding me New Mexcio.
Maybe it was because of the contrasted colours, or because of this amazing crystal light in the sky or simply because of the style of Thiksey Gompa, a secluded Tibetan monastery in the Ladakhi Himalayan hills.

Teacher of the Snowy Realms

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2009 by designldg

Teacher of the Snowy Realms

 

“To the great teachers of the snowy realms
And emanations of former times,
To their play of knowledge and compassion,
Like the dancing reflection of the moon in water,
I pay homage”.
(from My Crazy Tale, An Autobiographical Poem by H.H. the XIIth Gyalwang Drukpa)

It was almost seven o’clock in the morning when I took this picture at Thiksey Gompa, a Tibetan monastery in the Ladakhi Himalayan hills.
This Buddhist monk was leaving a temple, a few meters further he met a group of kids and they went together to a classroom.

Along the Silk Route

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2009 by designldg

Along the Silk Route

 

This was shot at sunset from the main door of the ancient palace in Leh, the capital of Ladakh in the Himalayan hills.
This palace was modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet) and is the highest building in the world of his own times.

Leh has for centuries been an important stopover on trade routes along the Indus Valley between Tibet to the east, Kashmir to the west and also between India and China. 
The main goods carried were salt, grain, pashm or cashmere wool, charas (cannabis resin) from the Tarim Basin, indigo, silk yarn and Banaras brocade.

Dwelling Minds Forever

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2009 by designldg

Dwelling Minds Forever

 

While climbing to Sheh Palace I saw those stupas on my left facing the Himalayan hills of Ladakh.

The Tibetan word for Stupa is Chorten (མཆོད་རྟེན༏), which means “the basis of offering”.
A stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, once thought to be places of Buddhist worship, typically the remains of a Buddha or saint.
Fundamentally, a stupa is essentially made up of the following five constituent parts: a square base, a hemispherical dome, a conical spire, a crescent moon, a circular disc
Each component is rich in metaphoric content. 
For example, “the shape of the stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and sitting in meditation posture on a lion throne. 
The components of the stupa are also identified with the five elements – earth, water, fire, air, and space – held to constitute the fabric of manifest existence.

“When a great teacher passes away, his body is no more, but to indicate that his mind is dwelling forever in an unchanging way in the dharmakaya, one will erect a stupa as a symbol of the mind of the buddhas”
( HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche)

The Land of High Passes

Posted in Ladakh, the "land of high passes" with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2009 by designldg

The Land of High Passes

 

This picture was shot after crossing the third-highest pass in the world, the Changla pass which is at 5,425 m (17,800 ft).
It is a historically important route for travellers journeying from Ladakh to Lhasa in Tibet.
This pass is at the border between India and China, on the Tibetan Plateau (Changthang plateau), where it is only possible to come from May to September because of the snow.

The Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary (or the Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary) varies from 14000 to 19000 feet, and the topography is formed of deep gorges and vast plateaus. 
There are around 11 lakes and 10 marshes, and the majestic River Indus dances through the sanctuary, dividing it into two parts.
This land of silence belongs to wild yaks, changthangi (pashmina goat), Kiang (Tibetan Wild Ass) and marmots among many other species.

Changthang means Northern Plateau in Tibetan and Ladakh means “land of high passes”.