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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Part One: Points of Departure

Never can say good-bye: I'm dragging out the last three weeks in India because, well, just because.

The sad thing about this post is that I actually had begun it on April 5. However, I lost the content when I tried to set a link to a photograph. I'm not going to try to recreate the content, though. It's best to simply start fresh and the beauty of blogs is that they are pretty extemporaneous.

I've been back in the states about a week and a half and feel pretty strongly that I'm still traveling. I'm staying at my sister's for a month, maybe two, but recognize that for what I want to do, a return up east is in order for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is ease of re-establishing myself, networking and overall familiarity with the area will go a long way to funding my return to India.

In the meantime, Houston is not without resources and its odd vitality. There's a Bon center nearby, as well as what appears to be a couple of pretty healthy Buddhist communities (a few, really). Additionally, I suspect I can dig up something worthwhile to do; it is, after all, the country's fourth largest city and there's always opportunity for making oneself useful.

My original draft was much more political; but I think I'll save that for later. By way of closure, I am posting a bunch of photos from the last three weeks or so in McLeod Ganj.

The Norbulingka Institute was set up to preserve and promote traditional Tibetan arts and handicrafts. Dorjee, Dolma, Palden and Dolma's sister-in-law Tashi Yangzom and I took a day to head down and explore....and eat...and for me, shop for souvenirs for family and friends.

It's an exquisite place and Dorjee and I both agreed that spending a day there would done well spent. There is a meditation hall, exhibits and like the original Norbulingka, a contemplative park in which to stroll and reflect.


There was a shrine that once inside the gate contains mani stones, tsa-tsas and images.



This is a view across the park of one of the main exhibit halls.









This was a tsa-tsa of Yamantaka. Above is Chenrezig among a nest of manis.








Inside the meditation hall, the gentleman with his back to the camera is Tenzin Dorjee. I should point put that Dorjee passed along some photos he took of your humble narrator and the family later in our perambulations for me, this is a huge honor because in my eyes, he's one of the best photographers around. He graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology, was perhaps the youngest official photographer for the Tibetan Government in Exile, has won his share of awards, had worked published in Time, Aperture, Magnum, etc. You can - and very much should - check out his work here:

Lunch was a pretty eclectic and as usual, spirited time. The restaurant was out of a fair number of items, but that didn't stop us from having a good time.


Tashi-la checks her messages. The peace sign belongs to...

The very talented Miss Palden!

We finished lunch and began the walk back to the car. A fine drizzle kept us cool...and perhaps a little damp.


Photo: Tenzin Dorjee

I really don't mind getting wet! It's just kind of a drag when you have merch in danger of getting soaked.

Part Two: Road trip to Bir


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