Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Wow, the past 2 weeks since the Vipassana retreat have gone in a sort of twilight zone. I did so much in the previous 2 months, I could hardly do anything these past few days. I decided to give myself a few "slop days."
The Dalai Lama left for his dates in Kinnaur, and then, America (he will be there twice this year) on Saturday morning. He'll be back in the Big D on May 15, and will give teachings on the 19th for a few days.
People complain about the heat here now, but that is a joke. It's nothing! Highs are in the high 70s F or so. That is positively chilly compared to all the Aprils I sweated in the south, or even right now in Rishikesh.
The Panchen Lama's birthday observation was weird. It was so decentralized here in Dharamsala, which is where I figured it would be most together. There were speeches at the Temple, all in Tibetan. No media were invited. There was a conference down at the government offices; again, no public invites. Far too much stuff around here seems to be preaching to the choir.
There was a "marathon" which seemed a strangely appropriate metaphor. Lots of Tibetan, and a few western, young people ran laps around the town, supposedly in honour of the Panchen Lama. What did it mean? Did they have sponsors and collect money as marathons usually do? Did they even tell the media? If not, what was the point of such an event? Running around in circles - the metaphor was all too obvious.
Delhi, London, Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Bhopal and other cities seem to have been much more active in their observation. And of course, there's the brave kids who got arrested in "Chinese" Mt Everest - the first of what I hope will be many protests of the Beijing Olympics (I don't want a boycott; I want people to use the opportunity to speak up).
I have been working hard lately on the 50 Million Missing project - we now have over 225 members and over 1000 photos. But that means a lot of screen-time and I am fried. Here are a few more photos from the past weeks. Enjoy....
Oh, and I managed to put a few videos (of the hundreds I have) up on my YouTube site.
It just takes so darn long for them to upload!
Oh crap, the net place is closing now. If you want to see more photos, go to my Flickr.com page.
Temple-Hopping in Southeast Asia - The wealth of beautiful sights and fascinating histories supplied by the temples of Southeast Asia will be enough to dazzle even the most seasoned traveler...
15 hours ago