Ngari Institute Foundation

Birgitte’s Blog Entry

Written by:
Geshe Tsewang Dorje

In August 2019 – I jumped on my wishful journey to the Kingdom of Ladakh. Inspired by an inner voice that got answered over a cup of tea on my terrace in Santa Barbara by Geshe Tsewang Dorje’s who from a blue sky paid me a visit and told me he was from Ladakh and suggested for me to meet with Khen Rinpoche Lobzang Tsetan from Ladakh, who was paying some friends a visit not far from me. Two hours wonderful talk about education with Khen Rinpoche, and there was no doubt in my mind I had to find my way to Ladakh.

The following year I get a call from Bibi at UC Irvine (UCI) who together with her husband Jangchup take care of 4 yearly students coming from The Tibetan Monasteries in India as exchange students to UCI, asking if I will host them for a lunch. Would I?

Khen Rinpoche Lobzang Tsetan arrived as a surprise and he brought me a beautiful Green Tara Thangka.

Another year went by and it was time for 4 new students to arrive. This time I asked if they would consider doing a ceremony. The answer was yes. The Gallery in my house got opened to the most beautiful ceremony celebrating The Medicine Buddha with their deep chanting voices, and in the afternoon, they performed the dance of Mahakala to the Tibetan instruments.

Medicine Buddha’s ceremony

What a beautiful and educational experience. Ngawang one of the students from Ladakh said with a big smile at breakfast “I will arrange your trip to Ladakh!” A four-year old wish was answered. And Jangchup stepped in and said, “I will like to carry your luggage.” Could I ask for more?

With a weak heart and 14,000 feet height I didn’t find it to be a good idea to tell my doctor, so I said to myself if I don’t return – where better to die?

The journey was settled, and I got the most wonderful friend, and knowledgeable guide in Jangchup to join me on this adventurer trip.

Arriving after a long trip at Saboo Ladakh we were met with wonderful smiles and children waiting to greet us at Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, where we were to stay at their guesthouse.

Arriving at Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Saboo Village, Ladakh

We got each a wonderful room overlooking the Himalayan Mountains.

View of the Himalaya from my room

I felt at home. The harmony, the peace, the smiles, and the kindness – everybody just living the words: “I AM that I AM” authentic warmth from their hearts was embracing us.

Not traveling as a tourist but just to absorb and learn from their culture, I didn’t travel around to many Monasteries, but those I went to lifted my spirit. And to hear the children chanting from the memorized studies was beautiful. Learn to memorize it enters deeply in the souls and it does not just stay at the top of the heads as it does when it is read from books and computers and never lived.

A couple of days later I got up in the morning not feeling that good – Lama Kunsang took my blood pressure 228 – so they drove me to the hospital – they examined my heart, it was okay, so I said to the woman doctor: ”I am a little concerned for my head” “I would be too” was her answer so they gave me a bed and got me back in a good shape. Many because of the height are coming and going in and out of the hospital. After five hours of a great treatment I left the hospital, but I lost the special chanting at the Hemis Monastery to the honor of the Medicine Buddha. Lama Yeshi who was with me at the hospital said: “How better could it be the chanting was about Medicine Buddha to cure you, you don’t need to be present to have the effect.”

 

With Lama Yeshi at the Ladakh Hospital

Since then I had no problem with the height. The cure was the love, caring and compassion I felt from all the people around me, and not least the laughter.

A Sunday morning, we went for the chanting at Thiksey Monastery. We were early so we went around from room to room after having climbed the high steps to the top of the mountain, honestly rather tough for me, but worth doing. We stepped into the cave where he Dharma Protector Mahakala’s huge statue was placed. In the corner of the room was sitting a monk with a music instrument. Lama Yeshi asked him to perform the mantra of Mahakala, wow the “roof lifted”. It was amazing and very strong. From there we went into the room representing Green Tara, here Lama Yeshi, Ngawang, and Lama Kunsang sat down on the floor in front of Green Tara and did her Mantras, no tourists stepped in to disturb us.

Thiksey Monastery, Ladakh

 

Green Tara’s prayer at Thiksey Monastery

Now it was time to enter the big main hall. To listen to 52 monks chanting was amazing it lifted my soul, and Lama Yeshi was so nice to arrange for them all to finish it up with a special chanting for Green Tara. It was as if I rounded off the visit in my gallery with the visit in Ladakh powerful.

Green Tara Chanting in the main hall of Thiskey Monastery

 

Beautiful people – great architecture – and a strong nature – maybe one of the last little pockets we have on Earth that has all the good values – respect – harmony – peace and joy – they walk as they talk the Bodhisattvas way of Life. Please let’s help them to preserve this highly educated culture with its values we have lost. I did not see one child with a mobile phone or IPhone, unusual for even indigenous peoples in our world of today. How refreshing and protected they are from brain washing and manipulation from our greedy world. And how valuable for us they still exist and live the Bodhisattvas way.

I returned filled with love in my heart dancing on the clouds, and with gratitude to all the people I met at Ladakh. Thank you. I hope to return soon.