Thursday, 22 October 2009

Heading Down the Mountains...

This is mainly a picture addendum as I prepare to leave Leh tomorrow. I am flying - all going to plan -(via Delhi) to Dharamsala - a little lower down (hopefully a bit warmer) and a lot wetter than Leh. With characteristic timing, I just miss the teachings of the Dalai Lama. However, the day after I arrive, I will be starting an introduction to Tibetan Buddhist meditation. I hadn't particularly meant to explore the Buddhist path, but as at the moment it seems much more accessible than the yogic, I thought I'd start with what was in front of me. I will be incommunicado during the time of the course - so until November 2nd. So if anyone is worried about not hearing from me, no, I have not been abducted by aliens.

Here is a part of Likir Gompa, the monastery that looks after the ancient paintings at Alchi I mentioned in my last post.

And next to it is its fairly new and very impressive Buddha:

And here is the view from the hotel terrace on a nice sunny morning...

and then about a week later in the snow.

Here I am outside Leh Palace, preparing to go in...

and later outside the monastery above it, while the French film-maker interviewed me:

A final thought to leave you with: perhaps my most memorable experience at Stok Palace (where the Ladakhi royal family stays when not in Delhi) was not the view of the Indus and the mountains, nor the artwork, nor the architecture, nor even the thing made of a human femur (it's very hard to argue, after such exhibits, that Tantra isn't all sex and skulls). No, it was the toilet. I've used compost toilets before, but here it really looked as though the hole went down about twenty metres. I overcame my fear of falling down it (I was quite desperate) by reminding myself that this is how medieval nobility in draughty European palaces once did it. But I don't envy the Ladakhi royal family their palace - nicely decorated but hardly comfortable

Hopefully the Tibetan Buddhists will turn my thoughts to more enlightened avenues.

I will end with a detail of Spitok Gompa, almost most impressive for its view of the airport. I watched a plane take off and it really looked like it was heading straight for the mountains (that'll be me tomorrow) but somehow just nosed over the top of them.

As ever, from Lucy, with love, xx

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lucy!

    You sound like you are having a fantastic time and learning a lot! What a great journey you are on.
    Take care
    Lisa xx