Travel

  • Organic architecture in Ladakh, India Paid Member

    The monastery photo from yesterday’s blog post on Bhutan made me think back on my trip through Ladakh, India a couple of years ago. I went with a friend who was involved with Himalayan Health Exchange, a health care service program that works in medically under-served Himalayan communities. I was so moved by the architecture in Ladakh—it felt so organic, in harmony with the landscape. Here’s a couple photos from that trip and some journal scribbling. Behind the main range of the Himalaya in northwest India, secluded in the south of Ladakh, the mountains of Zangskar rest on a morning blue backdrop. I’m walking through a wide river valley with massive dry, brown peaks calling my attention. The open sky and jagged rock mountains fit together perfectly. When will I be perfect? More »
  • Tricycle's 2011 Pilgrimages to India Paid Member

    ANCIENT BUDDHIST MONASTERIES OF INDIA and IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BUDDHA More »
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    Bhutan, Gross National Happiness (GNH), and the Drukpa Lineage Paid Member

    By now it's a familiar story: the kingdom of Bhutan—which has has become (in the Western romantic imagination) the new Shangri-La, replacing Tibet—does not measure its success in GNP or GDP, but rather in GNH: Gross National Happiness. The term was coined in 1972 by then-king, Jigme Singye Wangchuk. GNH is derived from the following seven indicators: Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts. Bhutan recently assumed the chairmanship of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) and the country's Prime Minister (Bhutan's first ever) used the opportunity to tell other nations about Bhutan's use of GNH, and urge them to cast aside the usual crasser, more materialistic measures and give it a shot. (The Sri Lankan journalist Sirohmi Gunesekera took it to heart.) More »
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    Tibetan Nomad photos by Alison Wright Paid Member

    The New York Times features a photo essay by—and interview with—photographer Alison Wright. Q: Why were you attracted to the Tibetan nomads? More »
  • Want to go to China for free? Paid Member

    ...Then follow Himalayan Art Resource's director Jeff Watt as he blogs his way through the Middle Kingdom! Read his daily reports from China's museums, universities and Buddhist temples. From his April 3rd blog post, Yesterday morning we left early to travel to the Dazu Grotto. The Sichuan University provided a car and driver for our use. The grottoes are about 300 kilometers north of Chengdu. Dazu is the name of the city/town closest to the different stone carving grotto sites. Dazu means big foot, or big feet. The plural is not made clear in Chinese for this place name. We ate lunch in the town prior to going to the site which I later learned was actually multiple sites. More »
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    Tricycle Pilgrimage to Bhutan Paid Member

    Tricycle Pilgrimage to Bhutan Tricycle Foundation is pleased to announce its first annual pilgrimage to Bhutan, beginning in Bangkok on February 24 through March 8, 2010.  A maximum of 20 pilgrims accompanied by leading Bhutanese Buddhist teachers will attend a traditional dance festival; visit temples and monasteries where Guru Rinpoche and other Buddhist saints meditated; witness the winter gathering of the endangered Black Necked Crane; and meet dynamic government and non-profit leaders. The $5,000 fee includes a $1,000 tax-deductible donation to Tricycle Foundation and covers all expenses including airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan, visas, board and room, transport, guides, and entrance fees. More »