Geshe and the Phukthar Monastery


I cannot believe that 7 years have passed since “The Phukthar Monastery” was published.  That being said, then it must be 8 years since I found myself walking towards that extraordinary edifice sitting precariously on the side of the mountain.  I will never forget the image of the young monks running towards me dressed in their red and saffron robes, hats askew, with little ones trailing behind.  I almost felt that they dressed up because they knew that visitors were coming. Obviously not the case since there was no possible communication between the monastery and the helicopter and the pilot had only been there once before.

It was only on close inspection that you could see the holes in the clothing, the hand me down shoes that were too big for small feet and the not so warm layers that covered their little bodies.  The runny noses were everywhere and the hacking coughs stayed with me throughout my visit.

Early on, I was very lucky to have found the lama who would help me buy, transport and deliver the necessities to the monastery.  His name is Geshe Ngawang Tenzin.

In June when the snow has melted and the passes in the Himalayas are open, he travels by bus, walks miles with the horsemen and horses packed with goods through precarious routes and finally delivers to the monastery… only to return back to Manali before winter begins.

Since March of 2005 to the present, I can happily say that the sale of my book and the few events that I was able to muster have helped dress, shod, feed and medicate about 170 inhabitants of the monastery.  Apart from the clothing, dried food and Tibetan medicines, they now have a solar panel for electricity and new pots and pans for their kitchen.

One year, Geshe participated in the teachings of His Holiness in Dharmasala, India.  Realizing how lucky he was, he asked me if it would be possible to put money towards a monitor so that the monks at the monastery could see His Holiness and hear his teachings on DVD?  (I love the photos of Geshe trying to work the equipment while they all wait patiently).

At the end of every year, I receive a letter with receipts and photographs of what has been bought and how much has been spent.  (Check out the blogs and photos on the Phukthar Monastery Website)

And so this Thanksgiving…I am so grateful for all the support that many of you have given me by buying my books and so thankful that I can continue to…Pay it Forward.

For more information or to Pay it Forward, visit and check out the video of Phukthar Monastery.

~ by latanaphotography on November 24, 2010.

One Response to “Geshe and the Phukthar Monastery”

  1. How can he not be grinning from ear to ear he’s looking at you !!!

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