Appointed the Official Rinpoche Photographer

Boy monk – Gompa Soma

Boy Reincarnated Lama

Rinpoche Entrance

Buddhist Men at Gompa Soma

Ceremonial Tea

Gompa Dog

Monks at Gompa Soma

Gompa Soma

Rinpoche Lam Rim Teaching

Rinpoche Greeting

Woman at Gompa Soma

Woman Prostrating

I finally ventured outside of the relaxing confines of my hotel today, into the noise & bedlam that is Leh. It reminds me so much of Kathmandu when I visited there a few decades ago. Still pondering why some Westerners like to dress in hippy (colourful & ridiculously unfashionable) clothing when none of the locals do…..

Anyway, I stumbled upon the Gompa Soma smack bang in the middle of Leh around midday & it was clear there was something going on. A Gompa is where Tibetan Buddhists go to meditate, learn, have ceremonies, & give offerings. I grabbed a seat amongst the attendees sitting outside the Gompa, feeling a mild awkwardness that I was the only Westerner who had immersed myself into the festivity (you never find out if you don’t try), when I noticed a woman looking for a photographer.

Completely out of character for me (think not), I went & introduced myself, threw a few Tibetan Buddhist phrases around, & asked if she needed a photographer. Well, it turns out a very famous Rinpoche (recognised reincarnated Lama) was due to be teaching the Lam Rim at the Gompa in 20-minutes, & they needed someone to take some good photographs. Pick me! Of course I did offer my services, feeling a significant burden of taking the shots required, &  also got the official photographer’s privilege of getting right where the action was – fabulous!

The first to arrive was a little 6-7 y.o. boy, a reincarnated lama, who I barely managed to get a pic of cause he just ran into the Gompa (hence the reason why the pic is out of focus). Then the 80 y.o. Rinpoche arrived & it was devotion all round. You could really feel the wise energy of this man.

Think I managed to capture a couple of good shots too…..


5 responses to “Appointed the Official Rinpoche Photographer

  1. Official photographer for a Rinpoche! That’s the shy one in you coming out for sure. Congrats and thanks for the pics.

    Sounds like Ladakh this time of year is quite different from the dead of winter Ladakh I know. There were only a few tourists besides me when I was there and only me at my guest house.

    India on the other hand has always been an eye opener for me. Amazing! Is the one word that comes to me as I write this. And you never know what will happen around the next corner or cow. Not being a woman, I can’t comment on how it must be. But in all of my travels and speaking with women of all ages who do travel, acting like you know where you are going and being aware of where you are at all times, is good advice. Not a problem for you I am sure! (compliment)

    I look forward to the photos to come. Keep them coming please.

    Thanks Michelle,


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