UNSEEN DHARAMSALA An innovative arts project for Tibetan refugees to describe their lives through photography.
In 1982 I was born into a large family in the Amdo province of Tibet. When I was 10 years old a local lama came to my father and suggested one of his sons become a monk. The same year I joined the monastery. I was trained in many Buddhist rituals such as sand mandalas, butter sculptures, tsampa offerings and religious music. In Tibet I had great faith in Buddha. However I was not really allowed to study Buddhist ideas. I didn't know why or how one becomes a Buddha. I was always using my body but not my mind. I escaped to learn more about Buddhism. Here in Dharamsala under His Holiness the Dalai Lama I learn Buddhist philosophy as well as Tibetan history and language. Now I use my mind. I still use the skills I developed in Tibet to make ritual offerings or play religious horns and drums for my monastery. I am happy with life in exile. I also study English and hope to become fluent so I can teach Buddhism and the real situation of Tibet to those who are curious.