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Windows And Clouds, Thiksey, Ladakh
Windows And Clouds, Thiksey, Ladakh

Thomas
Allen
Bethune
Fine Art Photography

Ladakh Meditation

Warm Welcome, Thiksey Monastery
Warm Welcome, Thiksey Monastery

In July 2008 I visited Ladakh in northern India. The family of Thupten Sopa, a former Buddhist monk, invited me. He is married now to a wonderful lady named Lamo. They have a daughter named Tenzin Angmo. My wife and I have supported Tenzin Angmo's education since she began school six years ago. My main purpose of the trip was to get to know the family. I wanted to experience the culture, and see the Himalaya Mountains. I stayed in their home for three weeks. Thupten served as my guide, and took me to more than a dozen monasteries.

Elder Monk,Thiksey Monastery
Elder Monk,Thiksey Monastery

Backward Look,Thiksey Monastery
Backward Glance,Thiksey Monastery
Smiling Monk, Thiksey Monastery
Smiling Monk, Thiksey Monastery
Morning Songs, Thiksey Monastery
Morning Songs, Thiksey Monastery
Youthful Monk, Llikir Monastery
Youthful Monk, Llikir Monastery 01

I came away from Ladakh with what I went to find. I also found some things that I did not - I found the unexpected. I know now that I was on a spiritual quest or a pilgrimage. I received knowledge, wisdom, blessings, love, knowingness and the gift of presence. I was gifted, too, with an exposure to the essence of Buddhism.

Door, Thiksey
Door, Thiksey
Prayer Shawls, Thiksey
Prayer Shawls, Thiksey

Most of what I received, and am still receiving, came in the form of the unspoken. It came, also, in the form of the unseen, but at times I was in the right place and at the right time to be able to “capture” some of the essence of these experiences with my camera.

Windows With Stains, Thiksey
Window with Stains, Thiksey
Red Truck, Ladakh, 2008
Red Truck, Ladakh, 2008

I stayed at Thiksey Monastery for two days. During that time I was mostly on my own. I experienced a very deep level of presence. I lost my tourist’s eyes, and became very aware. I sat with monks as they chanted. My eyes were treated with the face-to-face statues and images of the Buddha. Somehow the sensory wash of sight, sound and silence opened me to Spirit in ways that I cannot explain. I feel that these photographs reveal some of what I learned.

Hobbled
Hobbled

I did not go to Ladakh to take photographs. The photographs were presented to me to share with you. I believe that the people, the land and the religion of Ladakh are mirrors of what was once Tibet. I trust that these images convey a part of that essence.

~ Thomas Allen Bethune

Shrine at Diskit Nubra Valley
Shrine at Diskit, Nubra Valley
Stupa, Likir Monastery
Stupa, Likir Monastery
The Buddha's Hands, Thiksey
The Buddha's Hands, Thiksey
The Buddha's Feet, Thiksey
The Buddha's Feet, Thiksey

Printed with archival inks
In 24"x 32" frames, $450; $350 matted (unframed).
In 20"x 26" frames, $400; $325 matted (unframed).
In 18"x 24" frames, $300; $225 matted (unframed).
In 16"x 20" frames, $225; $175 matted (unframed).

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