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Monk Chants

Recorded on August 20, 1995, at the Rinchenpung Monastery. Symbolically Vajrayogini’s naval, the gompa houses a statue of Rang Rig Gyapo - the king of self-awareness and the wrathful emanation of Padmasambhava. The monk chants are an invocation to this meditation deity to protect all sentient beings from the consequences of their own misguided behavior.

95 #127

95 C 14 6a 1995 Tiny Porters on Ridgeline
Close examination shows our vanguard porters, like ants, on the ridgeline in the middle left of the photograph. The ice capped peak on the right is the 25,531 foot Namcha Barwa.


95 #128

95 C 10 197 1995 Kundu
Kundu Dorsempotrang Mountain is easily recognizable by the anvil shaped stone on its summit.


95 #129

95 C 15 132b 1995 tiny Porters TT Hiking
Steep climbs up and steep climbs down. This is hiking in the Himalayas.


95 #130

95 C 16 27 1995 TG Oy Looking Plant
With her keen interest in botany, Oy Kanjanavanit is forever examining trailside plants. We feel that she, Christiaan Kuypers, Chombi & Chimed Gompo are the only expedition members who have our well-being at heart. It is becoming increasingly obvious that Ian Baker and Hamid Sardar have a different agenda they aren't sharing - the one that doesn't include us.


95 #131

95 C 17 9a 1995 Guru Shugstrethang Lake
Guru Shugstrethang Lake - an extremely revered pilgrimage site.


95 #132

95 C 18 20 1995 TG Guru Shugstrethang Lake Porters Circumnambulation
To the porters, theirs is a living landscape.


95 #133

95 C 20 38b 1995 Tiny Porters Leaving Kundu
The climb up to our Kundu Dorsempotrang base camp is severe. Here our lagging group inches its way up to the holy mountain.


95 #134

95 C 21 9b 1995 Lake on Kundu by Kuypers
Kundu Lhatso Lake, “The All Gathering Soul Lake". Photo by: Christiaan Kuypers


95 #135

95 C 23 37b 1995 BW Lake on Kundu by Christiaan
The porters stare at the cliff face in veneration. Photo by: Christiaan Kuypers


95 #136

95 C 24 152 1995 Jolly Lama on KunduThe Jolly Lama and his young attendant join Scarface at a holy boulder. Photo by: Christiaan Kuypers 


95 #137

95 C 22 109b 1995 Lake on Kundu chritiaan
Vajrayogini’s essence manifests as sacred lakes dotting the landscape. Photo by: Christiaan Kuypers


95 #138

95 D 1 168a 1995 Tiny Porters leaving Kundu
Kundu Dorsempotrang offers us one final view as the porters labor below.


95 #139

95 D 2 21 1995 TG Gil Older Porter
Ongel, the old Sherpa with his cheap rubber boots, is a stabilizing influence and a wonderful companion.


95 #140

95 D 3 44 1995 TG Matuk Son Friend w Dalai Lama on ZigChen La Pass
Matuk (far right) and his companions are stunned at the manifestation of the, “deities from the sky”.


95 #141

95 D 4 36b 1995 Troy Near Rinchenpung
The Gillenwater brothers can’t shake their dogged illness as evidenced in Troy Gillenwater’s expression.


95 #142

95 D 5 39b 1995 Ian Crossing Stream on Log copyWe finally find a fallen log where we can inch our way across the rushing waters. 


95 #143

95 D 5 61b 1995 Leech on Leg
Back in leech country.


95 #144

95 D 6 169a 1995 Rinchenpung
The Rinchenpung Monastery translates to "Mound of Jewels”. It is a welcome sight.


95 #145

95 D 8 50a 1995 Handless Abott w TroyTroy Gillenwater shares photos from home with an older lama. His left hand and all his fingers have been severed by Mao's "Red Guard".


95 #146

95 D 9 84b 1995 Gil w Padmasambhava Rinchenpung 2Rang Rig Gyapo the "King of Self-Awareness,” is a rare wrathful emanation of Padmasambhava.


95 #147

95 D 10 140a 1995 Wrathful Padmasambhava HeadA Garuda, representing the consciously awakened mind, hovers above the "King of Self-Awareness.”


95 #148

95 D 11 58a 1995 BonPo Masks RinchenpungThe Old School of Tibetan Buddhism ingeniously incorporates many animistic traditions of the indigenous Bön religion seamlessly into its theology.


95 #149

95 D 12 7 1995 TG Gil Porters w Dalai Lama RinchenpungWith our military escort - Mr. Zang - gone we can freely hand out our coveted Dalai Lama photographs. Here Gil Gillenwater hands several out to the porters.


95 #150

95 D 13 47a 1995 Porters w Dalai Lama Photo RinchenpungThe love and reverence they have for “His Holiness” is difficult to describe.


95 #151

95 D 14 51 1995 TG Troy w 2 Porters Dalai Lama RinchenpungOur distribution of the Dalai Lama photos gains us great status at Rinchenpung. They truly are “spiritual currency” in this remote frontier - forgotten by time.


95 #152

95 D 15 129b 1995 Troy Giving Football to Boy Rinchenpung
As Todd Gillenwater looks on, Troy Gillenwater presents our foam football to the caretaker’s sons.


95 #153

95 D 16 107b 1995 Dalai Lama Monpa Family
The caretaker family at the Rinchenpung Monestary. Note: The brothers' foam football and ball point pen.


95 #154

95 D 7 170a 1995 Rinchenpung
The Rinchenpung Monastery. Vajrayogini’s naval chakra is arguably Pemako’s most revered pilgrimage site. Meditation in this power spot generates compounding benefits. 


95 #155

95 D 17 108b 1995 Leech on Gils Foot
By this time, the leeches don't seem to bother us that much. We've learned that in Pemako it is just a way of life.


95 #156

95 D 18 18b 1995 Gil Jolly Lama Rinchenpung
It is difficult for us to say goodbye to Kaba Tulku – our “Jolly Lama”. He is such a presence and living example of clear thought. It’s doubtful we could have ever located the magic mountain - Kundu Dorsempotrang - without his knowledge and intuition.


95 #157

95 D 19 46b 1995 Gil in Monpa Home
Visiting with the local villagers as we are leaving the Rinchenpung Monestary was fun. Their homes are perpetually filled with smoke.


95 #158

95 D 20 74a 1995 Monpa Lady Child
Trading beads are a big part of the villagers’ lives.


95 #159

95 D 21 73b 1995 Gil Hiking up Forest Trail
The day’s hike to Medog begins with an unexpected 600 foot climb.


95 #160

95 D 22 40b 1995 Todd Hiking Down to Medog
It is a hot and muggy 4,000 foot descent into the military outpost of Medog.


95 #161

95 D 23 66 1995 TG Leech on Gils Arm
At these lower elevations leeches are everywhere.


95 #162

95 D 24 13 1995 TG Gil Beers in Medog
Medog. What a disappointment.


95 #163

95 D 25 33b 1995 Gil Monpa in Medog
Even in this military pigsty with its Mad Max characters - the Dalai Lama photographs carry a huge significance.


95 #164

95 D 27 55b 1995 Todd Store for Beer
The Medog General Store. Todd Gillenwater purchases snacks for us and beers for our life-saving Sherpas.


95 #165

95 D 26 35 1995 TG Troy in Medog RoomTroy Gillenwater relaxes in our Medog luxury suite.


95 #166

95 D 28 6 1995 TG Gil Troy Todd in Medog RoomThough beer and high doses of Flagyl don’t mix – we can't resist. (Flagyl has been our drug of choice for treating parasitic infections and amebic dysentery. We've been popping the pills like M&M’s.)


95 #167

95 D 29 137b 1995 Troy Todd Out of MedogAt just over 2,000 feet in elevation the jungle heat is stifling. Bepuk lies in the background. Close examination of the photo shows the Doshong River flowing aqua green into the muddy Yarlung Tsangpo. We will cross the Yarlung Tsangpo and follow the Doshong Valley up to the 15,300 foot high Doshong La Pass – our gateway out of Pemako and on to the village of Pei.


95 #168

95 D 30 22b 1995 Monpa Woman Carrying FernsEarly outside of Bepuk we encounter a local Lopa tribal woman carrying ferns.


95 #169

95 D 31 15 1995 TG Doshing R into Tsangpo R Medog BridgeClose examination shows the “Liberation Bridge” and its shadow cast on the river in the left of the photo. The aqua-green Doshong River flows in from the right.


95 #170

95 D 32 153b 1995 River Climb out of MedogThe Doshong River.


95 #170

95 D 33 101b 1995 Tiny Porter on TrailOur trail virtually “tunnels” up the side of the canyon.


95 #171

95 D 34 129 1995 Tiny Troy on DoshingLa TrailClose examination of this photo shows Troy Gillenwater on the trail in the top right with his arms raised high.


95 #172

95 D 35 53 1995 TG Pimative Lopa House 2Our well-traveled trail leads us by a few Lopa homes. There is a simplicity in their primitiveness we find alluring.


95 #173

95 D 37 32b 1995 Gil Looking Up Misty ValleyPemako is a magic place.


95 #174

95 D 36 127b 1995 Todd Troy on Trail 2Little by little our climbing takes us above and out of the stifling heat.


95 #175

95 D 38 97b 1995 Troy Looking up DoshingLaTroy Gillenwater looks up the Doshong Valley. Our pass out of Pemako is a half mile above us.


95 #176

95 D 39 83b 1995 Troy in Camp below DoshingLaSetting camp for our last night in Pemako.



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