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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.

1994

1. 

1 Trungpa Photo“Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss or tranquility, nor is it attempting to be a better person. It is simply the creation of space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deception, our hidden fears and hopes.”
Chögyam Trungpa

 

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2 131a 1994 Troy Jerry Chris HongKong Airport Landing in Hong Kong. 
Left to Right: Jerry Dixon, Troy Gillenwater and Chris Grace.

 

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3 106a 1994 Mao Statue in ChengduChairman Mao welcomes us to the bustling Chinese city of Chengdu.

 

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4 113 1994 Himalayan Fly OverFlying over the Himalayas.
Coming from the deserts of Arizona we were all thinking, “What the hell are we getting ourselves into?”

 

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5 114b 1994 Scouting Yarlung Put InOur first up-close look at the river. Troy and I were told to expect a flow of around 5,000 CFS (cubic feet per second). What we found was a river surging at over 20,000 CFS. Pictured left to right: Chris Grace, Mr. Changxun Luo (our Chinese liaison), Rick Fisher, Troy Gillenwater (looking up-river), Jerry Dixon (looking up river) & Eric Manthey.

 

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6 146a 1994 Rafting Put InReadying to launch. In hindsight, attempting an illegal first descent of Tibet’s, Yarlung Tsangpo River (the “Mt. Everest of Rivers”) in a smuggled 12 foot paddle raft seems extremely naive. But at the time it all made perfect sense.

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7 57a 1994 Bacon Filming Put InDocumentary film producer - Bill Bacon - records the departure on our unpermitted first descent attempt of the Upper Granite Gorge on the world’s highest river – the Yarlung Tsangpo. Here the Himalayan river surges over two miles above sea level. In hindsight, attempting to raft the “Mt. Everest of Rivers” in a smuggled 12 foot paddle raft seems extremely naive. But at the time it all made perfect sense.
Pictured left to right: Rick Fisher, Gil Gillenwater, Troy Gillenwater & Eric Manthey.

 

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8 6b 1994 Rafting RiverSoon we begin “lining” the raft through the more difficult sections.

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9 157 1994 Troy Gil Eric Lining RapidPortaging rapids in the Upper Granite Gorge of the Yarlung Tsangpo - the world’s highest river. These water formations are simply gravity-driven liquid negotiating different terrains in a perpetual effort to seek its own level. With a river this size and a drop this sever, that can only be achieved by racing to the most level place on earth - the ocean two vertical miles below. Pictured right to left: Troy Gillenwater, Eric Manthey & Rick Fisher.)

 

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10 54a 1994 Gil Human Jaw BoneGil Gillenwater holds human mandible. “We’d been rafting with a bunch of sinners.”

 

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11 55a 1994 Huge Hole in TsangPoThese recirculating hydraulic holes, or “keepers”, were to be avoided at all cost.

 

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12 Portaging rapids Troy Eric RickAbandoning the "First Descent" portion of our trip - we stashed our raft and all our river gear under a house-sized boulder. It's probably there to this day. Troy and I would later regret leaving our life jackets.

 

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13 145a 1994 Abandoning Gear on Hike OutAbandoning the "First Descent" portion of our trip - we stashed our raft and all our river gear under a house-sized boulder. It's probably there to this day. Troy and I would later regret leaving our life jackets.

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