Sunday, 1 November 2009

Multimedia Work: Debates At The Sangha

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

I'm pleased to share a multimedia gallery of new photographs made during my recent Bhutan: Land of the Druk Yul Photo Expedition.

The "Debates At The Sangha" slideshow is of photographs (and audio) of the weekly Buddhist debates at the sangha of the Kharchhu Monastery near Chamkar town, in the very heartland of Bhutan.

The Lhodrak Kharchhu Monastery is a recent addition to the Bhutanese pantheon of monasteries, and its venerated abbot is Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche. Over 300 monks and novices live at the monastery, and animated debates are held twice a week to hone the mental skills of the qualified monks.

Most of the debates are held in the open air, and are expressed in Sanskrit through loud vocalization of the various points of view and punctuated by hand slapping for emphasis.