I spent the past week in Rukha catching up on my research writing and checking the works at the two temples of Rukha and Lamga. Sacred paintings going on in the former and community kitchen and Lama’s quarter getting done in the latter. Progress has been slow because of the pandemic.
Now we are kicking off a new initiative: a permanent Mani Dungdrub and meditation hall.
I am also intiating a monthly Tara rituals (Drolma Chho or Droe-chho) and mass chanting of Lhamo Oser Chhenma ngag in Lawa Lamga. This is in view of the fact that very few people there make it past their 60th Birthday. In other words, life expectancy in that village is still that from the medieval Bhutan. The spiritual initiative also needs a parallel health and hygiene program from the public agencies, which of course is not in my power. So, we do what we can, and what is in our own hand.
The brighter news is that the whole valley has received a bumper harvest of cereals and vegetable and nga dosem. They all attribute to the bi-monthly rituals to deity Palden Lhamo, which Rukha Lama Ugen Tshering and I initiated in the beginning of this year.
If it makes them happy, I don’t want to disagree with their belief.
(Background – Athang Rukha is my adopted village having been working there since 2007. I started off as a volunteer for Tarayana and after the project folded in 2009, I continued to go back and continue on my own. We have done some pretty amazing stuff together)