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Showing posts from March, 2012

Ngakso Drubchen at Nagi Gompa

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Every year, starting on the 8th day of the 12th lunar month in the Tibetan calendar—which usually falls in late January or early February—a nine-day ‘drubchen’ is performed at Nagi Gompa according to the Ngakso (Ocean of Amrita) sadhana belonging to the Chökling Tersar collection. These are the new terma texts discovered by the tertön, or "treasure revealer", Terchen Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, a great Nyingma master of the 19th century. Some blog-readers may wonder: “What is Nagi Gompa? What is a drubchen?” Nagi Gompa is a beautiful nunnery located high above Kathmandu, lying in the midst of the jungles of the Shivapuri National Park. 


 Nagi is an hour’s drive by taxi or about three hours by foot from Boudhanath. To reach the nunnery, one can climb the pleasant path of the natural reserve or, if you prefer, taxi up on the bumpy unpaved road. If one decides to take a taxi up to the nunnery, one must officially enter the park by way of the big front gate, sign in at the military pos…

Newari Statue-Making Tradition

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Last year, I was looking for a Guru Rinpoche statue to present to my lama and that's how I discovered about the complicated work of statue making. There is a long tradition of handicraft in Kathmandu valley. The Newar people are the holder of this tradition, even though nowadays, it tends to be villagers from other ethnical groups who come to Kathmandu, and do these kinds of demanding works. Good statues are completely handmade and no detail should be neglected, if we wish the statue to be a good support for practice. 
There are four stages during the making-process. First, the statue is designed in wax and casted into copper. The next step is to clean, smoothen and carve it. At this important stage, all the details of the design and facial expression are finalized. This is maybe the most creative part. After polishing, the statue is gold or silver-plated, with or without oxidizing touch, depending on the desired style. The last crucial stage is to paint the face with gold powder a…