Ladakh

Jama Masjid Mosque – Leh – Thiksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Khardungla Pass – Nubra Valley – Diskit Monastery – Sumur Monastery

• Landed in New Delhi, met Tomer and went out to visit Jama Masjid, the biggest Mosque in India, which holds 25,000 people. It’s nice to be in a place of worship, especially on a Ramadan day. You could tell that the high temperature and high humidity is increasing the already difficult challenge of fasting all day, yet people were friendly and in very high spirits. Danna was in high demand for group photos and critique of her drawing skills.

• Early tomorrow we are flying to Leh in Ladakh to start our Himalayan adventure.

• When I sat yesterday facing the Buddha sculpture I got a reminder that I have a choice to make. Let me explain, it’s not uncommon to negotiate with an Indian where they’ll tell you what you want to hear but will deliver only what they can. When it happens, and it did yesterday morning, never mind the small details, I felt annoyed, upset, disappointed, angry – you get the picture, I’m sure many of you have had it too, and on a side note: similar situations and such feelings are not exclusive to India. The Buddha reminded me that dwelling in this kind of emotion is an act of self-inflicted suffering. So, the question is how does one move on? Well, first I need to come to the awareness of the situation, then I need to formulate a well-planned course of action with a thorough execution; only then I get back to a place of equanimity.
Might sound simple but the problem is that I don’t always remember because I am only human, my goal is just to improve. I do, and I am grateful for that and for all the help I get....Continue reading

• The Nubra road zigzags up stark, bare-rock mountains to the highest motorable pass and down to the valley. The scenery of the high desert is awe inspiring. The construction of the road has been in progress for the last 20 years and is still in progress, yet it’s conditions worsen, said Tashi our driver. A lot of the deterioration is due to climate change, 15 years ago the snow pass extended even in the summer all the way down to Leh, but that’s no longer the case.

• I often think about the Buddha’s last words: “Be a light to yourselves, seek no other, never give up”

• These are the memorable words of Buddha: “Believe not because an old book is produced as an authority. Believe not because your father said [you should] believe the same. Believe not because other people like you believe it. Test everything, try everything, and then believe it, and if you find it for the good of many, give it to all.” And with these words, the Master passed away.

• The colors are vivid, dominated by orange, gold and burgundy. Buddhist art evolved over the centuries, but it’s not evident to a layman’s eye, like mine. Much can be said about the power of tradition and consistency.

• The Nubra River descends from the heavily disputed area of Siachen Glacier, which is considered the world’s highest battleground between India and Pakistan. Thus, it’s not surprising to see many military bases, checkpoints and military truck convoys along the roads.