Posted by Managing Editor, Ben Koch

[photos courtesy of]

As a spiritual practitioner, my thoughts and awareness always expand to encompass the victims of natural or human-implicated disasters. Recently, these have included the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, the Polish air crash, and the mining accidents in the US and elsewhere.

The recent quake in Western China/Tibet, however, has a very personal and poignant connection for me. In the summer of 2004 I travelled on a pilgrimage with my lama and a group of other Americans to monasteries and holy sites in precisely the region near the epicenter. One of the highlights of that trip was our visit to Thrangu Tashi Choling monastery, which stood regally among the mountaintops that encircle that portion of the roof of the world. We were received openly and generously, and treated to a tour of the immaculately maintained shrine rooms. The energy of compassion and other benevolent activity there was palpable and transformative. However isolated this outpost of spiritual practice, we knew wholeheartedly it was a beacon of tremendous light for the world and a nurturing ground for the wisdom-mind to heal and evolve beings throughout the realms and times.

This great and rare castle, however, has now been nearly completely destroyed–for it stood just miles from the epicenter of last week’s quake. Please watch the video below for a visceral understanding of how the monks and surrounding villagers have been affected–and also a glimpse of the spiritual resilience and will that exists among these bodhisattvas.

If it is in your means, consider a donation that will directly benefit the monks, the monastery and the well-being of the whole region. I recommend as a donation site.


About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of

One response »

  1. Lesley says:

    Thank you for letting people know how to donate to

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