Inspiration from the East

This post is not about wedding photography directly. However, it was a wedding in New York that gave me leave to visit this magic place in Walden and find Inspiration from the East.

I have always been fascinated with the culture of Tibet and it’s people. In 1999 I had the great fortune to visit Lhasa for 9 days and it was life changing for me. In 2007 I went to visit my daughter Jennie Lynn who was attended college in Poughkeepsie, New York. She told me of a Buddhist center that she visited as part of her studies. She had made the acquaintance of Lama Kalsang and Ani Kunga which led to the invitation to come and stay for a weekend retreat. It was wonderful. It was a quiet weekend at the center. Jennie Lynn and I were the only visitors on Friday and Saturday. Lama Kalsang welcomed us warmly. He answered any and all of our questions and we spent hours with the Lama sharing thoughts, laughter, meals and his kind wisdom. Then on Sunday 20 or so people came from around the state for meditation, practice and a delicious afternoon meal.

Fast forward to fall of 2014

I booked a wedding in Tarrytown New York and realizing that Walden was only about an hour north I attempted to contact Ani Kunga. Ani is a western monastic,  a highly educated and well studied Buddhist Nun. She has worked with Khenpo Lama Kalsang for years in translating and publishing many Buddhist texts. I called the number that I found for the Buddhist Center Tsechen Kunchab Ling and Ani answered the phone. We did a little catching up during which I found out that His Holiness Sakya Trizin was coming to the US and would be teaching there in March… during the week that I would be in NYC for a wedding. Everything was coming together for another visit!

During conversations and emails I found out that my old friend Khenpo Kalsang had suffered a stroke and nearly lost his life a while back. He has progressed miraculously thanks to the quick and excellent work of surgeons and the great care of several doctors since the surgery. Needless to say, my desire to see Khenpo Kalsang again was prominent in my heart.

OK… so, all that to preface these images. It was so wonderful to see my friends again – alive and well, smiling from ear to ear. Seeing the rituals, hearing the sound of the mantras, the cymbals and the bells, the very fragrance of devotion took me back to Tibet.

Such inspiration from the East!   Many thanks to Ani Kunga for making this all possible.

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the grounds of Tsechen Kunchab Ling – Temple of All-Encompassing Great Compassion

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Vajra Yogini

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His Holiness preparing to teach

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such kind wisdom in his face

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Venerable Khenpo Kalsang Gyaltsen

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Ani Kunga

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About the Author: Larry

With over 25 years of diverse professional photographic experience Larry brings depth and insight to his work. His style is described as a unique mix of wedding photojournalism and scenic portraiture, capturing "beauty... as it occurs naturally". Larry attended the Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, California and is an International Award winning member of the prestigious Wedding Photojournalist Association and an active member of FEARLESS PHOTOGRAPHERS.

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