East India, 2019

Silliguri, India

 

Nearby the northeast India city of Silliguri lies the burgeoning Ewam

Monastery. Construction began on Ewam in 2011. Instead of solely serving

monastic’s as many monasteries do, Ewam is establishing a school for the

local community promoting globally conscious education including Buddhist

studies alongside modern education. A medical clinic staffed by both western

and Asian medical professionals and offering modern western medical

treatments, and traditional Tibetan medicines including herb treatments that

focus on holistic and preventive care. The monastery will also be the home of

a “shedra” or monastic university where monastics, both monks and nuns, will

study a curriculum of traditional Buddhist philosophy.

Padma is hosting trips to build greenhouses on the monastery grounds. The

vegetables grown in these greenhouses will offset food costs for the residents

however their primary purpose will be the planting of traditional Tibetan

medicinal herbs and plants in order to preserve the practice of traditional

Tibetan medicine. Much of this ancient system of collecting and preparing

medicines is at risk of being lost to history as the Tibetan plateau continues to

rapidly change under Chinese influence making the education, harvesting and

preparation of Tibetan medicines more and more rare. In partnership with

and under the close guidance of doctors from the Mentsikang, the collection

of medical schools, hospitals and clinics operated by the Tibetan government

in exile, these greenhouses will be planted with plants and herbs necessary

for the authentic preparations of Tibetan medicines.