The New Restoringvoices.org!

Friends of Restored Voice Project,

Tenzin Choekyi, RVP's interpreter, and me at Dolma Ling - photo taken by one of the ani-la!

Tenzin Choekyi, RVP’s interpreter, and me at Dolma Ling – photo taken by one of the ani-la!

It has been far too long since I’ve written here, to update all of you on the progress of the project. I wanted to give you all a ‘big reveal’ with absolutely everything ready… but instead, I’ve decided to release bits in teasers.

Firstly, I wanted to teach myself the ins and outs of managing a website and publishing posts online. SEO and page customization involve whole new languages – it’s a lot like a market in Dharamsala, where I heard snippets of English but was bombarded mostly by Hindi and Tibetan. Additionally, in order to make my own promotional media, I took a free class in photoshop from my wonderful friend Christine, who teaches art at a public school and also runs her own freelance photography business on the side (somehow). I am still in the process of learning these things, and my efforts will better RVP’s cause.

I also wanted to update all of the pictures on the website to feature Restored Voice Project’s own photography – a task which is finished! Please take a tour around the fresh look of the site. These are some of the images I took in Dharamsala, and these women are the very women whose voices will be featured in the book.

And you may notice a new page, called “Ani Yangchen.” This is a selection from her narrative, as well as accompanying photography. Now, anyone visiting the site can get featured peeks at the material, and learn from the amazing women who will be fleshed out in the final product! I will be posting updates to Kickstarter and Facebook each time I complete a new “At a Glance” features, so stay tuned for more glimpses of the nuns of Dharamsala.

In this time since I blogged last, here are a few celebratory updates to note!

  • I managed to secure income! I am working for the non-profit St. Louis Earth Day – an NGO that has many programs, all to better the environmental impact of St. Louis. So, by day I work for St. Louis’ local ecosystem, and by night I work for the women of Dolma Ling, Gaden Choeling, and Shugseb in Dharamsala. It’s a juggling act for sure, but at least I’m never bored, right?
  • I also connected to Michaela Haas, a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner, reporter, lecturer, and consultant whose recent publication Dakini Power tells the life stories of the leading women in Tibetan Buddhism today. Definitely check out this book, it’s stellar. It was good to seek advice from a mentor. It was also nourishing to speak with another woman who is writing about Buddhist women, and to hear about the international community of non-Tibetans who have been impacted so deeply by the ways of Tibet that they’ve devoted much of their professional lives to engaging other people with it.

And another new idea is a question on the horizon, and one I’d like to post to you: I’m considering self publishing an ebook first. Your thoughts? Will it help or hurt my chances of hard cover publication? If anyone out there has experience in self-publishing or the publishing world in general, then please lend me your advice.

Last week was celebrated by many as Tibetan Independence Day – remember to keep them in your hearts on every February 13th that passes! This year, they featured the Doring Chima (AKA Lhasa Zhöl rdo-rings, or ‘pillar’), a sculpted tower that stands outside the main Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, their capitol city. Close to the Potala Palace (where the Dalai Lama would have lived out his life and rule), the Doring Chima was erected to honor peace between China and Tibet over two hundred years ago.

Language from the treaty was inscribed on the pillar, including: “May Tibetans live happily in the land of Tibet, and Chinese live happily in the land of China.” on See Students for a Free Tibet‘s video here.

That’s all for now. And please, enjoy the wise words of Ani Yangchen.

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