The pandemic Covid-19 in 2020 has taken an unprecedented change across the globe and impacted all of us greatly to the extent that many lives have lost due to the deadly virus. Many jobs were lost and nations were in the lockdown mode. Unfortunately, academic lessons were also affected and have to be halted with many school children unable to complete their semester term and hence examinations. But the pandemic does not impede us from carrying on our daily activities.
Despite the fact of the on-going pandemic around the world, I am still greatly inspired by Geshe Tsewang Dorje and Dr. Ngawang Yeshi of Ngari Institute Buddhist Dialectics, with their tirelessly and relentlessly effort not only to raise funds for the many underprivileged children, especially the orphans, kids from single parents in Ladakh, but also to provide them a shelter where they can continue to receive the proper care and education. The vastness of space and serenity of Ngari Institute Buddhist Dialectics is conducive for the children's growth, where Geshe-la and Dr. Yeshi not only manage the everyday operations (e.g. supervising and taking care of the needs/well being for the children), but also busy managing the time to propagate Buddha Dharma to the Ladakhis and foreigners visiting the institute. Not forgetting Geshe-la's kindness and teachings on cultivating great compassion and loving-kindness for all sentient beings as the words profoundly and constantly edged in my thoughts. I have had this wonderful opportunity to witness the growth and well-beings of the children when I last visited Geshe-la and the children in 2018. It was an overwhelming experience for me especially.
The warm hospitality and the many hugs received from Geshe-las, the committee and the children when they threw a surprise thanksgiving dinner to the visitors on the last day of our stay at Ngari institute Guesthouse, I could hardly contain my joy and tears. It was very encouraging and yes, I definitely would make a trip back to Ladakh and visit everyone at Ngari Institute of Buddhist Dialectics.
Unfortunately, some latest news that was shared by Dharma sister Rita that the children did not return to Ngari last year (after the Losar or known as the Tibetan New Year) due to the pandemic outbreak. Sadly, only ten of the 11th grade kids came back to Ngari Institute in March of this year. The schools were shut yet again until the end of April due to a new variant Covid-like strain, which has emerged. As ordered by the Ladakh government, all school children must be in the lockdown at their home and are not allowed to stay in the hostel.
I believe there is a flickering of light at the end of the tunnel. Let us all pull together our hopes and prayers wishing the pandemic will cease some day and there will always be a better tomorrow for all of us to continue our dharma journey.