Ladakh, India (2010)

In July 2010, Lily Yeh visited Leh in Ladahk, India, responding to an invitation from The Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC) to design a Healing/Peace Garden at the foothills of the Himalaya. During her visit, Lily Yeh shared her work with the community and conducted a workshop for a group of young nuns between the ages for four to fifteen. The nuns have taken residence at MIMC for care and education because their families live in poor and far away villages.

MIMC is a powerful demonstration of how one person’s positive vision turning into a reality can benefit the whole region and numerous visitors and pilgrims in the world. Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena established the MIMC in 1986 to offer both spiritual instructions as well as desperately needed humanitarian services to impoverished people in the remote desert land of Ladakh.

With a dedicated team of social workers, teachers, doctors, monks, nuns, community leaders and care-providers, MIMC has created an integrated community at Devachan in Ladakh, which provides comprehensive care to all segments of society: children, elderly, special needs individuals, monks and nuns, the sick, as well as those seeking spiritual development.

During flash floods that severely damaged the infrastructure, civic buildings and countless homes in Ladahk, MIMC was at the forefront to raise funds, and to rescue and care for the sick and homeless.

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The site in Ladakh, India.

Some of the nuns in Lily Yeh's 2010 Awakening Creativity workshop were four years old.

A young nun, focussed on creating.

Lily Yeh with the little nuns, some very young, conducting an Awakening Creativity workshop.

During the workshop the participants draw what they feel is is beautiful, home, and their landscape.

The group poses for a photograph with Lily Yeh.

A leader in the community.

There was a big festival commemorating the Buddha's birthday while Lily Yeh was visiting the community.

Buddhist culture can be so colorful.

The communal festival day was painted with beautiful colors.

The patterns reminded Lily Yeh of Native American prints.

All dressed up.

Full costume for a shaman or chief.

The site's enchanted landscape.

Lily Yeh was invited to design a mediation park and a healing garden for the world.

Four Indonesian volunteers built this structure before they drowned when their jeep was washed into the river by a flash flood. Encompassing this structure, Lily Yeh's project will commemorate these people.

When Lily Yeh came to the site in 2011 her eyes were sunburned and she couldn't travel around the country, so she created the labyrinth. Every day she went to the site wearing sunglasses and covered her face with a scarf to protect her intense sunburn.

One of Lily Yeh's preliminary sketches for the labyrinth.

Lily Yeh draws a design in the sand around a Bush of Life.

Small rocks around the Bush of Life.

This is the beginning of the meditation labyrinth. Lily Yeh moved all of the rocks from the nearby hill. Because this was a smaller project than usual, she could do the physical work, which she loved very much.

Lily Yeh chose this space for the meditation labyrinth because she loved the broad open blue sky and the white clouds. The earth, dessert, and rocks were so clean and so unpolluted.

The first time Lily Yeh came to visit the valley, she felt that she wanted to come here to die in peace.

Lily Yeh painted the rocks bright white.

In reality, these rocks are small, but Lily Yeh imagined herself tiny, as though she was standing next to boulders.

The freshly painted white rocks against the sand are so simple and beautiful.

Here is Lily Yeh: heaven, earth and woman.

Lily Yeh stands by the little Bush of Life in the center of the meditation labyrinth.

After Lily Yeh finished this project she explored the surrounding area and found this burial ground where the burned bones of people and animals have been laid to rest.

This burial ground is close to the memorial park Lily Yeh created.

Prayer flags flutter in the wind.

Dusk in Ladakh, India.

Lily Yeh's drawing for the next part of the project.

Lily Yeh's whole desire to create this garden is to make the stone sing.

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