Faces of Buddhism: Tucson is becoming a hotbed of Buddhist activity. Is the religion’s popularity a significant trend or just a passing fad?
July 12, 2007
by Mae Lee Sun
Part-time Tucsonan John Brady has made a habit out of trekking on foot up steep mountainsides and bouncing around SUVs on rugged dirt roads in the Himalayas, battling harsh conditions and struggling with language along the way.
He does all of this while searching for sacred Buddhist books called pechas. In Ladakh, the northeast region of India bordering Tibet, he’s found some. They’re at Lamayuru, a spectacular Buddhist monastery built in the 10th century at an altitude of 12,000 feet.
The great mahasiddha (mystic) Naropa is said to have meditated here, possibly reading or writing the Kangyur, as some of these pechas are called, which contain the actual words of the Buddha; or perhaps the Tengyur, those pechas that possess commentaries.