The principal contents of Pilgrim are a series of photographs
of Tibet, its people, its community in exile and of
the surrounding Himalayan region. The book opens with
a forward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and an introduction
by Richard Gere.
The following is excerpted from the introduction:
In the Buddhist view, the greatest ignorance is believing
the world exists in the way it appears to exist. From
that follows the concept of I and mine. All other evils
follow from that. According to Buddhist thought, things
do exist, but only conventionally by designation. not
powered from their own side, they exist only in dependence
on causes and conditions. In other words, we do exist
but in a relative way, not in an absolute way. We exist
inter-dependently. We are empty of inherent existence.
The closer you look , the more you enlarge, blow up,
the further away the object becomes, receding into the
grain fragmentsÖinto the minutiae of parts and particles.
The alchemy of photography is mysterious and unstable.
Fragile, unreal, and indecisive, its component parts
of grain shift like smoke in the wind and somehow emerge
as an image with only an illusion of beingness.
The purified metals, the platinum and silver in the
printing process, and maybe little more than thoughts.
Or perhaps scraps of thoughts and feelings. Yearning
to be. To connect. Every thought generating a new image,
a new universe.
But images are, like dreams, a product of Mind, fulfilling
some deep impulse of Mind to communicate with other
levels of itself.
To paraphrase Magritte, these are not really Tibetans,
these are photographs of Tibetans or rather they are
photographs of my feelings for and about Tibetans. Somehow
in the alchemy of light, platinum, silver, and grain,
I offer the taste of my feelings of love and gratitude
for all theyíve given me, which I will never be able
May all beings, and especially our brothers and sisters
in Tibet, be continuously held in the protective embrace
of the Virtuous Ones, and may they quickly achieve happiness
and the causes of future happiness.