History of Learning and Education in Limi

To nearly all the adults and most of the children the concept of academic schooling is totally alien. Education there was limited to Buddhist teachings and the monastic studying of ancient scripts. This usually happened in the monasteries located in each village. The monastery at Halji, which is about 800 years, was the most important one and is the spiritual centre of Limi. Sometimes young monks would leave to study at larger monasteries previously in Tibet and now in India.

Buddhism still plays a pivotal, if not the pivotal, role in Limi culture. Limi Buddhism belongs to the Kagyu or ‘oral tradition’ of Tibetan Buddhism. There are two lineages of the Kagyu School prevalent in Limi. They are the Drikung and Karma lineages. The spiritual leader of the former is HH Drikung Kaybgon Chetsang Rinpoche and the spiritual leader of the later is HH the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Both reside in Northern India near Dharamsala. Both are held in the very highest esteem in Limi Valley and a visit by either is a significant event.

The more clerical and pastoral spiritual duties in Limi are attended to by Khenpo Konchog Tashi, hereafter Tashi, Tashi is distinguished monk and confidante HH Drikung Kaybgon Chetsang Rinpoche. For the last 5 years Tashi has been championing a project to bring academic education to the villages of Limi. His tireless work in this regard took him to Europe and North America.

On one visit to America Tashi was introduced to Deanna Campbell, the CEO of a small company. This meeting led to Deanna eventually retiring from the small company as she focussed more on more on the plight of education in Limi. After a few visits to Limi with Tashi, during which the education projects were discussed with the elders of each village, some plans were made. These plans were also discussed with both the spiritual leaders HH Drikung Kaybgon Chetsang Rinpoche and HH the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje for their approval. In their wake of this Deanna established Antahkarana Society International, a US 501(c)3 charitable organization, which promotes education in Limi.

Further reading