Our photographer-at-large, Nicholas Vreeland, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, shares with us an India beyond the monastery.
Nicky Vreeland, a.k.a. Rato Khen Ripoche, Geshe Thupten Llhundup, thanks to his fashion-icon grandma, the renowned Diana Vreeland, entered the world of photography as an assistant to Irving Penn and Richard Avedon.
A child of privilege, the son of socialites, Nicky put a jet-set life behind him in 1977 as he began to study Buddhism. He was ordained in 1985 by the Dalai Lama. Though initially concerned that an attachment to photography was too worldly, it was in fact, those skills that helped raise funds to rebuild the monastery where he was eventually appointed Abbot.
We, at Spirit & Flesh magazine, are grateful to Nicky Vreeland for these personal views of India and look forward for this journey to continue.