Tibetan Spirit

by Karen McDiarmid
(Banff, Alberta. Canada)

Nomad Child with Mandolin in Amdo, Tibet

Nomad Child with Mandolin in Amdo, Tibet








The Tara Cafe Project &
The Shining Spirit Project




The Tara Café Project promotes the cultural continuity of Tibetan music. Live performances, recordings, and film documentation involving Tibetan artists, both inside Tibet and in exile, are supported.

The Tara Café Project began in 2003, taking its name from a small cafe in Dharamsala, India, where refugees from the Amdo region of Tibet often gather to visit and play music together. That year, the Tara Café Project CD was produced, featuring the music of Gompo Kyab and Gompo Dhundup. These two talented musicians were living in exile in Dharamsala, home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In the summer of 2005, Gompo Dhundup and fellow musician, Jamyang Yeshi, were invited to Canada to perform at the “Cultures at Risk” Summit at The Banff Centre. Their music was recorded in India and at the Centre, and the CD “The Karma of Snowland” was released. The most recent CD, “Shining Spirit,” was recorded in Tibet and in Canada in 2006 & 2007, In 2009 we released the film, Shining Spirit: The Musical Journey of Jamyang Yeshi, which documents the recording process that led to the Shining Spirit CD.

In 2006 the Tara Cafe Project initiated a Children's Education Project in Amdo, Tibet. Currently we are funding the education of 20 nomadic children, as well as the salary of a Tibetan teacher and the college education of a young nomad man. We have also donated funds for operating expenses for several schools.


FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE AT www.taracafeproject.ca, or go to our Facebook Page at facebook.com/shiningspirit


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Tibetan Spirit


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Dec 18, 2009
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Tibetan Spirit
by: Karen

Thanks for your note, Drolkar!

It's amazing, when I've shown the film to smaller audiences where they can ask questions, there are so many people who don't know anything about Tibet... At first, I just assumed that everyone knew, but they don't, even some seasoned travelers!
I guess I thought with the Tibetan uprising having such a high profile in the news last year that there would be an increased awareness. wrong.
So I guess I'm doing my small bit to increase understanding of the situation.

Love your five Tibetan exercises yoga video and am going to start immediately... I've been looking for a short & sweet routine for a while now, and this is definitely it :) So thanks for that. It's a great site and wonderful work you're doing. Oh, and the photos of Gelek making momos are sweet, too.

The Shining Spirit film should come to Toronto in march, I believe, with the Banff mountain film festival world tour.... will keep you posted!

Take care, and look forward to being a part of Tibetan Life....

xo karen

Dec 13, 2009
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Tibetan Spirt
by: Patricia from Tibetan Life

Karen la!


Thanks so much for your wonderful page!! It's a very good way to help get the word out about your project.

Gelek and I watched Shining Spirit and thought that it was very beautiful. My father also saw it and it helped to teach him more about Tibetan music, nomads and the Tibetan situation. He had a lot of questions about it afterwards!

It was very well done, some of the shots were breathtaking. What a touching story.

I didn't see you much in it though, I guess that you spent most of the time behind the camera!

Well done! I really hope that it comes to Toronto! Thanks again so much for sending the video to us.

Take care,
love Drolkar

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