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Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud
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Pema by Pema

I am Pema. The main character of Pema Gitama’s books. I come from the land of snow: Tibet. I went through many adventures, which Pema Gitama writes about in her books. I am very grateful she takes the time to share my stories.
I like to give her the return grace by sharing some of her life stories

First Added

The Perspective

She must have been only four years old when, one day with her drawing kit, she came to sit at her father’s side. He was painting flowers on a canvas. Her father had a passion for painting and music, which Pema greatly admired. While he was painting, no one could disturb him, and this Pema knew. She stayed silent at his side until he noticed her. With a smile, he asked her to stay and draw while he painted. Pema put her paper in front of her and started drawing a castle. Occasionally, her father looked at her drawing but did not say a word. He spoke only when the castle was nearly done. “You could add some perspective to your castle,” he said. Pema had never heard this word before and had no idea what it meant. “Come, I will show you,” her father said while drawing a few lines around the castle. Magically, the castle was no longer flat but stood in three dimensions. Pema was so astonished, she held her breath. While her father resumed his painting, she kept looking at the castle for a long time. Her whole vision of the world became different from that moment. Suddenly, there was depth in everything she set her eyes on.

The New World

When Pema was around five years old, she went with her mother to pick up her older brother, who was taking classes for children at an art school. While walking up the stairs of the school, a woman who appeared to be in her twenties was coming down. She had pink hair and wore a dress printed with bright flowers. Pema felt she must be a fairy of some kind! She looked at her in wonder and thought, “Oh! It is possible to be like this in this world!” She wished that one day she would be like that. When the fairy woman passed Pema, she left behind a scented trail of patchouli perfume that overwhelmed Pema to the point of altering her perception. When Pema entered the art school, she felt like she was entering a magical world. The smell of oil paint, old wood, and paper went straight to her heart. At that very moment, she realised this was her world and decided to study in a school like that, which she did many years later. The perfume of the fairy woman and the fragrance of the art school vividly opened her sense of smell. It became a vehicle for deep perception of existence.

The Time Alteration

At six years old, an extraordinary event changed Pema’s life. She was playing in the courtyard of her school when suddenly, from afar, she heard her sister screaming. At that precise moment, all sounds stopped, and she ran towards her sister. She could not see her but somehow intuitively knew where she was located. While running, the most peculiar thing happened: time stopped! All the people in the courtyard were frozen like statues. Pema felt like she was flying instead of running. She needed to make no effort, and she felt invisible to others. When Pema reached her sister, she found her crying with a face covered in blood. Her sister had broken her nose while playing a game with other children. Some people were already taking care of her. Pema was surprised to feel calm. She felt no panic or worry. Pema smiled at her sister and held her hand. The moment she came to her sister, time and sounds resumed their tempo. Pema wondered what had just happened. She thought about that for a long time. Pema could not speak about the experience to anyone, as she felt it was impossible to explain, even to herself. For Pema, that experience of time alteration became a huge enigma and a source of enquiry. Nothing was the same after that experience. She set out to explore the rhythm of time. Was it all linear? Was it all as the clock showed? She knew then that there was something more, some kind of secret behind the clock, and she wanted to find out about it. As far as I know, she tried many times to recreate that experience. I know she did finally manage to do that in her fifties.

The Friendship

At the age of seven, Pema discovered what true friendship meant. In the mountains, she met a farmer about her father’s age. She totally fell in love with him in a platonic fashion and considered him to be her first authentic friend. The meeting elevated her to a state of love she did not know was possible. This man did not become a second father but truly a friend. There seemed to be no difference in age between them. They related to each other like two equal beings. He did not speak to Pema like one speaks to a child. He had a deep respect for her and related to her like a friend with whom he could share everything. This farmer became Pema’s best confidant and laughing companion. He taught her about the stars, the animals, the seasons, and the joy of living in nature. With him, she learned to trust her intuition and listen to nature. Pema spent most of her days alone in the mountains when she was not with her friend. As soon as she and her family arrived at their house in the mountains, Pema took off, only to be seen again for her meals. In nature, she created friendships with trees, especially one with whom she would share prayers and poems written on small pieces of paper. She climbed the tree and hiding in his branches, she read aloud to him and then tucked her writing away in his hidden cavities.

The Light

One winter, when she was about nine years old, Pema had another mystical experience. She and her cousin went outside in the snow with a sledge. They enjoyed going downhill with the sledge so much that they ignored the setting sun. She was free to be outdoors all day long only on one condition: returning home before dark. When she and her cousin realised that the way back home would take too much time to arrive before dark, they decided to take a forbidden shortcut! This would take them through the ravine and the wild river at its bottom. This ravine was right in front of Pema’s home. Passing through it would save the two children a twenty- minute walk and help them arrive home before dark. The way down the ravine went easily, but crossing the river was impossible. The current was ferocious, and most of the stones were covered with ice, making it dangerous to step on them. They tried everything possible to cross the river but did not succeed. Finally, they gave up and decided to go up the ravine and walk home by the road, knowing they would be home late. That was better than taking the risk of getting swallowed by the torrent. Going up the steep ravine was also very difficult. They climbed up several steps, only to slide back down. Pulling the sledge made it even more difficult. They decided to leave it at the bottom of the ravine, but still, it was impossible to climb up. Pema’s cousin panicked and started to cry. The two stood at the bottom of the ravine and yelled for Pema’s father, in hopes he might hear and come to save them. But the sound of the wild torrent covered up their screams. Finally, after some time, Pema managed to relax. She closed her eyes and started to pray. She prayed not to a God of any kind but simply to Light. Very soon, she was surrounded by a powerful energy. All sounds stopped. There was total silence, and time stood still. A white light descended upon her and showered love into all her cells. She opened her eyes and saw the most magnificent landscape. The snow was bright, and a path showed itself. “I know where to go,” Pema said calmly to her cousin, who looked at her in total wonder. “Follow me,” she added, walking the path only she could see. In no time, they arrived on top of the ravine. Pema and her cousin looked at each other with amazement and profound relief. Pema asked her cousin to keep this event a secret, to which he agreed. Pema said this was much too strange, and nobody would understand or believe what had happened. They walked calmly back to the house. On the way, they stayed silent. Pema was still bathed in Light, and she suddenly felt no more a child. She understood that she had discovered something very precious and meaningful. Pema kept this a secret for many years to preserve the experience. At home, strangely enough, nobody said anything to Pema and her cousin, though they arrived home long after sunset. That same evening, once Pema was in bed, she called back the Light. She heard a voice coming with it. She kept listening to it, as she still does.

Challenging Fear

Around that same age, another event took place which changed Pema’s life. With her twin sister, she often played and laughed a lot. Their parents appreciated the girls’ joy, but sometimes it was too much for them. Their father, especially, often asked them to stop and calm down. Nothing worked. At that point, he sometimes asked them to run around the house a few times to cool down. That worked most of the time. If that failed, he took them to the cellar. There, he asked them to stand in the middle. Then, he turned off the light and closed the door. This lasted just a few minutes, but it worked wonders. The two little girls came out totally silent and calm. What happened during those few minutes in the dark was very interesting. The two girls held hands. Pema’s sister was terribly afraid, while Pema tried her best to fight the fear and stay calm to reassure her. After this happened a few times, Pema started to wonder about fear. She realised that she could not afford to feel fear if she wanted to protect her sister. One day, Pema decided to challenge her fear. She went alone to the cellar. Pema closed the door behind her and looked around the room. Then she turned off the light and walked to the middle of the room. Her fear gave way to thoughts of all kinds of terrifying monsters trying to grab her. She stayed for as long as she could without trembling. At some point, it all became too much. Pema rushed to the switch to turn on the light. To her amazement, there were no monsters in the room. Everything was all the same as before. She switched the light off again and stayed in the dark. Despite imagining the monsters trying to get hold of her, she remained, knowing that no one else was in the room. When Pema came back out of the cellar, she was no longer the same. She felt a part of her had died, and another part of her was born in the dark.

Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud


At ten years old, a terrifying event shattered Pema’s being. Her twin sister ended up in the hospital for appendicitis surgery, which turned out to be nearly fatal. She stayed on the edge of life and death for a month. Her case was very extreme, and she was kept in intensive care. No one except her parents could visit her. Pema didn’t see her sister for an entire month. That was the first time they had been separated for such a long period. To help Pema, her parents had said in the beginning that her sister would return in two or three days. But once those days elapsed, her sister still had not come back home. Very soon, Pema realised her parents were lying. This was very shocking to her. She never imagined her parents would lie. She didn’t confront them but remained confused. Pema prayed for her sister to come back, but that did not help. Then Pema started to doubt whether her sister was still alive. At that point, she felt very distraught and prayed for a sign. And it came! Pema woke up in the middle of that night and saw her sister lying in bed, smiling at her. She looked radiant and beautiful. Pema wondered if she was hallucinating. She rubbed her eyes to be sure she was awake. Her sister’s light body really seemed to be there. She looked at Pema with eyes full of love. Pema stayed still for a long time, looking at her sister. The moment was intense, and time disappeared. Now that Pema knew her sister was alive, she decided to go and see her. She knew it was impossible to see her physically because of the rules at the hospital. If her sister had been able to come to Pema in that way, she could also do that. One night, she lay down in bed and prayed to travel to her sister. She closed her eyes, setting up a clear and powerful intention to reach her sister. Pema felt her body flying across the room, going to the window, and flying through it. She flew over the city, straight to her sister’s hospital room. Once there, Pema saw her sister sleeping. The scene was so overwhelming that it shocked Pema. Instantly, she returned to her physical body. Though shocked, Pema was extremely happy to have seen her sister. After that experience, every night, she practised flying to her sister and to other places she enjoyed.

The Mouse

Since early childhood, Pema has always been fond of animals. She had many encounters with many of them. The one I will recall must have happened when she was about ten. There were many mice in the mountain house where she partly grew up. To her, it was definitely not a problem. She enjoyed seeing them running at night in her bedroom, but her parents did not share the same joy. The mice were causing much damage to the food storage in the cellar. Her father set a trap for them. It was a cage. A piece of cheese was placed at the far end of it on a hock. When a mouse entered and started to eat the cheese, the hock would move, provoking the shutting down of the door’s cage. The mouse was trapped but would stay alive. Pema saw the mice in the cage many times, but soon after, they would disappear, and the cage would be empty again. She wondered where those mice would go. She even imagined they were clever enough to open the door cage and run away until one day, she saw her father coming out of the cellar with the cage in his hand. There was a mouse trapped in it. “Papa, what are you going to do with the mouse?” she asked her father. “Come, follow me. I will show you,” he replied. She followed her father outside. They walked to the little stream flowing by the side of the house. Her father kneeled and plugged the cage into the water in one firm gesture. Pema, totally horrified, stood there. She became pale and cold. At some point, her father lifted up to check if the mouse was dead or alive. Dead she was. “Now you know what I do with the mice!” he exclaimed before leaving. Pema didn’t say a word. She didn’t even look where her father put the dead mouse. She just stayed by the side of the stream in total stupor. Something broke inside her. The beautiful picture of her father crumbled down. This man was suddenly a murderer. Something she would not ever imagine possible. From that day on, she never looked at her father the same way. And from that day, she decided to save as many mice as possible from drowning! But strangely enough, from that day, she never saw a mouse trapped in the cage anymore. It seemed her father had taken it away before she could see it, except for once! There was a custom in her family. For their birthday, the children were allowed to do whatever they wanted. By a strange miracle, there was a mouse in the cage on her tenth birthday. This was such a marvellous opportunity for Pema. She sat by the side of the cage and looked at the fearful mouse. She carefully opened the cage door and waited for the mouse to come out. The mouse took some time to realise that she could come out, but she finally made it out of the cage. Pema expected the mouse to run fast and wild, but she didn’t. She stayed looking at Pema. The mouse looked intensely into Pema’s eyes for a moment that felt like an eternity for Pema. There was a silent, sweet communion between them. At some point, Pema got worried that somebody would come to the cellar and discover she was setting the mouse free, so she spoke to the mouse. “Go! You are free now!” But the mouse didn’t move. “Go!” Pema repeated. The mouse motionless kept looking with her sweet eyes. Pema gently touched her and repeated her invitation to move. This time, the mouse got it and moved slowly away in the darkness of the cellar. “It is strange, the mouse in the cage has freed herself!” said her mom at dinner. Pema stayed silent. Her mom looked at her with a smile. Pema resumed eating, and nobody ever mentioned the mouse anymore. Once in her bed, Pema was filled with joy, feeling the mouse free and alive. Pema felt she did something significant for her birthday. She felt this was the best gift she ever had: saving the life of a mouse!

The Diary

For the new year of her twelve-year-old, her parents prepared a wonderful surprise for all the children. The whole day, they moved back and forth to a mountain shelter belonging to a farmer who would bring his cows to grass on the pasture in the summer. However, in the winter, the shelter was empty. Her parents got permission to use it for the new year. They brought food, sleeping bags, and gifts. They also festively decorated the place. The children, busy playing around with their snow slides, didn’t notice anything the whole day. They had dinner, and when they were about to sleep, their parents told them they would do something special tonight. They ask the kids to wear war clothes and be ready to go out. Outside, their parents had prepared all the alpine ski gear. The children were surprised. Pema wondered what it was all about but was excited at the adventure. It was already late into the night and cold! Silently, all the kids followed the trail of the parents. The hike was strenuous. It took two hours to climb the steep mountain. The sky was full of stars reflecting their light on the snow. It was very beautiful. Arriving at the shelter, all the kids were welcomed by their uncle, who came much before them. The fire was on, candlelight shone, and a warm drink was served. Pema sat and looked around at the magnificent decoration. It was so like a fairy house. Colourful garlands were hanging from the ceiling. The atmosphere in the small room was pure magic. After the drink, her mother offered a gift to everyone. Pema received a little notebook. On it was written: Your diary. She didn’t know what it meant. Her mother explained: “This is for you to write down all the important experiences happening to you daily.” Pema got curious and knew that she would definitely note down this night adventure she was in now. She didn’t know yet that she would have many more diaries. For the next ten years, she wrote down all her adventures, her first kiss, her frustrations at school, her first lovemaking, her best friendship, her questioning and existential crisis… This first diary awoke her passion for writing stories and her thoughts on many topics. The night went on with more hot drinks, laughter, and songs until, at midnight, her father asked everyone to come out. The full Moon shone on the mountains and illuminated the snow with a mysterious light. The scene was pure wonder. Pema stood out, totally blown away, like entering a new dimension. The Beauty opening before her was beyond anything she had seen before. The light, the giant round Moon, the smell of the snow, the mountain peaks, the silence, the stillness… It all came inside her and never left her. The day after, she tried her best to write it in her diary and realised that some things were simply impossible to put into words.


This is certainly one kind of event that profoundly marked Pema's life. Maybe she was about twelve, but I am unsure about it. Her father was the director of a sports shop at that time. Pema and her mother went there for Pema to get some mountain boots. After purchasing them, they were about to leave the shop when they heard music coming from the street. Everybody went to the window shop to see what was happening. Pema stood by the side of her parents and marvelled to observe a caravan of young people all dressed in white with their heads shaved and some lines of orange-red paint on their foreheads. They were dancing to the rhythm of their music and singing: “Hare Krishna, hare Krishna…” This was to Pema very beautiful. She was so impressed that singing and dancing in the street was possible. She felt this was how it should be: dancing, singing our joy in the street. However, her parents didn’t share the same point of view: “What a shame these people are wasting their time… indoctrinated in a sect…” Pema heard. She couldn’t understand what was wrong with these people. She felt they were the most amazing people she ever saw. Plus, she liked how they dressed in their long white special outfits. When they passed in front of the window shop, she looked at their expression carefully. They felt so happy. Why this could be wrong, she thought. She wondered why Joy was being condemned and decided that she would dance and sing in the street whenever she wanted. She listened carefully to their songs and felt a very intimate recognition of the word Krishna. She had no idea what this could mean, but the word felt very familiar, touching her heart to tears. Later on, she kept repeating it whenever she felt a bit down. This would lift her immediately. It took many years before she learned that Krishna was an extraordinary being. And this brings me to the next story.

Second added


In 1989, the five-hour movie The Mahabharata by Peter Brook played in one of the movie halls of the city where Pema was studying art. One of her teachers, who happened to be her lover too, invited her to watch this peculiar movie. He said: “It is a beautiful movie, but it is very long and slow. Are you ready for that?” Pema was enchanted, though she had no idea what the movie was about and what Mahabharata could mean. The start of the film captured her attention. She sat breathless with eyes wide open and felt transported into another dimension. Her teacher fell asleep very soon. Pema, fully awake and overwhelmed by many unknown emotions, kept looking at the movie without missing a second. She didn’t understand mentally what was played, but her heart understood everything. It felt to her that her inner world was played on the screen. All her existential questions were displayed in the dialogue and the pictures of the movie. She heard the name Krishna and got to know the man named by it. There was Arjuna, the Pandavas, the Kauravas, Vyasa and Ganesha… She felt she knew them all very intimately. At some point, she got a kind of fever that lifted her into a sort of trance. She was suddenly sitting with all of them. She was not in a movie but far back in India, where the scene occurred a thousand years ago. She could even smell incense all around her. When she came out of the movie hall, her teacher enquired if she liked the movie, to which she replied it was the most profound movie she ever saw. Her teacher was surprised because to him it was a bit boring. Back home, Pema had a hard time sleeping. Many scenes and dialogues of the movie were playing inside her. Her whole being was in a kind of turmoil. It felt like the movie was reviving some buried memories in Pema. For many weeks, she felt a bit fevering each time she recalled the film, but by and by, it settled down, and she forgot more or less about it until one day, some two years later, it all forcefully came back! And this is for the next story!


As far as I know, Pema had and still has many existential crises and questions. It has not always been easy, but this crisis that I am about to share was very beautiful. She was twenty-two when the crisis forcefully rose inside her. One spring morning, she woke up to wonder why there were wars on this planet. What were the fights about? Why all the suffering?... And this was not philosophical questioning. Anyway, Pema has never been philosophical! She had the urge to find the answers right now. She felt there was no point in living without understanding this play of suffering, wars… But where to find the answers? At this point, the Mahabharata movie came intensely playing back inside her. The fever came back with it. It set up a tremendous amount of energy in Pema. She closed her eyes and dived into the movie sequences that played inside her. She could hear clearly some dialogue, especially the one from Krishna and Arjuna. And there she stopped. She got it. She had to find the conversation of Krishna and Arjuna. In her fever, she went straight to her favourite bookstore. She moved to the book section on spirituality. There were so many books she got a bit lost. Soon, she got noticed by the shopkeeper, who approached her very lovingly. “Are you looking for something special?” he asked. “The Mahabharata,” replied Pema. The shopkeeper looked at her with surprise and asked: “There are many volumes of the Mahabharata. Which one you are looking for?” Pema didn’t know and felt at a loss. She stayed silent before saying she didn’t know but that somehow, she would like to find the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna. “Oh! I see you are looking for the Bhagavad Gita,” happily exclaimed the shopkeeper before moving to some shelves to pick up the book. “Here it is!” he said, handing over the book to Pema, who looked at it in wonder. “It is a precious book,” whispered the shopkeeper before leaving for some other clients. Pema looked at it and felt like holding a treasure and the answers to her burning questions. To say she read the book is an understatement. She ate it with a ferocious appetite! She cried a lot, was shocked many times, and fell into a total stupor and wonder. She slept with the book under her pillow. She reread many parts of the book, not understanding yet fully understanding. The paradox was sometimes so intense that the fever would come back. This was the most astonishing for Pema, to realise her capacity to understand without the mind. She could feel deeply everything she read. It was going straight inside her, bypassing her rational mind. She identified completely with the struggle of Arjuna, sent to battle against the members of his own family. His questions to Krishna, the lord of the universe and best companion, were hers. The answers from Krishna advising Arjuna to go for the fight were like an electroshock in Pema's system, and it shook her to the depth of her being and woke up a forgotten part of herself. “Victory and defeat are the same… Seek detachment…” she read from Krishna. When she finished the book, she was no more the same. Now, she knew that she had to change her life and search for freedom, peace, and detachment inside herself. She understood no answers would come from outside. She had to wake up her inner Krishna state. She did it three years later by embarking on her first journey to India. But this is another story. I will narrate to you another time…

Thank you for travelling in the life landscape of Pema Gitama.
From time to time, I will add more stories.
Drop by when you feel like it for a cup of tea and stories

Many greetings from the Land of Snow,

Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud
Pema Gitama - Cloud


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