Sonam Lama was trained as a stonemason in his native Tibet. He worked as a volunteer apprentice to a master stonemason rebuilding monasteries after the cultural revolution. When Sonam moved to Massachusetts over 20 years ago, he started by volunteering to rebuild an old New England stone wall for a friend, and from there his reputation grew.
“When they say your work is amazing, what do they mean?”"It is a great feeling for me to know that my walls will be there after I am gone… A good stonemason must really know a rock well…to break one stone into two.”Sonam recently bought an old abandoned motel in South Deerfield and converted it into the Tibetan Plaza, a complex that has a Tibetan import store, organic pizza shop, and bakery. On the site he constructed a beautiful stupa, a sacred Buddhist monument.Ken Schoen, Sonam’s interviewer, invited us to visit his?Jewish bookstore?and site of the Jewish Historical Society of Western Massachusetts where we saw some Jane Trigere’s artwork. After we met Sonam we walked 7 times around the stupa and observed the fast growing lotus pond.These interviews were organized in partnership with the Jewish Historical Society of Western Massachusetts.