Little Tibet and the 14th Dalai Lama

I’ll be honest. Before reaching Mcleod Ganj–current home base of the exiled Dalai Lama–I knew next to nothing of Tibet, her people and her struggles, only that I wanted to visit someday.

After spending a few, poignant days here, I still can’t say I know anything… only that the struggle is very real and that there are hundreds of thousands of people affected by the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

I feel very fortunate to have been in the presence of the Dalai Lama, but the force that really affected me was the candor of the Tibetan refugees and the reverence they showed to the Dalai Lama.

Xiker chatted a bit with a coffee shop worker, who spent a month and a half crossing the mountains to escape Tibet and reach safety in Mcleod Ganj. We spent two hours, along with thousands of other people–mostly dressed up Tibetans and a handful of lucky foreigners who happened to be in the right place at the right time– sitting in the Tsuglagkhang temple, listening (and not understanding) to His Holiness go through a teaching (it was in Tibetan, of course).

Summary (and pictures) of the teaching can be found here:http://tibet.net/2013/02/26/his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-reads-jataka-tale-on-the-day-of-miracles/
(note the irony re: ignorance)

Here’s Little Tibet in all her glory.

View from the Temple, the first day. COLD AND WET
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View from our balcony at 7 am the next day.
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A little later.
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Valley view.
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This cutie is actually a Hindi girl, dressed up for a photo shoot
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Went to see a waterfall in Bhagsu.
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Education
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Went on a clockwise jaunt, called a kora, around the Tsuglagkhang Temple.
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This big thing is called a Mani prayer wheel, and there are hundreds if not thousands more like it, dotted around the city.
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This lady showed us how its done!
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The day of the Dalai Lama’s teaching.
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A sign next to this wall of prayer wheels say that it is filled with thousands of ‘Avalokiteshvara’ mantras, and by turning the wheel once, one earns merit equal to the recitation of the mantras filled inside.

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as the sun was setting in the west…
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the moon was rising on the other side of the sky
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