The Dalai Lama in Person

The Dalai Lama in Person

Throughout 2017, roomsXML’s national BDM Sasha Luckey completed her yoga teacher training, including a 2 week immersion in Northern India. She shares some thoughts on the real India.

Buddhist or not, what a great chance to hear wisdom coming from the source

Early on in our intensive yoga studies we saw the 14th Dalai Lama speak. Whether you’re Buddhist or not, what a great chance to hear wisdom coming from the source, both in person and place.

Dharamasala is a far northern Indian town which is 13 km from the airport, but in reality is between 45 minutes and 2 ½ hours in a car. Best make that a decent car with a driver who speaks English thanks very much. I’d just finished working in the multicultural and sophisticated town of Pune in the South, staying at the JW Marriot.

Squeezing in three abreast into something about the age and size of the original mini with luggage on our laps at 37° was a little bit of a culture shock.

This is the other end of India beyond just the geography.

yogi rock

You need time to really get the benefits

The Dalai Lama’s teachings are listed on his website so you can review timetables and book in advance. Once you’re in the main part of town you can walk there. Of the hotels I saw, the Fortune Park hotel I stayed was clearly the best in the area; it’s absolutely beautiful but too far out of town. Some of the views are breathtaking.

Our yoga course was in Himachal Pradesh, about two hours away from Dharamsala. Same undersized car. Early morning and not so hot. Less baggage in our laps. Could be worse.

The Dalai Lama speaks in an open air auditorium with tight security barring any technology such as phones or cameras. You need to line up in advance to get a photograph on your pass and it pays to be well-organised. Then you just make a small donation, bags down, frisked and wander in with 10,000 other people, mostly Buddhist monks, and look for somewhere to take a seat.

 

At one stage were waiting for a portion of the crowd to move and a small congregation walked on the other side of the barrier. There he was, within touching distance. It was tempting but decorum prevailed.

 As the Dalai Lama speaks in Tibetan you need an FM radio in order to hear the translation. Some phones will work or they can be purchased cheaply outside. Your hotels or tour guides will know somebody to speak to.

It was so relaxing, no time constraints or and simply having the space to hear him roll through his favourite topics. Halfway through novice monks wander through the crowds with massive containers of amazing fresh chai. It was a surreal experience to have someone pour me a cup of hot chai as the Dalai Lama spoke from his backyard.

Simple. Powerful. Engaging. Enlightening

Top five tips for visiting the Della llama:

  • take a cushion
  • take your own cup
  • take a FM radio and headphones
  • take some water
  • pick up your entry pass the day before

yogi crew

 

 

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