The Dalai Lama’s teachings in Dharamsala are up there on one of the all time experiences to put on your bucket list.
It has a famous person at centre stage – the Dalai Lama, all the pomp and ceremony of an ancient culture, lots of Tibetans from the Amlas (mothers, grandmothers) and their children and grandchildren in their long, silk brocade tunic with a matching (or not) blouse underneath. The men are also there in their traditional extraordinary, long armed coats covering their trendy jeans. All this is decorated with silver amulets, coral and turquoise beads. It is interesting mixture of the traditional versus modernity of jeans, t-shirts and American sports shoes.
The teachings which are on Buddhist Philosophy can be difficult to understand. The Dalai Lama is a very skilled teacher who has spent a lifetime absorbed in this ancient Philosophy, cuts through it all, and gives very practical advice on how to use it in everyday life. He has the uncanny ability to tell us when we need and feel as though he is talking to us directly. With his deep, powerful voice the words that are delivered cut deep into your heart and soul.
The audience for the teachings is a mixture of cultures, ages and races. From the local Tibetans to people who have travelled far and wide to be in the Dharamsala temple grounds it is an eclectic mix who all come for one common purpose, to get a glimpse to the Dalai Lama and to hear his words.
The teachings happen in his temple grounds. There are no chairs (you have to bring your own) and the teachings are in Tibetan with the language of your choice through an FM radio. As it is in an open space, the teachings can happen in all kinds of weather; it can be either freezing cold or blistering hot. It is also a huge, cultural experience. Tibetans treat it as a special occasion and dress up for it and sit, listen and socialize in the breaks. The kids run around as if they are at a picnic.
The Dalai Lama comes and goes to his house in the same way, through the gates at the end of the temple. If you are cheeky enough, you can manaevour your way to the front and get up close and personal with him (surrounded by his body guards though). It can be a very moving experience particularly making eye contact and having him stop to talk to you and your neighbours.
We, at Ekno Travels are locals of Dharamsala, so we have put together 2 itineraries to coincide with the 2018 teachings in 4-7 September, 3-6 October 2018 See itinerary here. Hope you can join us.