The Malagiri School


November 2010 – Meeting with the Dalai Lama in India

I leave Heathrow on 28th October 2010 on the over night flight to Delhi. Here I change blog11_dalai_lamaplanes onto the small 40 seater ‘twin prop’ which will take me to Dharamsala. It’s a magnificent flight – in a small plane flying low you get an incredible view of the mighty Himalaya. The Dalai Lama is also on the plane returning from a visit to America.

For the next few days I stay in a hotel in Dharamsala, the exiled home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. Dharamsala is often called ‘Little Tibet’ and there is a huge mix of peoples and costumes. Many monasteries – monks and nuns mingle with tourists – it is a really interesting place.

Swapping fundraising ideas…
Pema Dorjee leads about ten projects throughout Northern India and Nepal and the Malagiri School is one of these. He also travels the world giving lectures and fund raising and there are representatives from, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, the US and myself from England. We have many meetings about the various projects and swap fund raising ideas. Some of the Tibetan, Indian and Nepali project managers are also present as are a group of Bodong people who have travelled for many days from their home in Arunachal Pradesh. This is a very remote region of India on the Tibet, Burma border and there are many health issues for the people in this community which Pema is attempting to address.

Meeting the Dalai Lama

On 2nd November we go to the Dalai Lama’s residence which is only two minutes walk from the hotel!! His Holiness looks well and he tells us of his recent visit to the United States where he attended meetings on the theme ‘Science of Mind’ and he gave a Buddhist perspective at these sessions. There is a great interest worldwide in the relationship between Science and Buddhism.

The Dalai Lama also spoke on the following themes:

  • It is important for us to consider positive values, compassion and loving kindness – materialism often doesn’t seem to be helping to make people happy.
  • He reinforced the need for a broad and balanced education – not just to teach children to pass exams but to be good human beings.
  • He also spoke to the Indian, Nepali and Tibetan project managers about the need to spend donations wisely, to be transparent with the fund raising and at all costs avoid corruption.

His Holiness then thanks us all for our efforts and support and I have my photograph taken with him and some representatives of the group from the United States.

A day later I head back to Delhi – a 15 hour taxi ride through the Punjab. A long, bumpy, tiring journey but friends from Sweden keep me company. We arrive at the Tibetan Refugee Camp in Delhi in the late evening and have a few hours sleep before a 3.00 am alarm call wakes us so that we can catch the first flight of the day to Kathmandu to appoint the Head teacher of the Malagiri School.

See more photos from this story.

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