Learning Non-Violence at the Dalai Lama’s House in Dharamsala, India

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
-The 14th Dalai Lama

Throughout my travels across India, it was one of my major goals to visit the Dalai Lama’s House in India.

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What’s So Special About the Dalai Lama?

The Dalai Lama is a social and spiritual leader, particularly of the Tibetan people. He currently lives in Dharamsala, India as a refugee, and leader in exile. The current Dalai Lama is also known as Tenzin Gyatso and is the 14th of a long line of historical Dalai Lamas.

I personally wanted to meet with him in his home in India because he is well known for having won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his message of non-violence and advocacy for Tibetans within and outside of Tibet.

In Search of the Dalai Lama

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As I arrived in McLeod Ganj – the suburb in Dharamsala of the Dalai Lama‘s current residence, I noticed a thriving community of Tibetan refugees. The people and culture were distinctly different from the other parts of India that I had visited.

I strolled down Temple Road, in awe of the bustling Tibetan markets amidst the enormous peaks of the Himalayan mountains.

Learning Through Experience

When I reached the Dalai Lama’s house, this is how I felt:

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1) Shock

At the hunger strike of about 20 Tibetan monks in front of the Dalai Lama’s house, which had been going on for a number of days now.

2) Disappointment

As I watched and learned about the history of the Tibetan people, and discovered the ongoing lack of agreement about Tibet’s self determination.

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3) Calm

Walking through the Tibetan temple, staring at the peaceful views of the mountains and observing Tibetans practising their religion.
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4) Curiosity

At how the Dalai Lama kept his cool, continuing to advocate non-violent action, even throughout the several years in exile.

Peaceful Action

It’s often said that it’s human nature to get angry, and maybe even violent, when we lose things that are very dear to us.

The reason why I wanted to visit the Dalai Lama is because I respect the fact that even though he had lost everything, he remained aligned to his values of non-violence.

I think there’s something very valuable for all of us to learn here.

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“Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. This is not just a dream, but a necessity.”
-The 14th Dalai Lama