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Between Monks and Monkeys

Two travel books inspired by Tibetans in exile

INDIA | Thursday, 25 April 2013 | Views [1072]

McLeod Ganj, perched on a spur of land overlooking the Kangra valley

McLeod Ganj, perched on a spur of land overlooking the Kangra valley

In 2010 and 2012 I spent three months (that's the longest visa I could get)  teaching English as a volunteer at Tibet Charity in Dharamshala, India. My students were mostly Tibetans.  Dharamshala is a community dominated by Tibetans in exile, and the residence of the Dalai Lama. It was a real time of learning for me - I knew very little about the Tibetan people when I arrived, and as time went on I was increasingly drawn to them as a people. Despite the occupation of their country, the exile of over 100,000 people, the threat to their religion, culture and freedom, the Tibetans I met were upbeat, positive people with a great sense of humour and a truly impressive sense of compassion.

Their mantra is "May all sentient beings be happy" and it really does mean something. One of the stories the Dalai Lama tells is about a monk who was imprisoned for years by the Chinese in a Tibetan jail. When he was finally released he travelled to India, and as all new Tibetan arrivals do, he met the Dalai Lama. In the course of the conversation he said that while in prison he had several times been in great danger. When the Dalia Lama asked him to explain he said "Danger of losing compassion for the Chinese."

This attitude, and other things I learned about Tibetan history and the injustices they have suffered inspired me to write two books, "Between Monks and Monkeys" and "The Yeti in the Library", both available as paperback and e-books. You can Google them, or contact me directly, for more information.  You can read samples from both books on www.goodreads.com/author/show/6433635.Gill_Winter  and buy them as e-books and paperbacks. I've also written a novel based loosely on the invasion and occupation 

 of Tibet, "Before the Magic Fades." See my website https://gillwinterbooks.wordpress.com for details




Tags: dalai lama, dharamsala, dharamshala, library, monkeys, monks, teaching, tibet, yeti



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