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From Turbans to Tibetans

USA | Wednesday, 11 March 2009 | Views [476]

There was something about McLeod Ganj that made me want to stay nestled in the mountains and learn and interact as much as I could. In a weeks time I found myself filled with events and inspiring happenings that could keep me in McLeoud for many more weeks. I wondered around the monestary and spenttime with the monks and sitting in for their 1:30 Puja ceremony. The enrergy and sound of prayer overwhelmed me as it flowed through my body from the crown of my head to the tips of my toes. The gentleness of the monks and their warm smiles kept me warm during the chilly day.

I took a Tibetan massage/acupuncture course with a great Dr where I learned more in 7 days in healing and the body and herbal medicine then I could have learned in 1 month in a institution. I can’t wait to use this skill with my friends and who ever may need itJ I learning Indian and Tibetan cooking, immersed myself in literature around Aryurvedic healing, and found myself saying hi to all the neighbors around and sitting and having sweets and tea with them. I took beautiful hikes into rhodedendrum forests, I quickly connected with a long lost soul sister from another lifetime, and I met the Karmapa and received his blessings after having several dreams and serendipitous events and a free ride from mother Anita to continue to push me on the path. I loved having tea in the home of a Tibetan refugee Tangka painter and who was practicing English, and also having a home cooked Tibetan meal with my Teacher and hearing his story of lost love and passion for his work of healing.

The spirit of survival and passion for freedom is strong in McLeod Ganj. I was fortunate to participate in a candle light service, a march, conversations, see movies around the issues and be a part of a movie premier based on the story of the Refugees that were shot at by the Chinese and caught on film by Mountain Climbers. All of their tales are beyond words of courage and their hearts and souls are what you want to hold and celebrate and protect. My passion for wanting to serve and help the Tibetans was triggered as well as the emotions of frustration, anger, and sorrow. I figured while I was in McLeod I could do the best as I could as one individual and listen to their stories, share smiles and hugs, turn prayer wheels, help them with their English, and buy some of their products. I know that McLeod Ganj is definitely a tempting place to return to if there is a time in my life where I can volunteer and serve – there are a number of passionate westerners helping and living there. Another great thing was that I arrived in Mcleod just at the end of its "off" season. So the streets were mainly filled with Tibetans and Indians….with a random tourist here and there.

My last day I said my good-byes to my temporary community, had my favorite Tibetan Special sweet bar and got a taxi at 4:30 AM down to the bus station in Dharamsala to make my way to my last stop on this India adventure: Amritsar.

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