Alice in Wonderland of Dharamshala, Part 1

Alice project, from the holy land of Kashi to the divine land of Dharamshala

On June 24, a group of 81 students and 10 teachers left from Sarnath for Dharamsala, an unknown destination and a busy calendar of events lit up the imagination and enthusiasm of the group. For the youngers, which had never left home and had never taken a train, it was an incredible adventure. For teachers, it was a mixed experience of amazement and awareness for a new dream that took shape: a school trip to go to meet HH the 14th Dalai Lama in a private audience.

A group picture of the students and the teachers at the Varanasi railway station.

After completing/ the completion of a 33 hours long journey by train which was 6 hours late and 4 hours of journey by bus finally we reached to Mcleod Ganj , Dharamshala. A mixed expression could be easily seen over the faces of the students, it was true that all of them were exhausted because of such a long journey in the heat of 44 degrees, but at the same time their eyes were shining seeing Mr. Valentino, Ms. Ilaria and our president Mr. Tenzin la, who had done all the preparations / arrangements for welcoming the group in the wonderful place of Dharamshala.
All of us were provided luxurious rooms, where we all got refreshed. After that all the teachers and students gathered to discuss about the next day’s program as we were supposed to visit HH Dalai Lama. we gathered together and a planning for the next day was discussed with the teachers and students as the next day was the day when we had to meet HH. All the students and
teachers were eagerly waiting for the night to be over.

Group of teachers meeting with Mr.Valentino

Students relaxing in their rooms

Alice in Wonderland of Dharamshala 2nd day: Private audience with HH

The sun of the next day seemed to be rising very late; every single minute seemed to us as hours. All of us were waiting for the next statement of our president, when is he going to ask us to
move to the residence of HH as it was the main purpose meaning of the whole trip. Alice’s group of students and teachers came to Dharamshala especially for this reason: to meet HH the Dalai Lama in private audience and once again participate in the immense gift of his wisdom and blessing.

Students with HH after the private audience

All the faces bloomed up seeing the president ready asking all of us to move. We happily reached to the residence of HH which was full of peace and spiritual energy. As fire puja was already going on, all of us could see the high lamas and monks performing the puja. After completing the security check ups, all of us could get entry entered in the hall where the audience was scheduled. For more than two hours the teachers, the Headmaster, Valentino and our student boys have silently waited for His Holiness to arrive. Silence not neither built nor forced an anxious, emotional, sincere silence. A silence of respect, of harmony, of complicity of a group formed through years of exchanges and sharing of spaces, time, values and bets.

Finally the time had come; we could see the HH coming slowly – slowly to the shrine. A natural smile could easily be seen on his face. All of us stood up in respect and welcomed him with the chanting of Mantras and Bhajans.

HH started his speech with the importance of time, which is running continuously unstopped. He said “We should use time properly. What is the meaning of using it properly means, younger generation, I think human being, eventually, hopefully, should be more harmonist humanity, helping each other instead of bully or fight. And for that I feel education is key factor. Now including India, so called modern Education, is very much oriented about material values. Not very much intension about our inner value. So whole generation who come through that kind of education has materialistic life. And create materialistic culture. Now in this country , India, thousand year old your rich culture, heritage , including Samatha, Vipasana , before Buddha came, the practice of Samatha , practice of Vipasana, investigationand also some yoga practice , some exercise , before Buddha came all these was already there. Now
modern India , I think forgot these things…

So there is a strong need of traditional moral and ethical values in the modern Education system. Without this the education is becoming more and more materialistic and our lives are becoming
more and fuller of crisis and suffering. All these sufferings are man-made; we are the creators of these sufferings.

All the major tradition of world have the same potential to produce good, sensible, compassionate person. So all have the same potential , same message, message of love.”

Only India’s ancient knowledge have the ability to tackle these emotional problems and crisis. So I am totally committed to revival of this ancient knowledge about mind, strictly secular way. So students who are here think equally modern education subject at the same time ancient Indian Education about mind, about emotion, please pay more attention.”

Then the question answer session started, where the students were welcomed to ask some questions to HH. Some of our students asked unexpectedly wonderful questions to him. One of
our students, Malay Kappin Chakma asked: “If whole universe is the projection of our mind, but we cannot image out of the world. So what is the reality, outer one or the inner one?”

Answering to this question HH said: “According to the Indian philosophy especially according to the non-theistic religion, like Sankhya philosophy, Jain and Buddhist philosophy, life has no beginning, it is begin less and non-Buddhists they say Atman, no beginning. So now the limitless solar system, galaxies, limitless, no limit, there is no end according to the Indian philosophy including Buddhist philosophy, galaxy limitless. The modern scientist they know only one galaxy and now gradually begins more powerful telescopes have developed and now there are more galaxies. Some galaxies are beginning now and some are disappearing. That exactly has been mentioned in the Indian tradition. So how these galaxies to happen? KARMA- What is a Karma? There are two types of Karmas, one mentally, level andone action level. Action level is also related with the mind. So all the galaxies, whole cosmos isultimately created by mind.

The meeting was concluded with the song offering ceremony. At the same time the copy of our recent Edition “Manual Universal Ethics Vol- II” was offered to HH by the school director Mr. Valentino Giacomin. At the same time a song composed by Mr. Valentino was also offered to Him. Mr Valentino offered a self composed song to HH as well during the conclusion of the
meeting.

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