A year ago today I was flying towards India, part of an eclectic group of graduate students who would study Tibetan Medicine at the Men-Tsee-Khang Institute (TMAI) in the little hill town of Dharamsala. What an honor and delightful adventure to explore the Tibetan community nestled around His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's home. Eating Tibetan food, hearing the language, sharing tea with our gracious hosts. Learning about Tibetan Childrens' Village where over 2,000 young people reside and are educated, meeting a few of those lovely children and the staff who care for them, sharing in their Olympic Games. Meeting the political leadership of the exiled government of Tibet, attending prayer vigils for those living under Peoples' Republic of China (PRC) rule. Walking with villagers, being fitted for a traditional dress in a tiny sewing shop filled with women visiting together. Standing at the road side to bow respectfully welcoming His Holiness back to Dharamsala along with Tibetans old and young. Studying the ancient medical practice of Tibetan Medicine in English - our teachers wise and patient, articulate, and well-prepared with power point presentations, hand-outs, and assigned readings. Our teachers caring for us as we were ill with travel issues and underlying concerns, healing with the plant kingdom of the Himalayas.
I had never dreamed I would have this experience - and I am so very grateful. I hold the presence of the current class who left for India on Sunday, in my heart and thoughts, wishing them a life-altering experience on their adventure. Enjoy a photo of the Tibetan flag flying over the institute.