What does peace mean to you? by Jeanette

19 December 2017

On the 16th December, 1989- His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel peace prize. It was a momentous occasion and one which brought hope to so many people including the Tibetan community in exile. It’s been 28 years since His Holiness stood up on the podium in Stockholm to receive this award and to express his hopes to the world for a better future. Let’s take this opportunity to remind ourselves of the message that not just he, but also many of the great leaders of the world wished to convey to us all in these times of turmoil and uncertainty.  

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Letter to my Ego by Stéphanie

19 December 2017

When words became too heavy to be spoken, writing them down can be a solution to free yourself from their energies. It can be a good way to clear the mind, to calm down the flooding gibberish thoughts looping in your head. This is a natural and instinctive human need. As we all seeking happiness and mental calmness we should all try to write. Whatever way you will do it, keep in mind the main point is to let ink flood to release the pain, write words to cure sores. Dear Ego, Today I am two Tomorrow, I hope to be only one. One year ago, I finally identified you as I traveled into the heart of sacred Indian traditions. Acknowledging your existence was the starting point. Shutting you down is my final target Let’s start at the beginning and define you: you are a mistaken conception of “myself”, you are the untrue belief that “I” can be self existing by itself out of any connection with the whole. Some say that you stay an essential part of our survival instinct, a keeper of dignity and respect. The more I know you, the more this vision seems untrue for me as dignity, respect, and instinct are vast notions only defined by you. Essentially you are, this part is very true but I don’t think that’s the reason why… Today I am two Tomorrow, I hope to be only one. “Be one” is to reunite in the same energy of life who I am and who I perceive as “myself”. “Become me” is a much longer quest than expected, a more difficult fight where the final issue has to be you bending in front of my real identity. And if, along this path of life, destination is only a pretext in which to keep going; reaching it stands as an essential part of my inner blossoming puzzle. I won’t give up, Ego, one day I’ll get you! Dear, dearest Ego, I don’t wish your total disappearance I just want to be able to define your true shape, your real field of existence. I just want to recognize your real influence upon my decisions, my opinions and my actions, feel it is the key not to let you manipulate me like a doll enslaved by preformatted mental limits. I’m working on successfully using you as a tool dedicated to my personal blossoming […]

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My journey to India as a spiritual seeker- Couch Surfing by Tashi

10 November 2017

My journey to India as a spiritual seeker By Benjamin De Donder Part 2 – Couchsurfing in New Delhi I must have said thank you like a thousand times to Vikas for saving me from being stranded at the airport. On top of that, I had ended up in probably the most amazing place in Delhi. There is literally not a single place in the universe where I would rather have been in that moment. I instantly felt incredibly at home and very comfortable to express myself, we shared music that we loved and had great conversations. I also instantly fell in love with couchsurfing. I found it truly an amazing experience to be surrounded by open-minded, local people and fellow travelers and backpackers. The stories were amazing and I got to see different perspectives on similar experiences to mine, such as arriving at an unknown place in an unknown country after a long flight. I imagined it must be so amazing to be a couchsurfing host and continually meet different people from all over the world with inspiring stories, on inspiring journeys. During the many times that I have returned to my friends in New Delhi, I met many inspiring people through couchsurfing: Four girls, literally from every corner of the world: South India, New Zealand, Canada, who were traveling alone and had met coincidentally in India and felt a strong connection with each other and each other’s stories and had decided to travel together to Rishikesh; A girl from Egypt, who was, at that time, volunteering at a school in New Delhi. She looked very beautiful and was passionate about fashion. I loved the way she talked and acted, as she was quite forgetful and chaotic in her mind and I found it astonishing to see how carefree she was and headed alone into New Delhi as if it was an everyday thing; Two girls from Germany who were traveling around. They were amazing photographers and one of them had left her family in Germany to travel and meet her family in India. She was planning to cut people’s hair to make some money along the way and one day, write a book about her story. Great respect struck me, meeting these empowered ladies, radiating determination, strength and fearlessness. When I went outside the apartment for the first time and headed into the city of New Delhi, I was […]

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My journey to India as a spiritual seeker by Tashi


02 November 2017

My journey to India as a spiritual seeker By Benjamin De Donder Part one — Introduction First and foremost I would like to express that I do not think one needs to go to India to learn about spirituality. Before I went to India, I was already actively learning about spirituality during my daily life in Belgium. The book of life is in my opinion the most educational read, as it is specifically written for your mind, by your soul. Personally, I have experienced that the only thing that is required to learn about yourself, life and spirituality is a genuinely seeking mind that is trying to understand the workings of creation: a questioning mind that is okay with not knowing the answers; a mind that is ever observing and open to receive answers through anyone or anything; a mind that questions everything, including its teachers and even itself; a mind that is willing to let go of beliefs and behaviour that have been proven obsolete by attained answers; a mind that when there are no more questions for some time, starts to wonder where the questions have gone and starts to look for new ones; a mind that knows that no questions means no growth; a mind that craves growth; and most importantly, a mind that includes feeling in its observations and allows it to be its guide. If you have this, you can learn profound things in any moment wherever you are, for every moment is deeply spiritual. Nevertheless, when you do have the chance to travel to India, I would definitely strongly encourage you to go. Personally, I believe traveling and staying at the same place for some time make it easier to read from the book of life, for you are in yet unobserved area, still observing with the same mind. So certain patterns you might be attracting could be noticed more easily. Plus, India is the most amazing, diverse, stimulating and eye opening place I have ever been to in my life. Not that I have traveled that much, so it was obviously very impressive. So… how did I, a 22 year old computer science graduate from Belgium, ended up volunteering in Dharamshala for 9 months? Well, I had been a spiritual seeker for some time and from my perspective, it just happened. It was coincidence, so it was my obvious next step to take. […]

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5 things to know about Amravathi, Andhra Pradesh by Stéphanie

21 September 2017

Amravathi is a popular pilgrim destination for Buddhists and Hindus alike, and with the possibility of the 2019 Kalachakra Initiation to be held there, we thought we’d take a closer look at this historical village and see what it’s all about. Where is it Amravathi is a small town located in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh on the south coast of India. It is located on the southern banks of the Krishna river and is formerly known as Andhra Nagari.   What’s so special about it Amaravathi is the place where Shakyamuni Buddha turned the wheel of dharma when he gave the first Kalachakra teaching 2500 years ago at the request of King Dawa Sangpo (Suchandra). It is also the location in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama performed the 2006 Kalachakra Initiation. It is a popular pilgrimage site for Hindus as well. Over 2000 years ago the Satavahanas chose the site to build their capital at Dharanikota and it is one of the few places in the country where the sacred Krishna river flows north instead of east or south; creating an auspicious location for pilgrims seeking ablution. What to see Amareshwara Temple is the holy shrine of lord Shiva. It’s located on ‘ Krouncha Saila’ hill alongside the Krishna river on the south-eastern side of Srisailam Temple. The 15 feet high white marble lingam is the main attraction and is one of the five holy shrines of lord Shiva. Amravathi also houses a giant Buddhist stupa which measures 27 meters in height and 50 meters in diameter. The rectangular shape platforms of this Stupa project into the four cardinal directions measuring 7.20 X 2.10 meters. Mangalagiri is one of the few places in India where a dead volcano can be found. There is a long-standing tradition called Panakala Narasimha Swami in the Narasimha Swami Temple where Jaggery Juice (Panakam) is poured in the belief that it will keep the volcano dormant The Undavalli caves located in a small village 6 km south west from Vijayawada, were carved out of solid sandstone on a hillside in the 4th- 5th centuries A.D. This monolith is often considered one of the finest examples of ancient vishwakarma sthapathis Where to stay Accomodation in Amravathi itself is suited more towards camping so bring along a tent or hire one from one of the local vendors. If Hotels are more your style then […]

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Dalai Lama to attend his 82nd birthday celebration in ladakh by Stéphanie

28 June 2017

Where the party’s at So, the 6th July 2017 is kind of a big deal here; it’s the 82nd Trungkar (that’s birthday to us lay people) of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and in true Tibetan style, there’s going to be a party. A really big one. Here is everything you need to know so you don’t miss out on the big event Where is it? This party is going to be held in Ladakh. Ladakh has often been referred to as the rooftop of the world and is believed to be a photographer’s dream location. These foothills of the Himalaya will provide a stunning backdrop for this joyous occasion and is going to draw momentous crowds. The celebration itself will be held in Jivey Tsal (the peace garden) at His Holiness’ Choglamsar residence. Who’s going? Pretty much everybody who lives in Leh, travelling pilgrims and devotees from all over the world, as well as dignitaries countrywide. The preparations will begin on 5th July where over 100 tents will be erected and numerous market stalls set up to hold a wide variety of produce and wares for all who attend What’s happening? The day is going to begin at approx. 8am with a Tenchung (traditional long-life puja) for his holiness performed by the Tibetan community of Ladakh in Jivey Tsal’s main temple, along with an incense-burning offering. This will be followed by speech-giving from several invited dignitaries. Local performing arts troupes will also perform traditional Tibetan dances and songs. After all the formalities are complete, the party really begins as everyone then spreads out over the grounds on their blankets and participates in a giant community picnic. Home-made delicacies will be shared with strangers and traditional treats can be bought at many of the stalls at the site. The merry-making will continue throughout the afternoon with locals all joining in on spontaneous Gorshae (Tibetan folk dancing) and songs performed by Hindi bands. What to bring? Something to sit on; a picnic blanket or one of those nifty camping chairs, an umbrella to ward of the afternoon sun and lots of sunscreen So, what do you get the man who wants for nothing? His Holiness has always claimed that he wants no gifts on his birthday and instead uses this occasion to remind us all of the message he has dedicated his life to achieving; compassion for all sentient beings. So, […]

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