India // Himachal Pradesh //

Meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama


The Dalai Lama is in great demand. Tibetans fleeing their homeland come to him for blessing and reassurance; monks and nuns from all over India and Nepal look to him for spiritual guidance; and an ever-increasing number of Westerners arrive in Dharamsala hoping for a moment of his attention. Twenty years ago it might have been possible for people to meet His Holiness on an individual basis; now casual visitors should count on attending a public audience, when he greets and shakes the hands of several hundred people. These are held every few weeks if His Holiness is in town, though there are no fixed dates or timings. Ask the Branch Security Office (above the Welfare Office on Bhagsu Road t01892/221560) when the next audience will be, but note that they themselves only know a couple of days in advance. You’ll need to register here too; bring a passport and some passport photos, and expect to wait. If you’re interested in attending His Holiness’s public teachings, check w for dates, locations and what to expect. Private audiences are granted to a select few, and can only be arranged by writing at least four months in advance. The Dalai Lama’s secretary receives hundreds of such letters each day, and each case is reviewed on its merits.

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