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On the occasion of the birthday of Dalai Lama it was crowded but today it exceeded even that, I think there were over 200,000 people. All roads were clogged, one had to walk long stretches in the blazing hot sun to reach the event, but I passed through the various road closures and arrived pretty quickly due to my press pass access.

Everyone was chanting ‘vows’, vows should resound from the heart; the Buddhist believe in taking vows which are essentially promises to be good to others. Suddenly I noticed that everyone had a piece of red cloth stuck to the forehead, followed by a dry flower on the head,which implied a vow was taken.

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Occasionally Chosdon whispered: 'now meditate on emptiness' .. and then after a minute I heard: 'sister, it's all over, the Dalai Lama gave a new assignment for a short meditation on compassion for mankind'.

After the ceremony, I was looking for a taxi for the return trip to Leh and shared one with a family from Sikkim. Of course we chatted through the journey, the two young daughters spoke good English. When I told them something about the nuns the mother gave me a note of one thousand rupees as donation for the older nuns. The other lady added another 500 rupees to it. ... talk about trust!

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