Location: Dharamsala

Today I woke up hearing that we had to dress nicely to see the Karmapa. The weather was nicer than normal, with sunny and clear skies. The three hundred steps were a little warmer than usual with the sun out. Breakfast was just as good as all the other days, it consisted of pancakes, Nutella, porridge, bananas, potatoes, orange juice, mango juice, and milk tea. After breakfast we went an organization called Guchusum that helps ex-political prisoners get back on their feet after they escape from Tibet. They own a tailor shop that makes traditional Tibetan clothing and sends it to be distributed all around the U.S. and the world.

Then we went to lower Dharamsala to eat lunch and to see the Karmapa. Lunch was simple; we had fried rice and chow mein. Then we had to wait in a small line to get into the monastery. After storing our shoes, backpacks, and electronics, we went inside, waited a bit, and then saw the Karmapa came in. Everybody in the monastery gave him white cloth; he then gave it back by putting it around our necks. The Karmapa then gave us a blessed string that we could either put it on as a necklace or a bracelet. It was a little shorter than I expected, but I can’t complain.

After that we went back to Dharamsala and had a few hours for free time. We split into groups of at least two people and walked around. My group went to a cafe first and then went shopping for incense and other stuff. We had dinner at a Western place that served mostly Italian food. I ate some soup because I didn’t feel too well. Then we went back to the monastery and watched the end of Seven Years in Tibet. We stayed up a little and then went to bed.