We took a trip with Rabsel down to the Norbilinka
Institute which is a recreation of the Dalai Lama’s summer home in Tibet in the middle of Dharamsala.
While waiting in the LHA office I noticed an electrical engineer hard at work out of the window.
It was a beautiful day down on the planes and noticeably hotter than up in Mcleod as we walked around the delightful gardens and had a look at the handicrafts being produced. The institute is a centre for all Tibetan art from the Thangka paintings to the woodwork and metalwork and fabrics.
The grounds were full of prayer flags which are five different colours to represent various things including the 5 different branches of Tibetan Buddhism but also as Rabsel explained “the elements, fire, earth, wind, water, clouds, something like that.”
Stupas and pools full of fish make the grounds a pleasure to walk through while the rows of prayer wheels – which you turn clockwise in sequence in order to send prayers out, are a common sight in Tibetan areas.
Here are some examples of the woodwork
and here is the metalwork, the straddling buddha here is a representation of the Tantra teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, a very advanced level of practice which leads to a quick path to enlightenment.
Also within the centre is the Dalai Lama’s residence and temple – some pictures here:
Pretty good view he has when he’s in town as well (although he rarely stays here)
From here, just around the corner was the Tibetan Handicapped Children’s School where the kids are encouraged to practice similar handicrafts some to an exceptional level. Here is the school cow.