His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching schedule in Ladakh
8 August, 2002
Teachings at Leh, Ladakh from 16 to 18 August
Teachings at Nyuma, Ladakh from 20 to 22 August
Practical advice for attending HH the Dalai Lama’s teachings in India
When His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives public teachings in India you would be well advised to bring: a cushion, an FM radio, a cup, and a sunhat and given the security checks that take place, as little else as possible.
All teachings in India are free and except certain restricted and tantric teachings prior registration is not necessary. You should check as soon as you reach the place where the teaching is given. It is helpful to bring few extra personal passport size photos in case registration is suddenly required due to security or other reasons.
In the West seating for public events is, likely as not, arranged by ticket and seat number and you keep the seat you are thus assigned. In Tibet and India for many public events seating is on the floor or on the ground. However, the convention amongst Tibetans is that you take your seat on the first day of a series of teachings, mark it with a cushion or a piece of cloth, and thereafter keep to that seat for the duration of the teachings. This is how Tibetans have traditionally avoided hassling each other over who sits where every day. So, following the old adage about when in Rome do as the Romans do, it seems reasonable to suggest that when among Tibetans do as the Tibetans do.
On most occasions when HH the Dalai Lama is teaching publicly in India an effort is made to provide a simultaneous translation into English. This is made available by radio. If you wish to listen to the translation, you are advised to bring an FM radio with headphones so as not to disturb the majority of listeners who are listening in Tibetan. Although the quality of the signal varies according to the circumstances, you can often improve reception by changing the angle and position of the antenna of your radio, which is often incorporated in the headphone lead.
Tea and offerings to the monastic community
It is customary for tea to be served to the gathering, so it is worthwhile carrying your own cup. You will often notice that money is offered to monks and nuns. This is an offering to the spiritual community. Both the tea and offerings are paid for by contributions from patrons and the general public. If you would also like to contribute there is nearly always an office near the teaching location where you can do so. How much you give is entirely at your discretion, but you will be given a receipt.
Protection from the sun and the weather
His Holiness the Dalai Lama makes a point of encouraging those who are sitting in the hot sun to cover their heads and so protect their health. Similarly he asks people to put up umbrellas or take shelter should it rain. It is useful to carry a soft sun hat or piece of cloth and / or a small umbrella.
Tibetans tend to keep their shoes on when they are sitting on the ground, or at least keep them on until they sit down. Taking your shoes off and carrying them in your hand through a crowd sitting on the ground means that you carry them right in front of people’s faces, which most people prefer to avoid.