Alice project, from the holy land of Kashi to the divine land of Dharamshala-
On June 24, a group of 81 students and 10 teachers left from Sarnath for Dharamsala , an unknown destination and a busy calendar of events lit up the imagination and enthusiasm of the group. For the youngers, which had never left home and had never taken a train, it was an incredible adventure. For teachers, it was a mixed experience of amazement and awareness for a new dream that took shape: a school trip to go to meet HH the14th Dalai Lama in a private audience.
A group picture of the students and the teachers at the Varanasi railway station.
After completing a 33 hours long journey by train which was 6 hours late and a 4 hours of journey by bus finally we reached to Mcleod Ganj , Dharamshala. A mixed expression could be easily seen over the faces of the students, it was true that all of them were exhausted because of such a long journey in the heat of 44 degrees, but at the same time their eyes were shining seeing Mr. Valentino, Ms. Ilaria and our president Mr. Tenzin la, who had done all the preparations / arrangements for welcoming the group in the wonderful place of Dharamshala.
All of us were provided luxurious rooms, where we all got refreshed. After that all the teachers and students gathered to discuss about the next day’s program as we were supposed to visit HH Dalai Lama. we gathered together and a planning for the next day was discussed with the teachers and students as the next day was the day when we had to meet HH. All the students and teachers were eagerly waiting for the night to be over.
Alice in Wonderland of Dharamshala 2nd day: Private audience with HH
The sun of the next day seemed to be rising very late; every single minute seemed to us as hours. All of us were waiting for the next statement of our president, when is he going to ask us to move to the residence of HH as it was the main purpose meaning of the whole trip. Alice’s group of students and teachers came to Dharamshala especially for this reason: to meet HH the Dalai Lama in private audience and once again participate in the immense gift of his wisdom and blessing.
All the faces bloomed up seeing the president ready asking all of us to move. We happily reached to the residence of HH which was full of peace and spiritual energy. As fire puja was already going on, all of us could see the high lamas and monks performing the puja.
After completing the security check ups, all of us could get entry entered in the hall where the audience was scheduled. For more than two hours the teachers, the Headmaster, Valentino and our student boys have silently waited for His Holiness to arrive. Silence not neither built nor forced an anxious, emotional, sincere silence. A silence of respect, of harmony, of complicity of a group formed through years of exchanges and sharing of spaces, time, values and bets.
Finally the time had come; we could see the HH coming slowly – slowly to the shrine. A natural smile could easily be seen on his face. All of us stood up in respect and welcomed him with the chanting of Mantras and Bhajans.
HH started his speech with the importance of time, which is running continuously unstopped. He said “We should use time properly. What is the meaning of using it properly means, younger generation, I think human being, eventually, hopefully, should be more harmonist humanity, helping each other instead of bully or fight. And for that I feel education is key factor. Now including India, so called modern Education, is very much oriented about material values. Not very much intension about our inner value. So whole generation who come through that kind of education has materialistic life. And create materialistic culture. Now in this country , India, thousand year old your rich culture, heritage , including Samatha, Vipasana , before Buddha came, the practice of Samatha , practice of Vipasana, investigation and also some yoga practice , some exercise , before Buddha came all these was already there. Now modern India , I think forgot these things…….”
So there is a strong need of traditional moral and ethical values in the modern Education system. Without this the education is becoming more and more materialistic and our lives are becoming more and fuller of crisis and suffering. All these sufferings are man-made; we are the creators of these sufferings.
“ All the major tradition of world have the same potential to produce good, sensible, compassionate person. So all have the same potential , same message, message of love.”
“Only India’s ancient knowledge have the ability to tackle these emotional problems and crisis. So I am totally committed to revival of this ancient knowledge about mind, strictly secular way. So students who are here think equally modern education subject at the same time ancient Indian Education about mind, about emotion, please pay more attention . ”
Then the question answer session started, where the students were welcomed to ask some questions to HH. Some of our students asked unexpectedly wonderful questions to him. One of our students, Malay Kappin Chakma asked: “If whole universe is the projection of our mind, but we cannot image out of the world. So what is the reality, outer one or the inner one?”
Answering to this question HH said: “According to the Indian philosophy especially according to the non-theistic religion, like Sankhya philosophy , Jain and Buddhist philosophy ,life has no beginning, it is begin less and non-Buddhists they say Atman, no beginning. So now the limitless solar system, galaxies, limitless, no limit, there is no end according to the Indian philosophy including Buddhist philosophy , galaxy limitless. The modern scientist they know only one galaxy and now gradually begins more powerful telescopes have developed and now there are more galaxies. Some galaxies are beginning now and some are disappearing. That exactly has been mentioned in the Indian tradition. So how these galaxies to happen? KARMA- What is a Karma? There are two types of Karmas , one mentally, level and one action level. Action level is also related with the mind. So all the galaxies, whole cosmos is ultimately created by mind. “
The meeting was concluded with the song offering ceremony. At the same time the copy of our recent Edition “Manual Universal Ethics Vol- II was offered to HH by the school director Mr. Valentino Giacomin. At the same time a song composed by Mr. Valentino was also offered to Him. Mr Valentino offered a self composed song to HH as well during the conclusion of the meeting.
Alice in the compound of TCV-
The next day our students and teachers were invited for a visit to TCV School. We were welcomed by the Director of the TCV Schools Ven. Tsultrim Dorjee la. We were guided a tour in the entire compound. We saw the classrooms, living rooms, hostels, and met the residential students under the guidance of TCV School president – Mr. Thupten Dorjee La.
A copy of our recent publications were offered to the Director of TCV Schools my Mr.VG.
It was very nice for our students meeting these children; they shared their experiences of being in TCV. While our students told them how Alice has made a big change in their lives.
Alice Students Meet CTA president Dr. Lobsang Sangay:
The next day was waiting with another surprise for our students and teachers. It was a meeting with CTA president Dr. Lobsang Sangay at Nyatri hall. Mr. Sangay shared many wonderful experiences of his life. Our students were very moved to listen to him, it was very inspiring to listen to him, and how he grew up from a very common family of farmers to the CTA President. After the event he met the students and shared group photos with them.
Expressing himself on his FB account Mr. Sangay says: It is always a great pleasure to host young, bright minds in Dharamsala. Yesterday, I met with students from Universal Education School of Alice Project Schools (U.P.).
For the students it was like a dream come true meeting someone who is a legend, a man of inspiration, with such simplicity and kindness. He was an inspiration for all of them.
Alice project students enjoying the water fall
During our one week tour, on the 29th of June the students and teachers went to see the famous temple Bhagsu Nag and the great waterfall which is next to the temple.
After paying a homage to the holi Shiva temple , the students sang mantras and Bhajans with deep devotion clapping their hands. Then they started the journey for the geat water fall.
Alice visits to Tong Len Charitable Trust
The next day we all went to the Tong Len Charitable Trust. Tong Len is working for the children who are living in extremely poor conditions in the slum areas of the Himanchal Pradesh. We could see that they are doing a wonderful job for helping these children. We were welcomed by the Founder and director of Tong le – Ven. Jamyang Tsering La and a group sharing was organized among the students there and our students. We promised collaboration between the two institutions. And we are happy to share with you that some of the teachers from Tong len charitable trust are going to come soon to our school for a teachers’ training.
Our last destination was the Himanchal Pradesh Cricket Stadium
On the last day of our visit all the students and teachers went to see the Himanchal Pradesh Cricket Stadium and a park which is next to it.
THANKS FOR ALL WE’VE GOT-
Finally we would like to express the gratitude towards our president, Ven. Tsewang Tenzin la whose immense and tireless effort made this dream come true. We have no words to express our gratitude towards him, his loving and caring wife, supportive brother and of course his son. All of them have been were very kind to help, guide and support to us. We organized a ‘Thank You’ party on the last evening of our tour in honor to the whole family of our president and him. We cut the cakes, sang songs and expressed our deep gratitude to him and all the family member who were so kind, caring, loving and full of enthusiasm to help and support us.
We conclude our newsletter leaving you with these happy faces. We hope you will love it. Soon we will be back with new updates.