Journey to India: Meeting the Dalai Lama

James Clifton, center, and classmates listen as the Dalai Lama

For the last two weeks, Morgan Hill MMS students have written
about their experiences as they travel India – including a meeting
with the Dalai Lama, no less – and sent photos straight from the
scene. You can read and see more about their travels right
here.
Today’s entry:

Reflections on our conversation with the Dalai Lama.

Their journey started months ago. But 15 student from Mount Madonna School have completed their journey in India. Their two-week venture is known as the Vidya Dharma (Path of Knowledge) Project – part of MMs teacher Ward Mailliard’s two-year “Value in World Thought” program.

For the last two weeks, Morgan Hill MMS students have written about their experiences as they travel India – including a meeting with the Dalai Lama, no less – and sent photos straight from the scene. You can read and see more about their travels right here.

Today’s entry: “Reflections on our conversation with His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama”

Danielle Quinn, MMS senior

April 26: We spent the morning preparing for our interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Part way into our preparation we received a phone call informing us that the Dalai Lama was at a public prayer session and we could go to it if we wanted to. We quickly put our things away and rushed to the Kirti Jeypa Monastery. Once there, we learned that the prayers were for two Tibetans killed on April 22 by Chinese soldiers. The two men had been trying to protect Tibetan monks at the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, Tibet. After the prayers, there were several speeches and then 100 monks began a protest march to New Delhi. Afterward, we returned to the hotel to finalize our interview questions and get ready.

A short time later, we returned to the Kirti Jeypa Monastery for our interview with the Dalai Lama. Sitting in the room waiting for His Holiness, I started to feel the excitement that I had been waiting for all of senior year. When he walked in I wished I had volunteered for one of our first five questions. Once he was seated, Lily introduced our group and asked if he had any opening remarks. He spoke to us for a short time and then we asked the questions we had prepared.

When asked a question about love and compassion being essential to the survival of humanity, the Dalai Lama spoke about the necessity of being happy and having a healthy body, family, community and mind. I found myself carried away by thoughts about this and began to cry. It touched me in a way I never expected and I was startled by my reaction.

By James Clifton, MMS senior

April 26: I had been waiting for the chance to interview the Dalai Lama since I saw him speak in San Jose last fall. Two things he said really stood out for me. The first was when he said, “Even your enemy was created by God.” Though I am not religious, this comment struck me and left me with the understanding that both friend and enemy deserve respect. The second thing was the idea of unbiased compassion. This is probably the most enlightened idea and difficult concept he spoke about.

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