Deer Park

After Amritsar we headed to Deer Park Institute in Bir where we did a Buddhist study for a week. Deer Park was once a Tibetan Buddhist monastery but eventually became too small for the amount of monks studying there. At one point the monastery reached 400 monks and it was decided that a bigger monastery had to be opened. Dzongsar monastery was later opened which is now one of the biggest monasteries in North India, we had the opportunity to take an hour walk to visit the Monastery where we saw Buddhist monks have philosophical debates. We were accompanied by Khempo, a monk who taught us at Deer Park, who was full of amazing stories and information on the Tibetan political situation. Aside from being able to visit a Monastery for monks, we also visited a Monastery for nuns as well. We visited Tenzin Palmo’s nunnery where we were able to talk to some of the nuns and see the what it was like for woman to study Tibetan Buddhism. During our days at Deer Park we started the morning off with meditation, followed by breakfast, and then we had about an hour and a half teaching about Tibetan Buddhism from either Pema, a Buddhist monk from Bhutan, or Khempo. During these teaching we had an introduction to Buddhism about things such as reincarnation and karma, which at some points were hard to understand and process. We also watched movies about the Tibetan situation and a movie about Tibetan monks playing soccer. We have also continued to eat delicious food here at Deer Park. We will travel to McLeod Ganj next where we will be staying with Tibetan families, doing internship and volunteering. This is where the Tibetan exile government is located and we will be learning more about the Tibetan situation.