If there is thirst, Dharamsala presents the possibility of slaking it. In this travelogue of the spirit Swati Chopra brings alive the narrow lanes of Dharamsala which echo with footfalls of seekers from all over the world. Interacting with them old and young, Tibetan and non-Tibetan, guru and novice she realizes it is possible in Dharamsala to retreat within, to heal one s spirit, to learn skills for the inner life and perhaps even find answers to sticky life-questions Does God exist? , Why do I suffer? , Does my life have a deeper meaning? Dharamsala emerges as a modern-day caravanserai on the inner journey, one of the few places in the world where one can access transcendental wisdom. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who lives in a house on the hem of the snow-clad Dhauladhar peaks in McLeodganj, a suburb of Dharamsala, has provided this place with a certain grace and turned it into a pilgrimagefor many. Tibetan Buddhism forms a part of the rich tapestry of spiritual traditions, old and new, that have taken root in Dharamsala and are manifest in its old Devi temples, wandering sadhus and the more recent centres for meditation, yoga and alternative therapies. Through the stories and experiences of those that pass through Dharamsala, and those that find their refuge there, this book explores the nature of the spiritual journey and, indeed, of life itself.
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SWATI CHOPRA is a Delhi-based journalist who writes on spirituality and religion. She is the editor of 'Life Positive Plus', a quarterly journal dedicated to spirituality and holistic living. She headed the spirituality desk of 'The Times' of India. Her interest in Buddhism arises from the way it lends itself to radical interpretations in cultural, social, political, ecological and spiritual situations.
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