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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Salil Chaturvedi
Goa, India

A Nose for Buddha

A small group of Tibetans is standing expectantly in front of the gate of the Dalai Lama’s abode in Dharamsala. My wife and I are not sure of what is going on, but we join the group out of curiosity. A middle-aged Tibetan woman offers me her place and gestures for me to bring my wheelchair to the front. I’m touched by her small sacrifice. ‘You are very fortunate,’ she says in Hindi. A military vehicle bearing tall red flags comes into view, followed by a few SUVs. The Tibetans join their hands in the ‘namaste’ gesture as the convoy passes us and enters the compound of the Dalai’s residence. I catch a glimpse of him in one of the vehicles and bow my head. He smiles and nods once.

Later, my wife and I take off our shoes and visit the temple that is thronging with devotees. I ask my wife, ‘Did you feel that the Dalai was looking at you, and no one else?’

buddhist shrine—
the smell
of someone’s socks



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