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March 17th 1959: Dalai Lama flees Tibet

On this day in 1959, Tenzin Gyatso - the fourteenth Dalai Lama, a central figure of Vajrayana Buddhism - fled Tibet for India. He fled following the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule which broke out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, where the Dalai Lama lived. Fearing for his safety, he and around twenty of his entourage fled Lhasa on March 17th and embarked on a 15 day journey on foot over the Himalayan mountains to Dharamsala in India where they had been offered asylum. No news was heard of the Dalai Lama, and many feared their spiritual and political leader had been killed during the arduous journey. However, on March 30th he crossed into India and people learned that he was safe. He was followed by around 80,000 Tibetans who settled in the same area of India, leading to it becoming known as ‘Little Lhasa’. This place became the home to the Tibetan government-in-exile. Tibet remains under Chinese rule, and the Dalai Lama continues to try to find a peaceful negotiation for Tibetan self rule.

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New York is home to the highest population of Tibetans outside of Tibet. On March 12, 2015, Tibetans gathered in Union Square to remember the Tibetans who have lost their lives in pursuit of freedom and commemorate the women of Tibet in honor of Women’s History Month.

There are only two days a year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly.. live.
—  Dalai Lama
A man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in their present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die; and then he dies having never really lived
—  Dalai Lama
Giving your anger the instrument of words and actions is like giving a child a pile of straw and a box of matches.  Once lit, anger feeds off the air of exposure and can rage out of control.  The only alternative is to control anger, and the way to do this is to think, ‘What is the value of anger? What is the value of tolerance and compassion?’
—  Dalai Lama