Frequently asked questions

Will His Holiness the Dalai Lama be giving any public teachings during the time of the program?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is scheduled to give public teachings at the Main Temple in Dharamsala in the days before this program starts. On September 30 and October 1, His Holiness will give two days of teachings on Chapter 8 (Meditation) of Shantideva's A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life in the mornings and on October 2 His Holiness will attend a Long Life Prayer offering in the morning at the Main Tibetan Temple. Please see for more info.

Are there any pre-requisites for the program?

There are no pre-requisites for the program. Everyone is welcome to join.

Is it possible to join for only one module?

Since the program has been conceived in a certain order where the earlier subjects prepare you for the later ones, it is best if you can attend all four years. 

However, if you cannot attend for the entire program, you are still welcome to join for the length that you are able to or the individual subjects that you choose. 

Do I need to apply for a visa?

Citizens of most countries outside of India will need to obtain a tourist visa before coming to India. 

With most long-term Indian Tourist Visas, you can stay in India for a maximum of 90 days at a time and up to 180 days total within a calendar year.

Please check the latest rules for visas for people from your country and plan accordingly so that you will be able to stay for the entirety of the program.

Can I leave the Thosamling grounds during free time?

Yes, you are welcome to go out during your free time. Thosamling is within walking distance of Norbulingka and several small shops and cafes. 

Can Thosamling provide special food/cooking facilities?

Thosamling kitchen offers simple wholesome vegetarian food. They provide guests with the option to have food with/ without onion and garlic, however they cannot cater for other dietary needs, nor can they provide individual cooking facilities.

Do I have to sit on the floor?

There are both chairs and cushions available. You're free to choose which you prefer.

What should I bring?

We recommend bringing comfortable warm clothes (shawl, trainers, sweatshirts, trackpants, thick socks, beanies, gloves, etc) for temperatures are 25-28 degrees Celsius during the day, going down to 10-12 degrees Celsius at night. Please also bring a torch or headlight in cases of power outages, a water bottle (drinkable filtered water is provided), alarm clock, flip-flops for the shower, as well as soaps, shampoos, and a towel. 

Thosamling also has a small supply store with items such as toilet paper, notebooks, pens, incense, etc.