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Point of view: I could really feel the music

The low buzzing sounded like a giant beehive. Upon entering the Padmasambhava Buddhist Temple in the city of Bylakuppe, India, I saw the origins of the sound. About a hundred young Tibetan Buddhist monk initiates were chanting, singing, ringing bells - and playing a pair of giant 10-foot-long copper Tibetan horns, the source of the bee-like humming. The horns were putting out such low tones that at times it seemed as if they could only be felt, not heard. I moved quietly and respectfully about the large high-ceilinged room that was magnificently decorated with color and gilding, and worried that my presence might somehow interfere with the ceremony.

As it turned out, I may as well have been invisible. Except for a couple of curious glances, the young monks remained entirely focused on the ceremony.

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After the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1951, many Tibetan refugees settled in India, a country that affords them the religious freedom they no longer enjoy in Chinese-controlled Tibet. The Tibetan community has not only survived but prospered in its adopted country.


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