Glastonbury 2013: The Dalai Lama's monks bring oasis of calm to the Green Fields


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The Independent Culture

The Dalai Lama's Tibetan monks brought an oasis of calm to the chaos of Glastonbury Festival with a chanting session.

The Gyuto Monks, who live in exile in north India, performed chants at the Toad Hall venue in the festival's Green Fields area to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tibetan declaration of independence.

Lobsang Yeshe, chant master, said: "We're representing all of the Gyuto monks living in exile.

"We are sure they would all like to come and perform in front of all these people, but we are the lucky ones to be in this amazing place."

The monks were impressed by their first experience of Glastonbury.

Group member Nawang Namdol said: "It has the same kind of high-octane spiritual energy you get from being in the presence of his holiness the Dalai Lama. There is a good energy here."

Fellow monk Lobsang Tsetan said they did not mind the rain - as it is considered to be lucky ahead of a big event.

The oldest member of the seven-strong group, 78-year-old Lobsang Tsering, was one of two monks who were delayed due to visa issues.

He will still have a role to play at the festival as the monks will be leading meditation sessions throughout the weekend.

Tsering was among 80 Gyuto monks when he fled his homeland along with spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the wake of the upheaval in Tibet in 1959.

The Dalai Lama has give his support for the performance, saying: "The work that the Gyuto monks do in the West has my full support."

The monks, who last performed in the UK in 1973, have landed a record contract with Decca and a new album, Chants: The Spirit Of Tibet, was recorded at their monastery in the Himalayan foothills.

They claim listening to their guttural chanting is not only calming but has the power to repair brain cells.