Facing the Hard Facts

Pattie, a wealthy widow from California, can easily afford the best hotels. But she prefers to slum it in a small cottage in Dharamsala because it overlooks the monastery of the Dalai Lama, the exiled political and religious leader of Tibet. "I can just stand there with my arms stretched out," she says, "and feel the aura wafting up." A bright-eyed, diminutive 60-year-old, Pattie is planning to visit Tibet soon. She wants to get there "before all the good energy disappears because of those Chinese people."

There are many would-be pilgrims like Pattie, and their well-meaning but inaccurate...

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