The 1959 takeover of Tibet caused
him to flee to India, in an arduous, nine month journey as one of the leaders of a
300-strong party, of which only some 13 persons
made it to safety in India. At one point, they were so hungry that they were obliged to boil
the leather of their bags or boots to make soup.
After spending sme time in refugee camps, he was asked, along with some other lamas,
to look after yhe Young Lamas Home School, in Dalhousie, NW India. This was a place where
young reincarnate lamas from all the Tibetans could receive an education.
Through the kind help of Mrs Freda Bedi, later to become Sister Palmo, he and Trungpa Tulku, Abbot of Surmang,
sailed to England in 1963, to learn English in Oxford. Only the latter had a bursary and Akong
Rinpoche worked for some years as a simple hospital orderly, supporting himself, Trungpa Rinpoche
and Tulku Chime of Benchen Monastery in the small appartment they shared.
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