When asked by people how His Holiness the Dalai Lama sees himself, he replies that he is a simple Buddhist monk.
His Holiness is often out of Dharamsala on travels both within India and abroad. During these travels, His Holiness’s daily routine varies depending on his engagement schedule. However, His Holiness is an early riser and tries as far as possible to retire early in the evening.
When His Holiness is at home in Dharamsala, he wakes up at 3 am. After his morning shower, His Holiness begins the day with prayers, meditations and prostrations until 5 am. From 5 am His Holiness takes a short morning walk around the residential premises. If it is raining outside, His Holiness has a treadmill to use for his walk. Breakfast is served at 5.30 am. For breakfast, His Holiness typically has hot porridge, tsampa (barley powder), bread with preserves, and tea. Regularly during breakfast, His Holiness tunes his radio to the BBC World News in English. From 6 am to 9 am His Holiness continues his morning meditation and prayers.
From around 9 am he usually spends time studying various Buddhist texts and commentaries written by great Buddhist masters. Lunch is served from 11.30 am. His Holiness’s kitchen in Dharamsala is vegetarian. However, during visits outside of Dharamsala, His Holiness is not necessarily vegetarian. Following strict vinaya rules, His Holiness does not have dinner. Should there be a need to discuss some work with his staff or hold some audiences and interviews, His Holiness will visit his office from 12.30 pm until around 3.30 pm. Typically, during an afternoon at the office one interview is scheduled along with several audiences, both Tibetan and non-Tibetan. Upon his return to his residence, His Holiness has his evening tea at around 5 pm. This is followed by his evening prayers and meditation. His Holiness retires in the evening by around 7 pm.