Admission to the Monastery Admission to the monastery is granted to all and food and accommodation are offered free of charge. There are two levels of admission. Those who wish to be admitted to the monastery as monks must refer to a senior monk as their teacher and become his disciple. Each student must approach the Abbot for the hair cutting ceremony and to take the monastic oath, and he will be admitted to the monastery when a vacancy arises. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed the wish that there should be 1,500 monks studying in Tashi Lhunpo to make sure that the unique practices and teachings of the monastery are preserved for the future. Currently there are just over 400 monks in the community, ranging in age from the youngest at around 5 years of age to the oldest, in his nineties. Monks come from all over the Himalayan region including Tibet, India, Nepal and Bhutan. Others may wish to join the school to receive an education and to study Buddhist philosophy and may not aspire to become fully ordained.