The bell rings at 06:30 and the group of approximately forty students congregate in the large Gompa. We are a mix of ages, races, colours and creeds from all over the planet. Our teacher, a sixty-year-old Australian born, robe wearing, shaven headed, Buddhist Nun is simply wonderful. She teaches with such passion, wisdom, and humour, it is impossible to feel anything but love and compassion for her, regardless of whether you subscribe to her beliefs. Which, to be fair, make a great deal of sense, and frankly offer a way of life that if we all followed would no doubt make the world a better place to live.

There are four breaks during the day for breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner, which are all taken communally in a dining hall, at which we help ourselves to a very functional diet of porridge, rice and vegetables, a form of bread, and sweet tea and hot water. I’m wondering how much weight I’m going to lose on this extremely healthy food regime.