emails from a Buddhist nun


I sponsor a Buddhist nun named Tenzin Pema who lives at the Jamyang Choling Institute in Dharamsala, India. in the last two days I’ve received emails regarding the protests in Tibet.

Her first email read: “…am sure you know what is happening in Tibet at the very difficult time. It is very worrying and saddened to see that many Tibetan already killed and many imprisoned.

May peace and happiness become reality in Tibet and world very soon. Monks nuns and general public gathering at the Temple to do prayer and also doing peace march here in Dharamsala same as everywhere.

Metta and peace…”

The second email contained this attachment, a BBC interview with the Dalai Lama. nothing has been edited…

“Dalai Lama ‘helpless’ amid protests

As Tibetans make their most forceful demands for independence in years, their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in exile in Dharamsala, India, outlines his concerns to the BBC’s Chris Morris.

The Dalai Lama says he does not control the Tibetan people

“Am I early?” asked the Dalai Lama, as he ambled into the room. He sat down and coughed, and thanked us for coming.

“This is a critical time for us,” he said, as he waited for the interview to begin.

He compared it to 1959, an iconic date for many Tibetans, when a huge uprising against Chinese rule was suppressed, and the Dalai Lama himself was forced to flee into exile on horseback.

Eventually, he made his home here, in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, in this small town which is known to some as Little Lhasa.

It is awash with thousands of Tibetan activists-in-exile. As unrest in Tibet itself has escalated, there have been daily protests in Dharamsala throughout the week.

Cars waving Tibetan flags weave through the pedestrian traffic, leaflets are pressed into passing hands, and a hunger strike is taking place outside the entrance to the Dalai Lama’s temple.

I’m a spokesman for the Tibetan people, not the controller, not the master – Dalai Lama

And when the sun sinks below the mountain range, marchers – chanting Buddhist prayers for the souls of the dead – walk through the streets carrying candles.

“We have to do our bit,” said one of the marchers, who gave his name as Tenzin. “We have to support those who are struggling in Tibet itself, in our homeland.”

Emerging patience

But beyond the slogans there is not much that most people here can do except watch and wait, as accurate information about what is happening in Tibet becomes harder to find.

Many of the activists take a more radical line than the Dalai Lama himself. For years now he has campaigned for genuine autonomy in Tibet, not for independence. But a new generation seems increasingly impatient with nuanced diplomacy.

Dharamsala is now home to many Buddhist nuns and monks

“I’ve already received a request from Tibet,” he said. “Don’t ask for the demonstrations to stop.”

“I’m a spokesman for the Tibetan people, not the controller, not the master. It’s a peoples’ movement, so it’s up to them. Whatever they do, I have to act accordingly.”

Tibet’s spiritual leader is also appealing to the Chinese authorities. “Stability is important” is his message – but it must come from the heart, not simply from the use of physical force.

There is not much sign, though, that Beijing is listening.

“Of course I feel helpless,” the Dalai Lama admitted. He is particularly worried about the deadline given by China, for protestors to surrender by midnight on Sunday night or face the consequences.

But the one thing Tibet’s spiritual leader does have – here and around the world – is moral authority.

That is why President Bush met him in Washington recently, where the Dalai Lama was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian honour.

It infuriates China, but it is something that the authorities in Beijing cannot control.

And even if this spate of demonstrations peters out, even if they are successfully suppressed, it seems unlikely that we will have heard the last of the Tibetan issue in this Olympic year.”

The photo below was taken today (Sunday) by my gal pal in Nepal, Caroline aka Sirensongs.

Go to her blog to read her first-hand account of the attacks on Buddhist monks by Chinese thugs in Nepal….”This afternoon I witnessed a Tibetan monk beaten, along with two other protestors, during a nonviolent anti-China protest at Boudha Stupa.”

Also see my post on my sister blog that contains two posts from Vanessa on boycotting the Olympics.

Ironically this week the US saw fit to remove China from its list of human rights abusers.

Are you going to stay silent?

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3 thoughts on “emails from a Buddhist nun

  1. this whole situation has me flaming mad…China seems to think shutting the world out will make this go away. I can’t stand that they’ve got their boot-heel so firmly on the neck of Tibet.

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