Are you feeling like the world is going a bit crazy these days? Have you had some recent first hand experiences of an upsetting globally renowned event? This article will hopefully make you feel better as it gives you access to the bravery others have shown in the face of similar or indeed much worse adversity.
Having recently sat through the London riots in the safety of my south London flat I gave thanks for the fact I was not above any commercial shops which seemed to be the main target. As upsetting as it was I must admit it was a major reality check. We all at times feel like we are in a bubble of safety here in the West and looking around that bubble is becoming more and more like the impermanent dream that it actually is. Major shifts are happening as we move forward into 2012, the year predicted by the Mayan people as a powerful yet possibly terrifying time for humanity as we are forced to either take responsibility and step up or cash in our ‘karmic debt’.
So as we move forward into such uncertainty what can we do to make ourselves deal with it better? One suggestion I would like to make is to look back and learn from our brothers and sisters who have already felt the harsh blow of fate and lived to not only tell the tale, but also have worked hard to share it in their writing. Palden Gyatso is one such person who wrote the book ‘Fire Under The Snow’. In it he tells us how he was imprisoned for thirty-three years by Chinese forces in Tibet for the supposed ‘crime’ of wanting to be free to live his life as a Tibetan monk. Upon his long awaited release he courageously fled across the Himalayan range to India smuggling with him the instruments of his repeated torture. Determined to tell the world of the atrocities he experienced under the hands of the Chinese after their invasion of Tibet in 1950, Palden Gyatso was the first Tibetan to give evidence at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva on the realities of Tibetan life under Chinese rule. The response to which by the Chinese was that his story was “untrue”.
His book is a heart breaking yet at the same time entrancing account of all he endured. Yes it is difficult to read about the brutality that went on and is still going on in Tibet. But the reward for facing that reality as a reader is the lesson we learn that ultimately we are blessed and can draw upon the strength of people like Palden. We may have difficulties ten fold, but if we still have the freedom to walk outside when we choose to, drink water when we are thirsty and speak openly to the people around us then are we truly suffering or blindly blessed? Once we can see our reality through reading testimonies such as that in ‘Fire Under The Snow’we can begin to relax. Once we relax we are more equipped to make better decisions. Once we start to make better decisions we are one individual creating a better world for all. And together we can perhaps begin to slowly rebuild the wall of good karma that seems to have been left demolished for far too long here in the spiritual poverty of the West. As many people travel to the Dalai Lama in India from all corners of the globe on spiritual retreats they don’t realise people like Palden Gyatso are also there in Dharamsala with their door open to visitors from far and wide as they courageously continue to share their incredible story…
Om mani padme hum
Lisa & Lama Buga