For the past month I have been drenched with the writings of Eliot Pattison’s most recent politically drenched mystery called MANDARINE GATE. What is personally profound is that it marks a mending my brain’s neuro-pathways. My traumatic brain injury took away many of my treasured skills, one of which being able to read long documents.
Much like the urgency that worked me to write the PEACE WHEEL PRACTICE in 2012, something demanded I reengage that skill. It was a crash course to update me on the current conditions in Tibet for its Indigenous Peoples.
The re-education, the re-settlements, the erasing of the Tibetan culture and sacred sites; pulled out my cellular memory of another lifetime walking that ceiling of the world, that source of all natural existence.
For four years since my near death crash and then the forced rehabilitation, it has been health tools, gained from decades/lifetimes of devotion to Tibetan Buddhism, which is a way of living rather than a religion; that has transported me through the deep pain and emotional despair. It’s practices of breathing, meditation, to do no harm, moment to moment focus on loving kindness, the tonglon practice transforming suffering into blessings; and the enduring grace received through stillness are to name but a few of my treasured tools.
It was my sangha, my spiritual community, visible and invisible; that created a sacred container of safety, of beauty, of nurturance with enough trust and intentions to get me through the long, long mending journey.
MANDARINE GATE, PUBLISHED IN 2012, DEMANDED MY ATTENTION AND TIME. It was a mandated read. Though Eliot Pattison writes fictionally, it is steeped with real scenarios of current conditions for native Tibetans and native Chinese.
The read made me so, so sad. I went into despair that history is repeating itself. One of the contemplations I gained last September at the WISDOM OF THE ORIGINS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE of INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, is that we in the US of A hold a crucial key to Planetary respect and care for ALL THE PEOPLES. This key requires us to take our blinders off. Until we can own our own violation to our INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, we are powerless to move the wheel of life to equality and justice and respect for all.
As I experienced the horrific eradication of the Tibetans, as well as native naturalist Chinese, I saw the parallel story of what we immigrants to the US of A did and are doing Turtle Islands First People. Case in point, the treatment of native children being stolen from their tribe and family.
(From our Chief Counsel Daniel Sheehan: “My recent book details the cases I litigated that, over 45 years, showed me the extent of U.S. Imperialism. The state campaign against the Lakota- including the recent involuntary removal of 6,000+ Lakota children from their families and tribes, by “placing” them in non-Native foster homes- is only the latest subduing of the Indigenous.” Learn more: http://lakota.cc/1bftYZ6 )
GRIEF WITHOUT GUILT
Dr. Angeles Arrien taught me the greatest harm a being can do to their soul is to fail to bring their gifts and talents to the community. To do nothing when one hears the call creates guilt which smothers the wisdom fires. It feels so suffocating only rage can set it free. Can we become so enraged so engaged to stop this dreadful SECRET (our disrespectful ways) from destroying, annihilating this SWEET MOTHER LAND and her family, one INDIGENOUS CULTURE/PEOPLE at a time.
“The world will be saved by Western Women” Dalai Lama