Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India
Sitting in the green grass and dead brown leaves behind the infamous Bir Snooker Hall, where most of the less than totally wholesome, though still generally kind-hearted, members of Bir’s Tibetan rogue’s gallery spend a large portion of their time.
Despite its somewhat shady locale, this place is a wonderful one to sit, write, and contemplate. Gently sloping downwards and stretching out to what looks like infinitely cascading dark green hilly mountains, and peppered with delightful medium-sized light green trees — many of them fruit — it provides an arena where one can rest the mind in a sphere of naturalness.
Little Indian and Tibetan boys, the oldest not much more than four or five, run by playfully, shouting “hello!” and “goodbye!”. Two girls perhaps a little bit older follow suit, with “hello!” and “namaste!“. The sun sets in the east behind thousands of prayer flags spreading the blessings of the lung-ta, the Wind Horse, amongst other auspicious symbols. The sun, with its peachy rays magnetizing the world of appearances and possibilities; the flags blowing indestructible kisses to the limitless directions. Somewhere, clouds of fragrant incense must be wafting.
I had to move just before choosing this particular sitting-place on account of wandering, peaceful cows, with not-so-peaceful-looking broad pointy horns of intimidating breadth.
Another peaceful protest is happening at this very moment: truckloads of Tibetans racing their way to Baijnath packed like Himalayan sardines to proclaim the truth with the rosy cheeks, so much more rosy when they lived at 12,000 feet+ elevation. The truth that Beijing does not deserve to hold the Olympics; the truth that Tibetans have every right to protest the Chinese occupation, and that none of them deserve to be jailed or killed for doing so; and pre-eminently that Tibet must be free and always should have been.
Some energy is rising with all these events. It can be felt in this world-system’s veins. A prelude to change, a pressure that’s been worked up in the subtle channels that connect the Tibetans and Chinese — and if you reach down and touch the earth goddess, as Lord Buddha did to call witness to his complete awakening to the actualization of his mind’s utter freedom, you can feel it too: pumping, pressurizing.
And like Prince Siddhartha’s rising energy in the 49 days before his awakening, it is an energy building towards freedom, but in a different respect. To the 6 million Tibetans, and all who support their good cause, it is a freedom that is almost, and to some just as, important.
The solidarity that the Tibetans have in exile is inspiring and significant, and could serve as a noble and impressive example to all those working for justice, human rights, and equality, on all the world’s fronts.
Nearly everyone takes part.