Monday, March 24, 2008
Tibet | The Bloody Olympic Torch
©2008 Turtle Heart
I have had the privilege of meeting privately with His Holiness Dali Lama of Tibet. It was in the strangest of all possible worlds, Washington, New Jersey. I was presented with this opportunity by a very swell guy named Lopsang Tsering. In my very first visit to Manhattan I was driven from Brooklyn into Manhattan’s Greenwich Village area. I had been invited to stay by myself at the small apartment of a friend next door to the famous Village Cigars shop. The lady who usually rented the apartment was away fro three days and offered me this chance to be on my own and see a bit of New York City. The very first place I discovered myself entering was “The Tibet Shop” on Christopher Street. The man I met there at the time was called Juan Li. Juan Lii is a very charming and interesting fellow of Chinese and Cuban ancestry. That first meeting I stayed in the quiet little shop looking at treasures from Tibet and talking about the mystery life with Juan Li. If you google his name you will find many links to his work. Juan was sitting in for the shop’s owner, like me for the apartment owner. Later I was to meet the character Lopsang. We all became quite close and shared many adventures, teachings and meals together. I have taken both these men on travels to meet with and share in some of my experiences with the old Indians. I consider both of these outstanding men to be supporters of the World Journey of the Four Directions Unity Bundle.
Lopsang’s family was in the group that fled Tibet in 1959 into India. Through his introduction (a telephone call) to the Embassy of Tibet in NYC I was able to schedule a full private appointment with His Holiness.
What I most vividly recall about that meeting was that Dali Lama gave me his full and undivided attention.I don’t think I ever experienced this sensation prior to that moment. It can be quite startling. I have realized since then that most people listen most of the time with their attention very divided and distracted from any number of things. That single moment showed me the chaos in which we noisily live more vividly than anything before or since.
I presented the sacred man with a song It was very soft this song. It was so soft that we had to put our foreheads together so he could hear me. I made my little song and he held the sacred pipe for a few minutes in silence. He blessed and gave to me the bells in the photo accompanying this story. He rang them six times.He tied three white silk scarves around my life…one around my neck, the other around the sacred pipe, and the third around the Cherokee Corn Staff that I was also carrying. I was escorted back into the sunlight.
At the time I was helping Juan Li and Kazz Tagami take 108 sacred bundles around the world in a ceremony called The Sword of Heaven. There is at least one book that has been written on this important ceremony under that title. Mr. Tagami is finishing up even now his own account of the Putting of the God.
Today the Olympic Torch will be carried through the blood of Tibetan people on its way, surrounded by armed guards, to the People’s Republic of China. The man I called a sacred man, the Chinese have recently called “a terrorist”.
It is a dream of mine, my work, and the dream of others as well, that I can carry the ceremonies of the Sacred Pipe of the Four Directions Unity Bundle into China. One day. On that sacred pipe on that day I will dress sacred pipe in the white prayer silk of the Holy Man of Tibet.
I wish sacred pipe could be at the torch ceremony. Perhaps one day the tribal nations of the people of the Sacred Pipe will take an interest in sending the sacred pipe to the leadership and principle world events. That is the official job of the Four Directions Unity Bundle though these days we are waiting on the bench for the call to arrive. However, sacred pipe is in motion even when waiting. The sacred Morning Fire of Pantelleria receives our tobacco and the old drum gives us songs each day.
Each day now I have been thinking about the sweet and good people from Tibet that are friends of mine. Each day I think about the heart and the eyes of Dali Lama as more of his people are killed, beaten, put into prison and blamed for all of China’s problems.
I wonder at the contrast of the Dali Lama, in simple monk’s robes, and the President of China, in a cheap white man’s style suit with a little white man tie. His face is pale and he does not look right into the camera.
In Asissi, in Italy, there is a great presence of many massive and important Catholic churches exploiting and administering to the love of humanity for Saint Francesco. It is a powerful place and one of the most important centers of traditional Catholic faith in the world. In a very prominent place there is a large bronze. It is beautifully made, vibrant and powerful. It shows a line of the world’s religious leaders (though no American or other Indigenous Indian) all standing together in full ceremonial dress. Standing next to the Pope is Dali Lama. The Pope was Pope John Paul, not this stiff beady-eyed man who is there now.
So far only Nancy Pelosi has made her way to be seen standing next to the monk from Tibet.
It sure would be nice to see a line of World Leaders standing (without their armies) next to Dali Lama. I would go there and stand with him if I could, with Sacred Pipe. He would remember me.
I am the one who wept and made the whole earth wet.
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