Feeling overwhelmed (and underprivileged) by the political scene in the United States has made me reconsider certain areas of my life. It has made me ask, as I imagine Zen Master Suzuki would be asking his students now, "How will I shine my corner of the world?"
While I believe that acting in the political environment is crucial, I increasingly find myself in a political environment where I believe that my action matters little. In the midst of the hub-bub, there are oh so many voices talking to us about politics, providing insight, direction, desperation, confusion. I will never not vote . . . but I have been feeling that my one vote only barely constitutes action for a better world on my part.
Then, I thought of the Dalai Lama, probably the most advanced spiritual leader on our planet at this time. A leader in the country of souls, the place where we all hold citizenship and there are no "aliens." He is a man of great intelligence, warmth, high spiritual awareness, deep soul awareness, and an amazing psychologist of human heart and mind. His childhood was taken from him, as he was chosen for and delivered into his position. His country was taken from him. And yet. And yet. The lives he has touched are without number. The spiritual teaching he has made available to people who will never set foot in his homeland is remarkable. You cannot study it and not be changed for the better. You cannot listen to it and not become stronger for it.
China's recent totalitarian and violent response to what it has called a "public disturbance staged by the Dalai Clique" is more than an international incident. The lies uttered from the thin, smiling lips of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at yesterday's "Western-style" press conference are not the sign of one more government cover-up, but something profoundly disturbing on a spiritual plane.
China's current script of lies is nothing less than an attempt at a verbal and psychological "crucifixion" of one of the greatest proponents of world peace ever to have lived. Make no mistake about it. The Chinese have been unable to destroy the Dalai Lama's country, culture, leadership, or religious teachings. And they want to, just as surely as the people who lost money when Jesus came to town and cleaned up the temple wanted to get rid of that trouble maker.
Crucifixion is not only an historical event. It is also a moral and psychological reality. One that China is activating. Christians do not have a corner on it, although Christ-like and high spiritual beings are exposed to it more often than the rest of humanity, in both its moral and physical forms.
I hope that others will join me in sending love and light to the Dalai Lama, and in praying for his physical and spiritual protection during this trying time.
On a more practical note, and being sure that the great Eastern land will not notice, I plan to refrain from buying Chinese goods. It won't be easy, because we are inundated with them. I stopped shopping at Walmart years ago. Now, I just need to complete the process. It's my tiny version of throwing the money changers out of the temple, and trying, in some concrete way, to stand by a great soul who has profoundly touched my life and those of people I love.
Another thing we can do is log on to Credo and send a message to our congressman or congresswoman, here. And visit the Students for a Free Tibet website here.