March 10 is the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The uprising failed against the overwhelming forces of the Red Army. His Holiness the Dalai Lama went into exile in India. The destruction of the nation of Tibet continues today with the policy of mass settlement of Han Chinese to make Tibetans a minority in their own country. Tibetan language and culture are suppressed while the Tibetan people suffer discrimination, arrest and torture. It is a crime to display their flag or images of the Dalai Lama. Western countries show friendliness and respect to Tibetans and the Dalai Lama but they do not stand up for Tibet against the Chinese with whom they are all doing business. Commercial interests win out over ethical concerns and human rights. Today I joined fellow Buddhists and Tibetans in a show of support for Tibet on O'Connell Street and a march to the Irish government buildings. It's important that we do not forget.
This be a longer journey than most but here's something I wrote a while back after waking in the middle of the night:
What do you do when your world is falling apart? When you see the chaos coming? When you are assailed by worries about your child's safety? Your finances? Your future?
You accept the truth. In all its stark horror. That there is no security, no safety, no permanence. We live on the edge of catastrophe every day of our lives.
Once we accept this - and push past the terror - we can reach a state of calm. And we can begin to love. Love all around us. Be kind. Be gentle. Love people, animals, plants, insects. Love every second that we live and breathe. Cherish every moment that we are here. For this life is a 'brief sojourn' between two great mysteries:from where we came and to where we go. We don't need to live a big life ... only a life with a big heart.
I was born in Ireland and grew up in Toronto, Canada with my seven sisters and two brothers. Left home at seventeen to live in a commune, then headed off across Canada with my pal, Carole, and we hitch-hiked around California for months, then back up to Vancouver(Van as we called it then) and across Canada with two more pals, Linda and Peggy. A year later, headed off to Malaysia and Borneo with Jeunesse Canada Monde/Canada World Youth for a year. Baik-lah! Back home, went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto (posh blokes) while also joining the Canadian Naval Reserve as an Officer Cadet. Trained on the east and west coasts of Canada every summer. Great fun. Then what? Hmm. Started to write books, dodgy personal life (that's personal but let's just say it's been a long time between drinks) started to wander around the world, had a darling daughter, settled down in Ireland, wrote more books.