Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Firsthand Experience of Religious Discrimination

I am a monk at Shar Gaden Monastery. I live in a Tibetan community of about 10,000 Tibetans. There are over 600 monks here at Shar Gaden but we are all branded as enemies due to this ban.

Gelugpa Monastery. Sign reads: "Those who propitiate Dorje Shugden or Have Association with Followers of Shugden May Not Attend or Explore The Territory of the On Going Teaching Program."
I have heard so many stories of suffering told to me by my brothers due to this ban that it would take days to recount them all. Monks getting attacked, vandalism, even a house of a family close to our monastery getting fire-bombed in Camp 2 years ago.

I also have experienced first hand some of this abuse. I have been spit on, called names, asked to leave shops, denied entrance to restaurants, shops, and a clinic. I am scowled at wherever I go as everyone knows that I am the foreigner who lives at Shar Gaden.

There have been times where it seems that things are getting better and people are relaxing but every time the Dalai Lama speaks about this issue again, the tension and abuse starts all over again.

This suffering is real.

As I have said before, I could care less if others claim Dorje Shugden is a ghost, demon or whatever. That is not my concern. What IS my concern is this unnecessary suffering.

To do the right thing, all the Dalai Lama would have to do is ask his followers to stop this violence and abuse. Simple. A few words.

Another very recent example: 

We need to protest for an 80-year-old woman they call Ama-la (mother) who was the only person in her village who would not give up this practice. She sold vegetables from her garden for a living. The town stopped buying from her, she lost her little income. They completely ostracized her. At night she would barricade herself in her home because the townspeople threw rocks at her house. She was threatened daily. Some monks from Shar Gaden found out about this and went and got her.

She left her home, her possessions, her memories behind. Though she now has living quarters at the monastery and they provide her with food and this is only one of the 1,000's of heartbreaking stories we hear about. What was it like for this 80 year old gentle woman to lie in her bed, listening to sounds of hatred and the rocks on her house?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dalai Lama loses his cool on peaceful protestor

A peaceful nun delivers a message to the Dalai Lama from the Shugden protestors. This is his response.