Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Stand up for Tibet: A Moment of Action

I never expected to blog about the situation in Tibet, but I find myself suddenly moved to do so. For the article that made me think, read Pema Chodron's article at

On March 31st I had received a message via one of the mailing lists I'm on for, the organization I received my Five Tibetan Yoga Facilitator training from. It was a message from an organization affiliated with the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Just checking my old messages... it was from Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom (FDCW).

It was asking people to take part in Stand Up For Tibet, which simply entails that you stand up for a minute, or a few seconds, or as long as you can holding a Tibetan flag or just a piece of paper with the word "Tibet" on it.

I figured since I read the email a few days late (I am notorious for being behind in my email) it as now the 31st so I decided to do it. I'm not exactly new to activism, although the only thing I've done lately was show up for a rally to support some of my co-workers who are on strike (separate bargaining unit, I'm still required to be at work so yes, I had to cross a picket line but not to do their work).

I found an image of the Tibetan flag then went down to the main courtyard of the building I work in. Since I was the only one there, holding a printed flag with the words "Free Tibet" underneath it I didn't feel silly, but I did feel incredibly uncomfortable. Talk about moving out of your comfort zone! After only 3 or 4 minutes, I couldn't really take it anymore and I went back to my office. I cut the "Free Tibet" part off the flag and then taped the flag to my door.

You can find out more about the flag of Tibet here:

And a large image of the flag that might be good for printing can be found here:

All sorts of things went through my head. How would the Chinese people I work with react? Are they anti-Tibet? Pro-communist? Would I get any flack from people? I have to really learn how to stand up for myself (and others!) if its something I believe in. Regardless of consequences.

Just another one of the many issues I have to deal with and hopefully transform I suppose.


PS: On a local note, the KW Lama Yeshe Ling Buddhism study group will be putting an event together to show support for Tibet so if you are interested in finding out what they plan, let me know by posting a comment or emailing me.

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