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Lhasa, China

Lhasa, Tibet-Early Morning

As the first rays of the morning sun shined down on me I was in mid-sun-salutation, greeting the beautiful day. I cannot believe that when I breathe in the crisp, cool air that I am in the motherland of Tibetan Buddhism, I am in the former seat of the Tibetan holy government, I am on the ground that masters such as Milarepa and Padmasambhava once walked on...

I refuse to consider this beautiful place that I am in part of a communist regime. It makes me chuckle to think that most of the world would answer 'China' when asked where Lhasa is located. It is true that a high percentage of citizens now living in Lhasa are Chinese, but this is only because the communist government has imported them into the country in order to destroy the beautiful culture of the TIbetan people. When you look around at the shops, they are in the style of modern Chinese architecture, the signs in Mandarin or Cantonese, the prayer flags are nothing more than pieces of cloth with Communist propoganda written on them, and the people live in fear that their Dalai Lama pictures that they've glued to the undersides of their kitchen tables might be discovered, landing them in prison or a gallows. Those seen openly practicing their faiths are chastised by police gaurds and only small, hidden alters with no statues or tankas can be seen in the farthest corners of homes and monestaries. I know that the rest of the country is not like this. I know that many of the borderlands are freer and many monestaries practice as they wish, much of the culture their remains unnaffected, but I am still saddened to see the seat of the His Great Holiness usurped by a dim sum restaurant. Not that I'm opposed to dim sum, I enjoyed it very much in the Phillipines. I know that the laypeople here mean well and that they are just doing as their government has encouraged (or forced them to), and I respect all of the Chinese citizens who gave up their country in order to escape Communism.

Even after all of this, there is still an atmosphere of unseen magic in the air here, as if Shangri-la were only over that mountain, in some snow-enclosed valley, where all of the great masters practice and pray and chant and do prostrations, hoping to help us evolve.

NOTE: This website would not allow me to list the country's proper name of TIBET. It insisted that Lhasa was a part of China, which it is not. Any intelligent person would refuse to consider it a part of something it is not.

permalink written by  vajra_guru_pedma_tron_tren_sal on December 5, 2007 from Lhasa, China
from the travel blog: Tibet, a Land of Mystery
tagged Lhasa, Tibet and DimSum

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