Grandmother Tsering Dolma Gyaltong
"Make the Spirit that has not arisen in our heart arise, and when it arises, may it not diminish but increase."
Text adapted from "Grandmothers Council the
World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision For Our Planet"
In 1958, Tsering Dolma Gyaltong strapped two of her three children to her
back and made a dangerous month-long journey through her
beloved Tibetan mountains to India. The family was escaping the brutal Chinese
Communist take-over of their country. Tsering's husband's work of pleading
Tibet's case to the world made it too dangerous to stay in Tibet.
During the communist take-over, China claimed 2/3 of Tibet's land as its own, murdered 1,200,000 Tibetans, destroyed 6,254 monasteries, and deforested the mountains. 100,000 Tibetans were interred in labor camps, and another 100,000 escaped. Grandmother Tsering and her family were forced to make the same trip as the Dalai Lama. Like the Dalai Lama, grandmother Tsering and her family have never been able to return to their homeland...
Grandmother Tsering Dolma Gyaltong was born in Lhasa, Tibet in 1933. Her grandparents cared for Tsering and her four siblings while the parents worked. "...We were a very happy people. Our minds were very happy. We could take care of many children. Many generations lived in one house."
At age 12, Tsering's grandmother passed away. At 15, Tsering began practicing Buddhism, which taught her than it's more important to focus on others and not one's individual self. Tsering realized this quality had guided her own mother and grandmother. "Women had a difficult time in Tibet," Grandmother Tsering remembers. "I was fortunate, being that I was a girl, to be sent to school. So, in gratitude I would read and write letters for women who couldn't."
In 1972, Grandmother Tsering left India and moved with her family to Toronto, Canada. The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government had asked Tibetan refugees to live in many countries, seeking to bring peace and well-being to wherever they live. Sadly, those Tibetans left behind have found little peace. They have lost their independence and basic human rights. Grandmother Tsering's prays daily for the world and for her people to simply know peace and happiness.
Grandmother Tsering returned to India in 1984 where she revived the Tibetan Women's Association. In 1995, she attended the Fourth World Women's Conference in Beijing China. She faced many threats and dangers as she, along with others, openly criticized the Chinese government for its treatment of Tibetan people, especially Tibetan women. Her courage motivated other Tibetan women to continue raising their voices. (India/Tibet: Tibetan Women Take to the Streets Against Beijing's Slavery) Grandmother Tsering asks us to focus our prayer on softening the Chinese peoples heart so that the Dalai Lama would be allowed to go home before he died. She feels this is the only way that Tibetan exiles can return to their homeland.
Grandmother Tsering believes most of the
world's spiritual traditions are very similar, except that with Buddhism,
the main teachings are training the mind. "Our mind is what we have to
be really happy within," Grandmother Tsering says. "If everyone really did a
true spiritual practice, which develops into a positive mind, the world
would not be in the dire situation we find it in today."
Grandmother Tsering also believes
competition and self-importance are the
reasons most people don't seek an inner peace. "People wish for happiness
but do not find it," she said. "A person might, through much suffering,
gather a great deal of money during their life ... but money doesn't bring a
person well-being in the end. The real problem is we do not love each other.
We do not have this deep pure love that makes the positive connection.
There's not enough of that."
|Crowds Protest Around the World For Freedom in Tibet|
let goodness take its
Let Goodness Take It's Place
EMERGENCY MESSAGE FROM GRANDMOTHER
Special Alert on Tibet!