(Photo by Ariel Poster: Women tend trees with the Green Belt Movement in Kenya)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Looking Toward Tibet

Mindfulness brings compassion.

Looking out across a plain at seventeen thousand feet,

white clouds turning, turning, turning into Tara, into Milarepa,

here on the plains where your people have crossed the icy turf

again and again throughout the ages,

never turned away

from a neighbor’s tent where hot tea and kindness await,

how can one see trucks rolling in, laden with asphalt,

ready to build an airstrip?

When you are four years old,

and your mother travels with you for days

to see a wonder, a sacred dance,

on the monastery grounds,

monks in brilliant colors dazzling your young eyes,

music beyond imagination, the cymbals, the horns,

how can you ever live in a cement block house,

bored and tired, hungry, lost,

forgetful of all you ever were?

When one has arisen at dawn with the sound of the wind

and a thousand years of holy incarnations spin madly in the cloud shadows

across the ever-changing, mottled face of the high mountains nearby,

and you bundle up and say a prayer, giving thanks for all this,

your past, your people, your medicine, your sacredness,

how can there ever, ever come a machine to quarry the mountain down,

to beat the knowledge out of you, to herd you into silence?

Mindfulness brings compassion.

Tibet will never die.

Annelinde Metzner copyright August 2008

Photo by Phil Borges, "Samdo Kunga", from Tibetan Portrait. For more photos see:

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