Monday, December 28, 2009

The Needle of Samsara

The lyrics of my song, "The Needle of Samsara," has been translated from Tibetan to English by my sister Dickyi, who writes at Yuthok Lane. This song is a dedication to the nomads of Tibet, who're arguably the most vulnerable population on earth today. Even as they struggle against Beijing's campaign to wipe out the nomadic way of life, they're also the first ones to be impacted directly by climate change. Read more at Tibetan Plateau.

All beings on earth cling to suffering
The road beyond suffering is covered in dusk
My beloved father left home to look for a living
Many years later he is still unreturned
My family has been scattered to the four winds and eight corners
Oh the burden of fate will not be erased

The sky is blue, the blue of turquoise
The turquoise falls to earth and breaks into a thousand pieces
The lake Yamdrok Yumtso has frosted to ice
An iron-sheeted wind enters my tent
I wish to make fire but the firewood is all gone
Oh how I shiver in the cold

When the snows melt, the river-source ends
When rainwater ends, the fields turn dry
When the dry earth cracks, the pastures become a wasteland
The birds and beasts lose their pair
And the yak, sheep and animals starve
Oh how I mourn the loss

I mean to have peace of mind but
When the body breaks apart, endless tears fall
If this human world is the needle of samsara
The peak where I live is the point of that needle
If my nomad’s story were to end here
Oh the burden of fate will not be erased

The Real Ngabo Is Revealed

Bhuchung D. Sonam, a Tibetan poet and publisher, has written this article on Ngabo Ngawang Jigme, the man who betrayed Tibet in one critical moment of historic importance. Beijing called him a "patriot," and so did Dharamsala. Here is the real story:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Traitor? Patriot? Traitor? Patriot? Who the hell was Ngabo?

Is anyone else out there confused or offended by the glorious obituaries coming from Dharamsala about the death of Ngabo Ngawang Jigme, the man who signed the 17-Point Agreement with China? You're not alone.

Dharamsala mourned for him, calling him "honest and patriotic." If Ngabo was a patriot, then who is a traitor? If Ngabo was always honest, does that make the 17-Point Agreement a legitimate treaty?

Political relativism taken to this extreme is destructive to our history and our future. It is too much of a luxury to overlook someone's enormous political blunders simply because he had later committed acts of modest patriotism.

While it is important to recognize and appreciate what Ngabo may have done to preserve Tibetan culture under Chinese rule, it is equally important to shun him for signing the agreement that gave China a semblance of legality in annexing Tibet.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

ཨ་ཙི་ ལས་མ་དག

མ་ སེམས་ཅན་ ཐམས་ཅད་ སྡུག་ལ་ འབྱར་ བསྡད་ བཞག
སྡུག་ འདི་ནས་ ཐར་པའི་ ལམ་འདི་ སྒྲིབ་ བསྡད་ བཞག
ཕ་ དྲིན་ཅན་ ཕྱི་ལ་ ལྟོ་གོས་ འཚོལ་དུ་ སོང་།
ལོ་ མང་པོའི་ རྗེས་ལ་ ད་དུང་ ལོག་རྒྱུ་ མི་འདུག
ངའི་ ནང་མི་ ཚང་མ་ ཕྱོགས་བཞི་ མཚམས་བརྒྱད་ ལ་ ཐོར།
ཨ་ཙི་ ལས་མ་དག

གནམ་ སྔོན་པོ་ སྔོ་བསངས་ གཡུ་ཡི་ མདོག་ འདྲ་བ།
གཡུ་ ས་ལ་ ཟགས་དུས་ དུམ་བུ་ སྟོང་ལ་ གས།
མཚོ་ ཡ་འབྲོག་ གཡུ་མཚོ་ འཁྱག་རོམ་ ཐེབས་ ཚར་ བཞག
ངའི་ གུར་འདི་ ནང་ལ་ ལྕགས་ཀྱི་ ལྷགས་པ་ རྒྱག་གི
མེ་ གཏོང་དགོས་ བསམ་ཡང་ མེ་ཤིང་ རྗོགས་ ཚར་ འཞག
ཨ་ཆུ་ གྲང་བ་ལ།

ཐོ་ ཁ་བ་ མེད་དུས་ གཙང་པོའི་ རྒྱུན་འདི་ ཆད།
ཆུ་ ཆར་པ་ མེད་དུས་ ཞིང་ཁ་ ཐམས་ཅད་ སྐམས།
ས་ སེར་ཁ་ གས་དུས་ སྤང་རྩ་ ཐམས་ཅད་ སྟོངས།
བྱ་བྱེའུ་ རི་དགས་ གར་སོང་ ཆ་མེད་ གྱུར།
གཡག་ ར་ལུག་ སེམས་ཅན་ ལྟོགས་ཤི་ ཐེབས་ འགྲོ་གི
ཨ་ཁ་ འཕང་བ་ལ།

སེམས་ ལྷོད་ལྷོད་ བྱེད་དགོས་ བསམ་ད་ བསམ་གྱིན་ འདུག
ལུས་ ཁ་བཤགས་ འགྲོ་དུས་ མིག་ཆུ་ དབང་མེད་ ཤོར།
ལྷོ་ འཇམ་བུ་ གླིང་འདི་ འཁོར་བའི་ ཁབ་ ཡིན་ན།
ང་ སྡོད་སའི་ རི་འདི་ ཁབ་ཀྱི་ རྩེ་མོ་ ཡིན།
ང་ འབྲོག་པའི་ ལོ་རྒྱུས་ འདི་ནས་ མཚམས་ཆད་ འགྲོ་ན།
ཨ་ཙི་ ལས་མ་དག