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Buddhadharma : Summer 2016
summer 2016 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 71 the Tibetan people by the CCP dicta- torship. She defends the immolators against the spurious charges by CCP propagandists that they are “terror- ists” or neurotic fanatics manipulated into their horrific acts by the “Dalai clique” to make negative propaganda against China. She refutes conclusively the CCP propaganda that China “lib- erated” Tibet, beneficially “developed” Tibet, and has made Tibetans happy members of the Chinese “motherland.” She vividly describes the overwhelm- ing oppression of the Chinese military occupation, industrial-strength colonial exploitation, environmental degrada- tion, cultural suppression, and virtual imprisonment of what the CCP leader- ship labels the “backward,” “seditious,” and “ungrateful” Tibetan people. In the opening chapter, “Why Are Tibetans Self-Immolating?” Woeser quotes Kirti Rinpoche, abbot in exile of the Kirti Monastery in Amdo Province, in testimony before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress: “There is no greater expres- sion of their desperate opposition to the Chinese government than by resorting to the most powerful method of a nonvio- lent movement, which is by refraining from causing any harm to the Chinese people and appealing to the Chinese government, than by setting themselves on fire.” Woeser further elaborates that “self-immolation is not suicide, and it is not a gesture of despair. Rather, self- immolation is sacrifice for a greater cause and an attempt to press for change.” Woeser offers insights that for many may be surprising. Tibetans in Tibet are not, she points out, primarily seeking international support; rather, these pro- tests are intended to reinforce national identity and unity and express the spiri- tual strength of the Tibetan people. Tibetan independence and preserva- tion of the Tibetan language are central concerns. She also makes clear that while self-immolation is certainly a form of protest against the state, it is more than that—it is also meant to be under- stood as a religious offering. Woeser also chronicles in rich and moving detail the outrageous activities of the CCP organs of propaganda media and police state enforcement, showing how the party hard-line bureaucrats, some of whom she mentions by name, are using the immolations as an excuse to crack down even harder on Tibetans while also trying to prevent news of the “human freedom torches” from reach- ing the people of Tibet, China, and the larger world. The most important point Woeser makes is that the blame for these tragic outcomes —150-plus human lives freely and painfully given away for their cause — rests squarely on the oppressive poli- cies and practices of the CCP-controlled occupation apparatus. Buddhism is not revieWs • All instruction and texts are in English with Tibetan Retreat Master Lama Kunga Dorje, under the spiritual guidance of the VV Kenchen Thrangu Rinpoche • Participation is flexible and adapted for individual schedules • 650 euros/month includes meals, accommodation and texts • Halscheid Retreat Center is located 80k from Cologne/Bonn airport in countryside surrounded by forest, meadow and farmland INFORMATION firstname.lastname@example.org www.halscheid-retreat.de Three-Year Retreat at Karma Thekchen Yi Ong Ling European Retreat Center of HH the 17th Karmapa in Halscheid, Germany | November 20, 2016 Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course INTERNATIONAL ON-LINE PROGRAM Term: 2-Year Computer-based Course Tuition: $360.00 per year Subjects: • Origin & Development of Buddhism • Shinran Shonin’s Life and His Teaching • Sutras & Masters of the Pure Land Tradition • History of Jodo Shinshu Visit: jscc.cbe-bca.org Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course Office 2140 Durant Avenue Berkeley, CA 94704 USA Phone: (510) 809-1441 Fax: (510) 809-1459 E-mail: email@example.com CBE_WinterBDH.indd 1 8/7/2015 2:20:32 PM