Aiming for triple D’s to inspire me!

Posted on October 3rd, 2008 by Jim

Hot off the OSHO trail (((group hug))) from Pune, India I thought I’d get a grip of reality and aim for triple D’s.

Namely Delhi, Dharamshala & back home to Dubai before my rupee travel fund goes overdrawn and I knuckle down to earning a crust again. Armed with season 3 & 4 of the Soprano’s that helped me fathom the goings-on at OSHO I was ready for a change of scene.

Dharmashala, home of the his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

With only 24 hours in dusty Delhi, the throne of chivalry by successive dynasties with oodles of history I worked through nose to tail traffic where horn blowing is compulsory, I headed off to smell some flowers at……

…..Lodhi gardens, the Mecca of nature close to the town centre full of flowers, birds and lovers holding hands. As the monsoon season comes to an end the temperature was around the mid 20′s – pretty pleasant at 4pm.

I didn’t expect this place in Delhi to literally pave the way to GO! to smell the flowers and experience serenity. It’s original purpose was a 15th century graveyard but not anymore.

There are several tombs in the park and a few teenagers were attempting to climb to the top of them and apart from risking a fall they also risked being bitten by a snake and starting the trend for graves again.

From there I checked out a UNESCO world heritage site, Humayun’s tomb. Dating back to 1555 AD after Humayun’s short lived 6 month rule when he died from a fall in his library.

The Taj Mahal and many other Mughal buildings are said to have been inspired from Humayun’s tomb which was quite something in terms of the vastness of the construction, marble and landscaping.

From this surprising snapshot of Delhi tranquility it was time to catch my flight to Dharamshala in Northern India. Sitting1600m above sea level (Dharamshala that is, not in the plane, that was alot higher) it is the capital of the Central Tibetan Administration , a Tibetan government in exile led by Tenzin Gyatso , better known as the 14th and current Dalai Lama.

‘We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.’

- His Holiness the 14th Dalia Lama

The flight was full and as we touched down – that pointless impatient bit when 80% of the flight do the overhead locker dance and grab their belongings only to stand for 20 minutes. At luggage collection I overheard a couple:

‘Let’s hope we make it in time tomorrow so we can get a great spot to meet HIM?’ Said a pig tailed Israeli girl.

It turned out that the Dalia Lama himself was scheduled to be at home for his Bi-annual open Q&A session along with some teaching right where I was headed in Dharamshala, in the Kangra valley in the Dhauladhar Mountains to be precise.

On the way to the clouds end Hotel in Dalia Lama territory, I learned that the government’s headquarters are located in McLeod Ganj , a suburb that is also referred to as Upper Dharamsala or “Little Lhasa “. So much to take in about an area I knew nothing about but I remembered reading when a day before the Beijing Olympics, thousands of Tibetans in India (I now realise it was Dharamshala) became the voice of the Tibetans suppressed in Tibet and condemned China’s alleged brutal and illegal occupation of Tibet.

Tibetan supporters filled the streets here and snaked their way through the mountain pass, raising slogans and pleading for the international community – but are there two sides to the story?

The Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement aims to revive the spirit of the Tibetan national uprising of 1959, and by engaging in nonviolent direct action, bring about an end to China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. The March to Tibet was one initiative of this historic Movement.

The only other event that Tibet holds on an annual basis here that brings them out in hoards is the Miss Tibet beauty contest. All women are in exile from Tibet and can compete within the safe confines of India and although only 4 or 5 do it’s a start.

If only I’d had known! It’s held of October the 12th and I’ll just miss it – maybe a quick leg wax and have been in with a chance? Oh well, Dalai Lama it is then.

So there is hope with the triple D’s yet and maybe Tony could turn his hands to judging after his experience running his bada bing club.

Joking aside – it is essential that a ‘real-world’ view is given regarding the Tibet situation and I’ve always remembered seeing Richard Gere singing the Dalai Lama’s praises as did George Bush:

YouTube Preview Image

All your comments are welcomed as I settle in, sample some lip smacking cuisine with the sound of chirping crickets, Tony Soprano and the tip-tapping away at the keyboard here for company. All being well I’ll head to the temple tomorrow to see if I can meet one of the most recognised faces in the modern day world.

All comments welcomed as I start to learn about the Dalia Lama and in the next 24 hours I maybe lucky enough to see him for myself.

Something I’m working on right now – Thanks folks.

47 Responses to “Aiming for triple D’s to inspire me!”

  1. roentarre says:

    This is such a beautiful series of image.


  2. Arvind says:

    You sure Do get around Jim!

    Reading the title of this post, I initially thought you were going to regale us with bra sizes and some massive boobs you had seen on a statue of an Indian god :-)

    I kid you not, these mythical Indian goddesses were massively endowed – so I am told. Just check out images of “Khajura Indian Gods”

    Anyway I DDDigress….

    You are very lucky to have been there at the same time as the Dalai Lama – did you actually see him?! It is not clear from your post above.

  3. Urban Pagan says:

    sorry CC- infants die without affection (its a scientific fact!!!)

    you are confusing affection with oxygen!!

  4. Gareth in Thailand says:

    Unbelievable bias on the Tibetan issue in the West mainly as China has little voice outside of China due to the fact that they basically mind their own business – unlike the rest of the West who have ‘freed’ many countries by force.
    But then again China are one of our favourite villains even though they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met and lived amongst.

    Here is a brief balanced article. I’m sure the Free Tibet Sinophobe war dogs will savage me for this but I’ve seen it from both sides.

  5. Urban Pagan says:

    I’ with gareth on this

    I back the chinks over the slopes anytime.

    they do better food
    better fighters
    like a smoke
    enjoy bear pulls
    have a double hard army
    and run their country for the majority good

    its dai the lama and his skinheads you need to sort out

    • Jim says:

      Dia the lama, I think Purple has been to the same zoo, Urban or is that a hard-nut from Wales you’re referring to?

      ‘Double hard’ Army – dare I ask? As in monkey magic hard?

  6. moooooog35 says:

    You suck me in with the “Triple D’s” thing and I get a picture of a mountain?!?

    Where’s Pamela Anderson?!?

    Fine, I’ll go Google her myself.

    • Jim says:

      Ah Mooog – thought the headline might get some others interested here!

      Did you turn the ‘mountain’ image upside down, huh, huh, ??? Did ya?

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      In that part of the world even a single DD’s are rare as rocking horse crap, I was also fooled when I went to Silicon valley, no sign of Pammy anywhere.

      • Arvind says:

        Gareth – what’s “rocking horse crap”?!

        Please enlighten us!

        • Gareth in Thailand says:

          Hi Arvind,
          Crap from a rocking horse.
          A rocking horse is a (normally) wooden carved horse mounted on two curved rails. Children sit on them and rock back and forth as means of entertainment, normally referred to as playing.
          As the said rocking horse is actually an inanimate object, chances are it won’t ever defecate. Hence ‘as rare as rocking horse crap’ is sometimes used as a means to express that an event is unlikely to happen.
          Hope this clarifies.

        • Lib says:

          Lol Gareth.

  7. Svasti says:

    Good luck with getting to see the Dalai Lama! I had the chance to go and hear him speak once in Sydney. He was very inspirational!

  8. aussiecynic says:

    I truly admire and respect the Dalai Lama,
    I admire his ability to remain calm and composed whilst all is happening in Tibet
    I respect for much the same reason..
    My views on the Tibet situation have never altered and although they are seeking autonomy not independance, The people should have the same rights and the rest of us….

    If you meet him I will Scream….

    The rest of your post was lovely, and the graveyard/park looks like a wonderfully inspiring place to smell the flowers…

    • Jim says:

      Cheers AC – more soooon!

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      Does that include the Han’s or should they just be happy with being beaten up and having their homes and businesses burnt down?

      • aussiecynic says:

        I dont know about the Han have no idea who or why they would be treated in such a manner.. I am presuming they are The chinese people living in Tibet or there abouts.. but must look them up.. I am doing that at the moment..
        However regardless I dont think they should be treated in such a manner… however I am not turning this post into a debate on the human rights of those residing in Tibet, or in china nor am I going to enter into a debate on the lives of person practising banned religions in any country… All peoples should have the right to live in a safe, peaceful way, regardless of what they beleive, what country they are in, and what tribe they are from…
        I do have the utmost respect for the Dalai Lama and other religious leaders… Just because I do not follow a particular religion or faith does not mean they are undeserving of respect in most regards… You can respect a person without actually agreeing with them,
        In any case of Dalai Lama he has earnt my respect….

  9. Hans Strock says:

    The Dalai Lama is believed to be the reincarnation of the Buddha of Compassion. When I saw him in Wisconsin, he even said that he has no hostility towards the Chinese people, but loves them instead. He is only opposed to the government and its opposition to religion. Very inspirational and charismatic. This should be a great experience for you!

    • Jim says:

      Thanks Hans…more to follow – I’m reading up on how they came to the conclusion that he was the reincarnation – he had to pass several tests….along with auspicious signs…!

      • Urban Pagan says:

        assault course?

        memory test?

        general knowledge?

        it sounds to me like he took part in the tibetan krypton factor.

        I would put Chris Quentin aka Brian Tilsley up against him any day of the week. the DL would chicken out of the rope slide.

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      I saw many monks during the time I lived and worked in China (all over the country from Haerbin in the far north to Guangzhou in the far south) and also in most shops and bars you will see a statue of Budda or three Buddas on the way in near the entrance (not the typical Budda everyone associated with Thailand or India & Tibet but an old gentleman with a long beard Many times I witnessed people lighting insence sticks and bowing to Budda in shops and bars.

      The government is strict on religion but it is by no means banned.
      What are banned are dangerous religions such as Falun Gong. These guys even had the temerity to protest during the Olympics even though they have caused many suicide deaths in China – please read for background, that is why you can’t even Google Flun Gong in China, I could not even write about them and post here whilst living in China as it would be blocked – for good reason. Also ‘respressed’ are the Muslim Uigers in and around Urumqi, but seeing as how they have tried to bring down a number of planes and bombed areas of China is this any different to what the West is doing with Islam and the many laws we have on printed articles and material? Are Eta viewed in the same light for their struggle for an independant state away from Spain or are they viewed (rightly) as terrorists?
      There is a lot of other control on ‘foreign’ religions such as Christianity as the Chinese Catholic church for example is not alligned with the Vatican but again, it is actually a foreign religion and does cause issues in the country. They don’t take kindly to people being ‘converted’ and given the incurssions into China over the past 200 years by the West and Japan one can understnad their caustion on foreign influence as all the foreign incursions have resulted in many deaths, captured territory and horrific aubses of their people – once bitten twice shy?

      However to say religion is banned in practice is wrong. There is a lot of religion in China, the continuing strength of the Shaolin Temple shows this. Modern China is not what you all get told about, you get told about China in the 50′s & 60′s.
      I saw many people who where very happy in their religion.
      Unfortunately most do not receive a balanced view as the media loves a ‘baddie’.

      • Svasti says:

        Falun Gong dangerous? Really? That’s contrary to anything I’ve ever seen and heard about them. The article you’ve included a link to appears to be on a Chinese website. Given that China is famous for repression and genocide, are you sure this article isn’t more propaganda?

        • Gareth in Thailand says:

          Hi Savasti,
          Not really, one of the guys who died was a friend and colleagues brother.

          Famous for genocide? I think you are confusing them with Africans(other tribes), Europeans(jews and muslims), Americans(red indians), Japanese (other Asians, mainly Korean and Chinese) or Australians (aboringinals). All have committed far more serious crimes over the years.

          When in China, be you Chinese or Western, China is a respressive as you want it to be. I personally never felt freer or safer when living there. Sure there are things you should not do but that is true in any country that is not in anarchy. Given the high levels of crime and injustice in the ‘free’ world are we sure we are better. John Charles de Menezes might argue differently seeing as how he got shot just for looking like someone else.

          Lets look at repression and freedom. There are many no go areas in Western towns and cities due to crime and violence prevelant in society. So certain streets and areas are not really free to you, not through government rules but through social breakdown which is a directly attributable to the government. Nowhere in China did I or my Chinese wife ever feel scared to go or feel that we would be at any risk.
          Property is removed forceably from you by other members of society, not directly by the government but from their failed policies and lack of action, not jailing that little mugger the fisrt time means they are responsible for you now having lost your wallet.
          Depends on your perception of freedom and how much you listen to the biased Western ‘fact’ based media, like I said in another post, China and the Chinese rarely defend themselves as they are very insular and don’t care too much about the other guys thoughts as they are his thoughts so we only really ever get one side of the coin and that side gets more and more distorted as time goes on. Not examining closely and from both sides ‘factual’ stories that are reported is a dangerous thing. Throughout the recent Olympics I was ashamed to watch the BBC search for stories of woe and generally come up empty handed or with a story you could find a much worse version of in the West. If they’d tried hard they could have found some truly interesting and ‘nice’ stories but hey that doesn’t sell does it.
          Try talking about freedoms and lack of repression to someone who has just been mugged, hit over the head with a bottle in a bar or had their home burgled.
          Lose a few freedoms live securely, have total ‘freedom’ and look over your shoulder, which would you chose? Try and define freedom in terms of what you do, where you go and the impact on others. taken to extremes it gets very interesting.

          It all comes down to how you want to look at it and your view on things, we are conditioned to think our way is absolutely the only true and free way and therefore the best. As such we spurn the Arabian Sheikh model, the single party rule model and even the monachy model. I am not arguing its all a bed of roses there nor am I arguing for their system being totally correct, however it works for them and yields greater personal safety and freedom for around 99% of their populace. Some cross the line and are imprisoned and we then take up this banner and cry foul, yet we also have jails packed to bursting point.
          I saw real repression during my trip to North Korea about 4 years ago, China is a million miles from this.
          Falun Gong was dangerous and so it is banned. Tell me, is Al Qaeda membership banned in most countries? An extreme example but this is where our govenments feel they need to step in, the Chinese decided they needed to over Falun Gong.

          Hope this helps you get a feel for life in China, its one of the most facinating, friendly and personally safe places I’ve been to. Wearing different glasses many others might share this view.

        • Arvind says:

          Thanks again Gareth for your balanced and thoughtful insights from your personal experience of China.

          As you say it is really how you look at it – and what propaganda you choose to believe in.

          I was at a flooring exhibition (as one does!) a few months ago and one of the exhibitors promoting their environmentally friendly floors mentioned how their product was counteracting worldwide pollution, and how their product was better than the ones coming out of China!

          She said that as China was causing most of the global warming in the world, using their innovative product was a way of fighting back.

          This really got my back up as this is so not true as China (and India) have a long, long way to go before they even match our global footprint in the west. I did challenge her – and I was not popular especially as I was working with that exhibitor.

        • Gareth in Thailand says:

          Indeed, whilst they are both big contributers now, it hasn’t always been that way.
          Incidentally India are the largest manufacturer of wind turbines (Suzlon, I believe, are the main player is called, started by a couple of brothers who were in the textile game) and China are the second largest investor in renewables after Germany, they also have a booming industry in solar products.
          They will both continue to grow in CO2 production but over the past century we (the West) take the award. Again its nice to a villain to point to and these two growing economies are now the big criminals in our media.
          Glad you spoke up.

  10. “By groping toward the light
    we are made to realize
    how deep the darkness is
    around us.”

    – Arthur Koestler,

  11. Lib says:

    I bought that bada bing t-shirt for my bro from NYC.

    Anyway, I was involved with the LivCom awards a couple of years back and China absolutely rock it every year in terms of their sustainable communities and environments.

    They’re always seen as the polluting bad guys but in reality China could teach a few other countries a thing or two about looking after the environment.

    And they invented dim sum so they can’t be that bad.

    • Gareth in Thailand says:

      Also try asking for Jiaozi if you are in a good Chinese restautant.
      These can be meat or vegetable. They’re very easy to make with a little practice, my freind Jinyong taught me how to make them. Maybe I can be persuaded to make some for you next time I’m in the UK – a beer and a doob should be suitable encouragement.

    • Jim says:

      What about the fortune cookies or does that take us down the horoscope route again?

      My fave was a parody in a mag with a guy opening his Chinese cracker to read the note:

      “That wasn’t chicken” Said the note.

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