Here is the Pure Land, the Pure Land is here. We smile in mindfulness and dwell in the present moment. The Buddha is seen in a daffodil. The Dharma in a floating cloud. The Sangha Body is everywhere. My true home is right here. Breathing in, everything’s blooming, Breathing out, I am aware that the peepers are singing... my mind is free and I enjoy every moment! —Spring adaptation of a practice song

Dear Friends,

It was lovely to be able to be with you all last night to enjoy stopping together to listen to the birds and to enjoy the daffodils and each other.

Last evening  our friend Thupten, a Tibetan monk,  told us about the very dangerous situation that is unfolding at a monastery in Tibet. He was kind enough to send along the information we had requested to explain the situation and the website where we can learn what we can do to help. If you are able, please do what you can ...help is urgently needed.

News: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2011/04/13/2003500627

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i9t6B8vSjBXsPAlAkL69DNBJL2qA?docId=CNG.81e3f073a7ff60182e936e010de882cd.c81

Please click on take action for petition: http://studentsforafreetibet.org/

Info. website: http://www.savetibet.org/

Also this coming Sunday, our  meeting will be at Sue and Roger Morgan’s home. The book group focusing on the book  “Reconciliation”will meet at 4 PM. It will be followed by a vegetarian potluck supper at 5 PM and then our regular sitting at 6PM.

Sue and Roger will be moving to CA this summer and although we are happy  for them, we will miss them very much. They have been such a blessing to our Sangha.

This will also mean that we will need to be looking for a meeting place for our 2nd and 4th Sundays. If you know of a place please let us know.

I hope that you will be able to be with us, and in the meantime,  I hope that you are enjoying every moment of this springtime.

with much love and the lullaby of the peepers chanting in the moonlight for you,

Joanne

Chinese forces starving monks: report

Taipei Times   By Ko Shu-ling / Staff Reporter

More than 2,500 Tibetan monks face starvation after Chinese security forces cordoned off a monastery in Ngaba County, Sichuan Province, China, following the self-immolation of a young Tibetan monk last month coinciding with the third anniversary of the 2008 uprising in Tibet, the Tibet Post reported yesterday.

The report said the situation at Ngaba Kirti Monastery — with which the young Tibetan monk, Phuntsok, was associated — has worsened since last month as Chinese security forces sent an estimated 800 additional armed security personnel on Saturday after they cordoned off the monastery.

“The movement of the monks is totally restricted, with no one allowed in or out of the monastery,” the report said. “Gaps in barbed wire at the north of the monastery have been closed with concrete walls.”

Monks are facing a shortage of food and depend on voluntary food donations from locals through the monastery administration, but Chinese authorities have recently prohibited the locals from offering food to monks, according to the report.

The report said if the situation continues, more than 2,500 monks in the monastery could face starvation, which would most probably lead to a mass revolt.

“In such an event, security forces will unleash a deadly assault, leading to extra-judicial killings as happened three years ago on March 16, 2008, in Ngaba County,” the report said.

The lamas and monastery officials have been able to maintain peace so far by advising the monks to remain calm despite the ongoing repression, the report said.

Phuntsok died in a hospital the day after his self-immolation. His act was timed to coincide with the third anniversary of the spring uprising in 2008 to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.

In the aftermath of Phuntsok’s protest and subsequent show of solidarity by monks of Kirti -Monastery, Chinese authorities have taken drastic measures to bring the monks under control, the report said.

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy has appealed to the international community and UN mandates on human rights to intervene and stop the ongoing security clampdown.

US frowns on Chinese force in Tibet

(AFP) – 4 days ago

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday criticized China after violent incidents at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, and called on Beijing to respect religious freedom.

The intervention of Chinese security forces at the Kirti monastery in Sichuan province is “inconsistent with internationally recognized principles of religious freedom and human rights,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Clashes erupted between security forces and locals at the monastery in southwestern China after a monk set himself on fire and died last month, according to the International Campaign for Tibet, a New York-based rights group said.

Police unleashed trained dogs on residents outside the monastery and beat people when they tried to prevent forces from entering the compound Tuesday, the rights group said.

According to Toner, security forces “have cordoned off the Kirti monastery.”

The US administration raised the issue with Chinese officials, he added.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and obviously are concerned by it,” Toner said.

The rights group, citing local residents, said security forces were attempting to remove some of the 2,000 monks who live at the monastery.

The situation at the influential monastery has deteriorated since the March 16 death of a monk who committed suicide on the third anniversary of anti-government unrest in the area.

Resentment against Chinese rule runs deep in Tibetan regions of China.

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.