Over the past year, 30 young Tibetans have committed self-immolation as a form of self-sacrifice to draw attention to the relentless oppression by the Chinese in their homeland. On March 26, 2012, a Tibetan in exile in India set himself on fire and ran through the streets of New Delhi. In Tibet these events have led to a crack-down on monasteries and monks along with the detention of those who persist in having pictures of the Dalai Lama. The New York Times reports that "the Dalai Lama and his subordinates have expressed shock and sadness at the immolations but have called them a reflection of desperation by Tibetans living under a system that represses their religion and culture."

And so we pray this news…

A Prayer for the Fearless Protesters in Tibet

In our hearts,
the people of Tibet
hold a special place.
Until the Chinese invasion
in 1951, they pioneered
an enlightenment culture
where every human being
had a chance to become all
that he or she was meant to be.

They were inspired by
the devotional lives of
the monks in the monasteries,
the wisdom of the spiritual masters,
and by the living treasure of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama. .

But now the enlightenment
engine is being stilled by
the Chinese authorities:
monasteries have been closed,
monks have been attacked ,
imprisoned, and killed.
Pictures of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama are banned.

But still the resistance continues.
Some Tibetan young people
have chosen self-immolation
as a form of protest
against Chinese policies.
This radical act is not suicide
but self-sacrifice whereby
these fearless souls have taken
upon themselves the violence
that has been inflicted
on their people.

We honor the courage
of these Tibetan protesters
who have become a flame
to light the way to
a new "Buddhaverse"
where everyone will
be free to receive the
blessings of the
wish-fulfilling jewel tree
and become the
full-fledged agents of
compassion and peace.

May the people of Tibet
keep alive in their hearts
the dream of a society
of enlightened beings,
and may we support them
in every way we can.
This rich spiritual tradition
must survive and once again
thrive. So be it.

Next Post: A Prayer for the Beached Dolphins