Friday, April 13, 2007

AIDS awareness for Tibetan university students in Bangalore


AIDS awareness for Tibetan university students in Bangalore
By Tenzin Jangchup Lingshar

Bangalore: April 13: A Tibetan student doing his Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) at St. Joseph college of Arts and Science, Bangalore takes initiative to make sure his young fellow Tibetan friends studying in the city are completely aware of AIDS.

Although, AIDS is not an appalling issue among Tibetans in exile, more concerns on this dreadful disease have been raised very occasionally in recent times calling for more awareness on the disease within Tibetan community. For this reason, the young Tibetan student felt that Aids awareness is very much needed among Tibetan students in a fast-paced metropolitan city like Bangalore.

A large number of Tibetan students choose Bangalore either for their higher studies or for job opportunities every year.

For this, four members of an NGO working on HIV/AIDS called, SPAD (Society for People's Action for Development (SPAD) was invited to give an eye-opening talk and interact closely with the Tibetan students. The event was held at the Tibetan Youth Hostel’s Auditorium.

After a short welcome note by the Hostel accountant, Mr. Dhondup; a member from SPAD gave a detailed introductory talk on AIDS highlighting the ways the disease gets spread.

An in-depth discussion on the disease went on with detailed presentation supported by diagrams and factual data. According to the resource persons from organization, about 86% of AIDS in India are being transmitted through sexual intercourse. According to them, children born from an infected mother has 32 to 35% chances of being infected from the disease, but fortunately such a child can be protected from the disease if timely special medical care is given

The disease however does not spread through kissing, mosquitoes bite, and sharing of food, using of same towel since the virus survives in blood and gets transferred only through blood.

Using infected patient’s needles, transfer of infected blood and having unprotected sex with an infected person are the most common ways of getting infected with the disease.

After the introductory talk, the four members stood up and asked the audience to guess who among them is an HIV positive. After much attempt, the participants failed to do so since there are no any specific syndromes of an HIV infected person.

To our surprise, two among them, one male and another female, were in fact infected with the disease. Both of them narrated their tales of horror on condition of anonymity and the social stigmas they have to suffer.

They now have two things in common. After undergoing great difficulties in trying to hold on to their lives facing hard challenges, both of them are now completely positive with their lives. They are now using their experiences, knowledge and energy to educate people on the disease.

At present, India has over 5.7 million people infected HIV Positive and the number is increasing day by day making, specially young people, increasingly vulnerable to the disease if due precautions are not taken.

Following is the personal story narrated by the two victims.

FEMALE: Just after finishing class 10, I had to leave school and got married at an age of 18 due to financial problem in my family. We have five children in our family. After marriage, life went quite well with children growing and my husband’s business running well. After 15 years of sound marriage life, suddenly my husband started getting infected with different diseases and continued getting worse. After medical consultation, he was declared HIV positive. So, the family members too were requested to undergo medical examination in which unluckily I was also infected.

Since then, from family life to out family business, everything started going wrong. Due to lack of knowledge about the disease, people in our locality started avoiding us.

We heard of a doctor in Kerala who could heal AIDS patients and immediately we went for the treatment. However the treatment did no good and after 100 days my husband died. It was painful to see that for the funeral almost every villagers avoided and nobody was willing to touch the body too.

Since then life was proving like a hell in my own village as everyone avoided me and my family. Finally, I decided to leave my own village and came to Bangalore to start a new life. In Bangalore too, life was no easier as I have to do all the hard works like security guard.

In the meanwhile, I got in with NIMHANS hospital through which I got into an NGO working for AIDS awareness and counseling to the patients. And now I am leading my life positively contributing for the benefit of other people. Spreading AIDS awareness and counseling infected persons are what I do now. I have already survived for seven years with HIV positive and I am still alive

I want to tell younger generation “To take necessary precaution and be bold even if you are infected as infection is not the end of life.”

MALE: I am from Manipuri and I am 28 years old. I started taking drugs from the early age of 13. Since then, I had been very much addicted to drugs that I have to struggle for money to get my regular dose.

I later went to Delhi to work at the airport. While working there in Delhi I had a chance to go abroad and I was 17 years old by then. However, I could not fly abroad as my medical examination reported I was having HIV positive. A doctor explained me that I can live not more than two years. I was very much shocked and I did not know what to do.

Very much disturbed, I started over dosing myself with drugs wishing to die at once. But, the doses did not kill me. And then a positive thought came to my mind. I felt, at least I can use my remaining time doing something worth for others instead of wasting it.

I then went to Lucknow and opened an organisation to help drug victims to start a normal life. It was a very difficult job for me and I came to Bangalore and joined with SPAD to work for AIDS people and spread awareness on AIDS.



Note: this articles or write-up is completely for the sake of giving message to people about AIDS and also to support the people of HIV positive as they too wants to live and smile.

Tenzin Jangchup Lingshar can be contacted at

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tibet Activists Storm Chinese Embassy in New Delhi

Tibet Activists Storm Chinese Embassy in New Delhi
(With inputs from April 09, 2007)

Shibayan Raha, Campaigns Coordinator of Friends of Tibet being arrested at the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on April 09, 2007. (Photos by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul)

New Delhi: Shibayan Raha, Campaigns Coordinator of Friends of Tibet and another activist Migmar Tsering were arrested on April 9, 2007 while attempting to storm into the Chinese Embassy located in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The two activists were demanding the release of Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, the second most important religious figure, next only to HH the Dalai Lama.
The protest act was planned just in time before the forthcoming birthday of the Panchen Lama, who will be turning 18 on April 25 this year. He has been held incommunicado by China since 1995 after he was recognised by the Dalai Lama as the next Panchen Lama. He was by then only six years old. After years of worldwide protests and routine international pressure, whereabouts of him still remain unknown.
Wearing a "Free Tibet - Free Panchen Lama" t-shirt and holding a Tibetan national flag in his hand, Shibayan Raha, tried to self-immolate and ran towards the main gate of the Chinese Embassy shouting 'Free Tibet' and 'Release the Panchen Lama' slogans. He then started climbing the fence surrounding the Embassy before he was brought down by the security guards.
"As an Indian, I am ashamed of my government for constantly appeasing China in the name of Hindi-Chini bhai bhai and for failing to take any action for Tibet," said Shibayan Raha who had also earlier protested outside the Taj Hotel in Bombay on November 23, 2006 just before Chinese President Hu Jintao's speech at the India-China Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation Summit.
Both Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering are currently detained in Chanakyapuri Police Station and will be possibly transferred to the Tihar Central Jail later in the evening. This is one of the rare incidents in which a non-Tibetan activist has taken such an aggressive stance for the cause.

November 23, 2006: Shibayan Raha, Campaigns Coordinator of Friends of Tibet unfurls the banner reading: "China Get Out of Tibet and Aksai Chin" outside the Taj Hotel, Bombay just before Chinese President Hu Jintao's speech at the India-China Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation Summit. (Photo: Vikas Khot/Hindustan Times)".

Following is the copy of appeal letter addressed to the Chinese Embassy by the activists:
April 9, 2007


His Excellency

Mr. Sun Yuxi,

The Ambassador,
People’s Republic of China,
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi,

His Excellency,

Ever since Gendhun Choekyi Nyima was recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama, the second important religious leader of Tibet after The Dalai Lama in 1995 at the age of six, he along with his parents had been held incommunicado by the Government of People’s Republic of China. The Chinese government had turned down repeated appeals for his release from UNO, European Union and leading human rights organizations. His ongoing detention is a gross violation of the United Nation's Charter on the Rights of the Child. In his place, The Government of People’s Republic of China, which calls itself secular, had installed their own Panchen Lama in their final push to erase the Tibetan Freedom Movement.
We the undersigned won't let the world and the Chinese Government sit in peace till the 11th Panchen Lama is released. Till out last breath we will continue to protest his ongoing detention. We will remain non violent and protest just as we are doing today and will continue to do so to remind the world of Chinese atrocities in Tibet and the 11th Panchen Lama who is the World’s Youngest Political prisoner and turning 18 years on 25th April, 2007.
We urge the Chinese Government through you to release the 11th Panchen Lama immediately and let him have his freedom and take his seat in the Tashi Lhunpo monastery, the official seat of the Panchen Lama.

Yours truly,
Migmar Tsering and Shibayan Raha

'Hunger Strike in Indian Prison Asking China to Release Spiritual Leader' (The Associated Press April 11, 2007)

New Delhi: Two Tibet protesters have begun a hunger strike in a New Delhi prison after they were arrested for trying to hold a protest at the Chinese Embassy, a Tibetan rights group said Wednesday. Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering, both members of the Friends of Tibet group, had been demanding the release of the Panchen Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's second-highest spiritual leader, chosen by the Dalai Lama, said Aprajita Sarcar, a spokeswoman for the India-based group.
China installed Gyaltsen Norbu, 16, as the 11th Panchen Lama in 1995, rejecting the boy chosen by the Dalai Lama whose whereabouts in China are not currently known, Sarcar said. Police detained the two men as they tried to scale a wall of the Chinese Embassy on Monday, and held them in New Delhi's Tihar prison, Sarcar said.
"The protesters are neither eating solid food, nor drinking any liquid since Monday," she said. Today in Asia - Pacific Chinese leader arrives in Japan on trip to bolster ties India's river delta islands washing away. Last year, Raha was arrested for carrying a banner reading "China Get Out of Tibet and Aksai Chin," territory China took control of after its 1962 war with India, outside a hotel in Mumbai just before a speech by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the India-China Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation Summit. He was later released on bail.
India has given shelter to hundreds of thousands of Tibetan refugees, but does not allow them to engage in political activity. Protests were banned during Hu's visit. The group said in a statement that it was gravely concerned about the health of the two activists. It asked the New Delhi police to release them immediately. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet. He has been living in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala since then.


Arrested Activists Hospitalised
Update from Friends of Tibet (India)

The two young activists who protested at the Chinese Embsassy in New Delhion April 9, 2007 demanding the release of Tibetan spiritual leader PanchenLama have been forcefully hospilised today after their healthdeteriorated.Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering, the Indian and Tibetan activist duo havebeen taken to Tihar Central Jail on the day of their arrest. For the pastthree days, the activist have not been eating any solid food or drinkingany liquid.Today, as they entered third day of their no-food, no-water hunger strikeinside the jail, the jail authorities forcibly took them to jail hospital.Concerned Tibetans and Friends of Tibet activists who went to visit themat the prison couldn't meet the hunger strikers. Human Rights Law Network(HRLN) lawyer Jayashree who went to the prison also had to come backwithout seeing them, and was told by jail authorities that the arrestedprotestors are under medical care.Friends of Tibet remains deeply concerned about their health and is tryingpossible means to secure their release with the help of RTYC Delhi,Indo-Tibetan Coordination Office and Human Rights Law Network.



"Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering's hunger strike, begun in Tihar Jailimmediately after their arrest during a non-violent demonstration at theChinese Embassy in Delhi, reminds us how the non-violent struggle forTibet must be waged even as it brings to mind the words of MahatmaGandhi." It is not enough to refrain from taking the life of a livingbeing. He who has pledged himself to this vow may not kill, even thosewhom he believes to be unjust; he may not be angry with them, he must lovethem. He will not carry out the tyrant's will but he will sufferpunishment even unto death for disobeying his will until the tyranthimself is won over." In China, the hunger strikers would not have thefreedom to use the Gandhian methods they are now employing in India. Therecan be no doubt about the identity of the tyrant whom they are working towin over. From Tihar Jail they speak truth to China's rulers. The world iswatching."
(Thomas Laird, Author of 'The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the DalaiLama')

"My view is that from a moral-even a religious and spiritual point of view- it would be wrong not to oppose the injustice and evil that china iscarrying out in Tibet. In fact, not opposing injustice and evil wouldamount to committing moral violence - which, in my view, is a greaterviolence that mere physical violence also, not doing anything amounts tonon - action and must not be, glorified as 'non-violence' - which is anactive force. Where would the world be today if Churchill had not stood upagainst Hitler? Where would India be today if Gandhiji had not carried outhunger strikes to end Britain's unjust, colonial rule?"
(Lhasang Tsering, Former President of Tibetan Youth Congress)

"It is atrocious and a mockery of the rule of law that two young men -Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering protesting the continuing incarcerationof the Panchen Lama have been have been imprisoned in Tihar Jail and arenow on a hunger strike for the last four days. The two young menprotesting outside the Communist Chinese Embassy tried to force theirentry into the Embassy because they were not allowed to meet ComradeAmbassador and hand over a letter appealing for the Panchen Lama'srelease. They were not masked terrorists carrying bombs, nor machine guns.Admittedly when they were not prevented from meeting Comrade Ambassador,Shibayan Raha tried to climb the wall and he was promptly pulled down bysecurity guards probably a Delhi policeman. The symbolic protest by theseyoung men should have been followed by a symbolic adherence to the rulesof trespass.
Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering should realise that the presentgovernment of India couldn't care a damn if the two die. Raha wasabsolutely right when he said at the time of arrest: "As an Indian I amashamed of my government for constantly appeasing China in the name ofHindi-Chini-Bhai-Bhai and for failing to take any action for Tibet." He isabsolutely right. We all are ashamed of the cowardice of successivegovernments of India with our sellout of Tibet.Now that Raha and Migmar have made their point may I on behalf of theIndian Liberal Group and the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom pleadwith the two young men to give up their fast. We say to them "You need tobe alive to continue to struggle for the liberation of Tibetan fromCommunist China. Only our enemies will rejoice if you die." We are withyou in this struggle."
(SV Raju, Honorary Secretary, Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom andNational Coordinator, Indian Liberal Group)
"It is not those who can inflict the most, but those that can suffer themost who will conquer"Terence MacSwiney
Source: Friends of Tibet
Latest/ Jailed Activists Released!
April 13, 2007:
We just received a call from New Delhi from TenzinTsundue and Baldeo Pandey of Friends of Tibet. They informed us that the two jailed activists, Shibayan Raha and Migmar Tsering, who wereon a fast at Tihar Central Jail near Delhi were released by the jailauthorities at 9pm today when the court accepted one of theirdemands, namely, 'not to charge them as they are fighting forfreedom'. The court's decision to not charge the two activistscomes as a pleasant surprise. They are now on their way toMajnu-ka-Tila, Tibetan camp in Delhi, to attend a reception hosted bythe Delhi Regional Tibetan Youth Congress.

Thanks to all those who supported us. Tibet will be Free and Independent - once again!


By: Tenzin Tsundue


Thirty-nine years in exile.
Yet no nation supports us.
Not a single bloody nation!

We are refugees here.
People of a lost country.
Citizen to no nation.
Tibetans: the world's sympathy stock.
Serene monks and bubbly traditionalists;
one lakh and several thousand odd,
nicely mixed, steeped
in various assimilating cultural hegemonies.
At every check-post and office,
I am an "Indian-Tibetan".
My Registration Certificate,
I renew every year, with a salaam.
A foreigner born in India.
I am more of an Indian.
Except for my Chinky Tibetan face.
"Nepali?" "Thai?" "Japanese?"
"Chinese?" "Naga?" "Manipuri?"
but never the question – "Tibetan?"
I am Tibetan.
But I am not from Tibet.
Never been there.
Yet I dream


When I was born
my mother said
you are a refugee.
Our tent on the roadside
smoked in the snow.
On your forehead
between your eyebrows
there is an R embossed
my teacher said.
I scratched and scrubbed,
on my forehead I found
a brash of red pain.
I have three tongues
the one that sings
is my mother tongue.
The R on my forehead
between my English and Hindi
the Tibetan tongue reads:


I am tired,
I am tired doing that 10th March ritual,
screaming from the hills of Dharamsala.
I am tired,
I am tired selling sweaters on the roadside,
40 years of sitting, waiting in dust and spit.
I am tired,
eating rice 'n' dal
and grazing cows in the jungles of Karnataka.
I am tired,
I am tired dragging my dhoti
in the dirt of Manju Tila.
I am tired,
I am tired fighting for the country
I have never seen.


My father died
defending our home,
our village, our country.
I too wanted to fight.
But we are Buddhist.
People say we should be
Peaceful and Non-Violent.
So I forgive our enemy.
But sometimes I feel
I betrayed my father.


Our tiled roof dripped
and the four walls threatened to fall apart
but we were to go home soon,
we grew papayas
in front of our house
chillies in our garden
and changmas for our fences,
then pumpkins rolled down the cowshed thatch
calves trotted out of the manger,
grass on the roof,
beans sprouted and
climbed down the vines,
money plants crept in through the window,
our house seems to have grown roots.
The fences have grown into a jungle,
now how can I tell my children
where we came from?

Future Seeds….. Where are they?

Future Seeds….. Where are they?
By e-mail[Wednesday, March 28, 2007 11:44]
By Dolma Yangzom

“The small things you do in life makes a difference, no matter how small it is.” This reminds me of the starfish story when a man was picking up starfish which are carried by the waves towards the shores. Another man passing by the shore wondered what the man was doing and asked him, “What are you doing here?”. “Picking up the starfish”, the man replied, “And trying to save some lives.” At this the man promptly replied, “But it doesn’t make any difference, as there are hundreds of starfish all across the shore.” The man then picked up another fish, released it into the water and said, “It did make a difference to this one.”

There are several lessons one can learn from this anecdote. I relate this story to our Tibetan struggle. How little does every Tibetan contribute? How many of us think that the issue of Tibet belongs to us all, how many of us seriously thought about taking the responsibility on our own shoulders rather than again passing it onto the next generations, saying “you are the future seeds of Tibet.” This confuses the matter a bit since we have been hearing the phrase ‘future seeds of Tibet’ for a long time. Has anyone given a second thought and wondered who the so called future-seeds-of-Tibet really are? Have all of them evaporated or crystallized? When I look at the present Tibetan society as it is, I have to think of or count only few Tibetans (to be honest and not critical) of our years who can be endorsed with the title “future seeds.” While many others are either busy making their livings, doing their daily chores.

I once looked through the mirror and asked myself, “Am I supposed to the so called future seed,” as our teachers used to call us when we were too young to understand the actual meaning and the responsibilities attached therewith. To be honest, I really didn’t find the answer myself, even though, now many Tibetans of my generation and myself included, are educated well enough to shoulder the responsibility of a healthy ‘future seed’. I again wonder where have all those young generations of Tibetans vanished?

All these 50 years of life in exile, of maintaining and preserving our unique cultural traditions and spreading the message of peace and non violence, and even as more and more westerners take a keen interest in Buddhism and Tibetan remedies to mental health and happiness, I wonder how many of them understand the Tibetan cause and struggle? As His Holiness cites in most of his speeches, “…the existence of Tibetan Buddhism lies in the reality of Tibetan people’s freedom to religion and survival of Tibetan as a nation.” With the tag of being one of the most peace loving countries in the world and the most successful refugees, where have we reached actually? This is a question, I believe every Tibetan should try to seek. Furthermore, it gets more cynical when we call ourselves refugees registered as foreigners (in India). As we are moving towards almost five decades of life in exile, how far have we reached in pace with the rest of the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s noble thought of establishing separate Tibetan schools for the future seeds of Tibet did help retain our rich religious, cultural and moral values, but how far did it nurture the young Tibetans to be the future leaders of the world or least of all, leaders of Tibet. Perhaps there are difficulties encountered by the Tibetans in their struggle to maintain the uniqueness of their cultural tradition, yet at the same time be productive and competitive citizens and be able to walk in pace with the rest of the world.

Ama Jetsun Pema la in her memoir mentioned about the importance of the future seeds, “We look after the children and prepare them to take on their responsibilities in a Tibet that we believe will once again be free. The young are the seeds of the future. The most important aspect of our mission in exile is to give the children a Tibetan education and teach them our language and culture. If we do not do this, we will not fulfill our duty and assure the survival of our nation.” But did we truly succeed in accomplishing our goals? Did we succeed in moulding those tiny toddlers into future leaders who can govern future Tibet? Would we be in a position to take Tibet into the era of globalization?

A quick glance at most of the Tibet support organizations reveals the critical plight of our situation, since most of the Tibet support organizations and center for Tibetan studies across the world are being coordinated by non-Tibetans, whether in India or in the western hemisphere. Of course, we remain indebted to all our non-Tibetan friends for supporting the cause of Tibet, but I am sure, there are many people like me, who keeps searching through the windows of their spirit, aspiring to see Tibetans leading the struggle for their homeland. I am sure there are people out there who want to see the true future seeds - those of us, on whom His Holiness laid his aspirations to build a future for a free and modern Tibet, seem to have been blown away with the wind of globalization and ‘dollarization’, which is indeed a matter of concern.

However, no matter how far we reach with the material gains and physical prosperity, the spirit of Tibetanness still lingers in the veins and nerves of every Tibetan. I don’t intend to nitpick here, neither do I nag. All I want to do is arouse the spirit of my fellow brothers and sisters, the spirit that resides in them, but must be in hibernation. I only want to let them know, we can’t afford to wait for the winter to end, because spring is far behind and the Chinese are marching forward with all its might. For me, the realization that the obligations of being a Tibetan and responsibility as a future seed of Tibet lay on people like me came quite late. The seriousness and the weight of the matter is something that many Tibetans of my generation feels, but our yearn for a warm fuzzy feeling of this materialistic world so much overshadows the broader spectrum that it somehow loses its brightness.

To what extent our freedom in India and the western world is precious. It is only here that we can prepare our country’s future and be able to bring the fact of truth and justice to the entire world. This is the time and this is the platform. The podium on which we are to sharpen the blades to build a strong future Tibet. To this we should all promise. With a cynical grin and positive hope, I call upon all the future seeds, for this can be the final call.

Courtesy to


Ani Tsering Wangmo, singing tunes to sacred Buddhist music-An Interview
Phayul[Monday, December 04, 2006 10:13]
By Tenzin Dickyi
New Delhi

It is very rare to find an artist who gives away all of the proceeds from one’s work for charitable causes. But Ani Tsering Wangmo is one of them who resonates traditional Buddhist chants and themes to help the poor and needy which makes her stand apart from the rest.

Ani entered the world of nunnenry at a very young age of twelve and since then she has been dedicating her life working on texts and teachings of Buddha. Currently, she resides at Ewam Sang-ngag Ling in Montana where she has learned English. She continues to support many other charitable cause. She recently lauched her Immeasurable collection of 5 CDs and the profits made by the sale of these CDs will be donated to three causes:

• a medical clinic in Tibet,
• the Yulokö Jetsun Ling Nunnery in Nepal,
• and the Ewam Magadha Garden of 1000 Buddhas, currently being built in Arlee, Montana.

Phayul caught up with Ani Tsering Wangmo on the internet to know what she has to say about her work and her personal views and thoughts that exudes her determination and commitments towards working so much for charitable causes.

1.First of all tell us something about your life?

I was born in Lhasa, Tibet and became a nun at the age of twelve.After fleeing Tibet in 1991 and arriving in Nepal, I had the good fortune to join the Yuloko Jetsun Ling Nunnery in Yanglashöe.
Upon completing the traditional three-year retreat in 1996, I began the ongoing Ewam Pecha (religious text) project, collecting and digitizing pechas at the wish of Gochen Tulku Rinpoche. Since then I have moved to the United States and studied English. Nowadays, I live at Ewam Sang-Ngag Ling in Montana and continue to help as I can with Rinpoche's many projects around the globe.

Also, in the past few years I have created several CD's of traditional Buddhist music. In 2004, I recorded "Laughter of the Dakinis," with melodies from the Longchen Nyingthig Chöe practice.

I have given several concerts in the US to increase awareness of the charitable causes which I support. In 2007 I plan to give more concerts in the US and elsewhere, including a concert in Hong Kong in January. I also intend to produce two more CD's, one here in the US and one in Nepal.

2.How did you initially get involved with the art of music?

I have always loved singing, since I was very young. It was my natural inclination which, with the influence of sacred Buddhist music, blossomed into a heartfelt joy in this form of expression.

3.Is it because of your love for music that you took up traditional Buddhist chants and themes in the form of songs?

With a great love for both music and for the teachings of Buddha, I was drawn to learn the beautiful songs which are part of the Buddhist tradition, just for my own enjoyment. Then, to aid Gochen Tulku Rinpoche's activities of spreading the teachings of Buddha and benefiting beings, I was encouraged to express these sacred songs so that others could, just by hearing them, receive blessings and generate compassion. This is especially beneficial for those who have little time for practice and study.

4.You are known as a singing nun which in a way makes you a celebrity. So how do you take it?

Maybe some people want to call me "the singing nun" or think that name is very important, but for me, it doesn't mean much. "Singing nun" or not, my purpose is to benefit my listeners by giving them the opportunity to hear these sacred prayers and to benefit my community by supporting charitable causes. If I can be of even a little benefit to a few beings, that's enough for me.

5.Working in the name of charity has become cliché in our community these days. What is your view on this?

I am just trying to have a positive effect, here in America and back home, in whatever way I can. This is the important thing. I have found that people are inspired by my music and want to help my causes, so I am happy with that. Therefore, it seems of little importance whether what I am doing is considered cliché or not.

6.All the profits from your work are donated for charitable causes. Any other way to use your fund in future?

The main purpose of my music is to support these causes. It is my wish that the profits from my work will only go to those who are in need. In the future I aspire to increase the number of different charities that I support, including homes for the elderly, poor, and orphans.

7.Tell us something about your first album “Turquoise Leaf”?

My first album, entitled "Turquoise Leaf," was produced here in the US. It is a collection of traditional Tibetan Buddhist songs, based on the chants I learned at my nunnery. Gochen Tulku Rinpoche asked me to create this album for the benefit of the people here in America. Rinpoche felt that this CD would serve as a useful study tool for learning the traditional prayers and mantras of this tradition. In addition, since the sale of this album supports Turquoise Leaf Nunnery, it benefits students of Buddhism in many ways.

8.Your latest released albums are out in the store now. What core message does these songs encompasses?

My most recent CDs have been created with the help of my good friends, the vocalist Tenzin Dawa and musicians Nhyoo Bajracharya and Rabin Darshandhari. I am very grateful to them for all their time, energy, and good advice. These prayers and mantras serve many different purposes, including bringing refuge and protection, increasing compassion, removing obstacles and difficulties, bringing an awareness of impermanence to the mind, and inspiring devotion.

9.What do you think about the general Tibetan contemporary music?

It is very good. These days there are many artists expressing the traditional Tibetan culture and religion accurately and creatively.

10. Any message to the young and upcoming artistes in exile?

Preserving our cultural heritage in exile is very difficult, but please keep trying and you will find that people will listen, people will be interested. It is so important that everybody do what they can to keep the traditions alive and make them available to communities all over the world. Thank you for aspiring to be a part of this effort!
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