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Since 2009 there have been more than 90 self-immolations, mainly by young monks and nuns. This is reminiscent of the native people of Amazonia who simply lost the will to live and wasted away during the Portuguese conquest of Brazil from the sixteenth century on. China has closed its Western Treasure House, as it calls Tibet, to tourists. Since last year, no one can get in and see what’s happening. But it is clear that this extraordinary culture, with such a different take on what we are really doing here, which has made one of the deepest studies of the nature of mind, that modern neuroscience is just catching up with, is on the way out, being given the coup de grace by its conquerors. A tragedy not only for Tibetans, but for all of us. The ethnocide has been going on since l959. In l991 I published what the Tibetan Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman called a “seminal” piece about it that is worth rereading in light of what is happening now. You can find in by scrolling down the Dispatches till you get to Past Dispatches, where it is posted as #011: Letter From Lhasa

Global concern about the snuffing of Tibet’s monastic society peaked with a succession of Hollywood movies in the late l990s. Since then, this issue seems to have slipped off the West’s radar. It’s a bit like the rainforest. The devastation continues, but the feeling is we’ve been there, done that cause, or perhaps we are suffering from disaster fatigue, there are so many horrible problems out there for the world’s cultures and species. Our capacity for empathy is being stretched beyond its ability to take these things in, and few have been able to get to Tibet and see what an amazing parallel universe it is.  Those of us who care deeply about Tibet and its wonderful people and extraordinary spiritual culture feel really helpless. What can we do ? The beginning of the end started with the completion of the railroad from Xengdu to Lhasa a few years ago. Since then, Han Chinese have been pouring into Lhasa, which by all accounts is no longer recognizable from the way I described it 22 years ago. I will be keeping you all abreast ofdevelopments as I







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