By | June 15, 2011

Today, the staff welcomed Tibetan Monk and former political prisoner (33 years), Palden Gyatso, to give a talk about his experiences in a Chinese prison in Tibet. His presence was humbling.

Palden spoke about the incredible inhumanity, torture and abuse he and thousands of others faced for their crimes of conscious – specifically their belief that the Chinese occupation of Tibet is wrong and that the illegal occupation of Tibet must end.

He talked about visiting prisoners in the US and how good they have it compared to what he faced in Tibet. How he lost all his teeth (electric cattle prod in his mouth) and how Amnesty International paid for dentures for him so he could eat and share his story with the world. He’s 80 now and all that gives him happiness is speaking with “young people” so they (we) can get the word out about the ongoing abuses of basic human rights the Chinese continue to practice. While murderers in China serve simple sentences, political prisoners are sentenced to death, killed and tortured.

Palden also talked a bit about his spiritual practice and how, during his imprisonment, he meditated on the idea that he was there to take on the suffering in the world so that others may experience happiness.

(By the way, he said Falkor looks like a white yak.)

Palden’s in the bay area talking with technology companies in hopes people will use technology to further his efforts as well as speak against companies like Yahoo! whose actions (by releasing records) directly contribute to human rights violations and the imprisonment of activists.

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