It’s older than Christianity, has a celebrity spokesman on par with Bono, and believes in the end of suffering for all the world’s beings, it’s Buddhism!

All kidding aside, I’ve been in Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Government in Exile, and some many tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees. Almost every single one of them, including His Holiness himself, spent 25 to 30 days on foot over the ridiculous Himalaya to get here. Hearing their stories has been incredible. The Chinese Army sits on the border with rifles, waiting to pick off any would-be refugees making the trek. They don’t bother with arresting them, they¬†just kill them.

I’ve been to a few “teachings” here with H.H. the Dalai Lama. Six or seven hundred people – mostly Tibetans, but many foreigners – gathered on cushions at the temple in his residential complex to hear him speak about Buddhism and life. The English translator is good (you listen over FM radio) but the concepts are difficult.

So to help with my understanding, I’m beginning a ten day Buddhist meditation and philosophy course tomorrow. We live in the school, eat in the school, in fact I don’t think we’re allowed to leave the school. No electronics of any kind, no books except approved material related to Buddhism, etc. In fact, we’re only allowed to speak for an hour a day, in little discussion groups after our daily lecture on BUddhist philosophy.

I’ll looking forward to it, though also apprehensive. I’ve never really meditated before, though I’ve heard good things. At any rate, I’m going to disappear for a while, and when I get out I’ll tell you all about it.

Love you, miss you.