Lost, depressed and alone three short years ago, my day to day experience of life was an excruciating and endless cycle of suffering. I was a boy trapped inside a man’s body. What else could I be? I’d never met a man, let alone spent enough time in the presence of one to know the minutiae of detail needed to become one. And then a man entered my world who showed me what it means to be a compassionate and good man.
He is a Tibetan. He talked with me about the plight of his people, which was initially too hard to hear. But as I grew as a person, I became hungry to understand more. Last year my Autistic son travelled with me to McLeod Ganj to see for ourselves about the Tibetan conflict, and perhaps to find a vehicle through which I might help.
I worked for 3 months teaching English at an Elementary level to Tibetan refugees at Lha. Upon my return to Australia I completed a CELTA Certification, whereby I might become a stronger more knowledgeable teacher when I returned to India in the autumn of 2012. I write this short note describing my experience as I prepare for my journey back to Australia in two days. I do not feel sad as I did last year because I know that I will return here as soon as possible.
So, how could a single man with a 22 year old Autistic son want a future like this living in India? Some see my actions as compassionate, which is true, but I am also a little selfish. The reward I feel in my heart is beyond any material reward the western world has to offer. Much as any CEO of a corporation seeks a monetary reward, I too seek a reward, only mine is not in the form of empty monetary riches but what I’ve received as a result of working with Tibetans – an opening of my heart, friendship with the planet’s most evolved and beautiful people, comradeship with like-minded individuals, and much less suffering.
My experience at Lha has been rewarding and rich beyond imagination. Let me encourage you to consider being involved in this growing group of professional individuals and truly witness compassion in action, and taste a life you deserve and will never regret. Do it for yourself.