For Immediate Release----December 2, 2004
Contact: Larry Gerstein, Ph.D., President, International Tibet Independence
317-579-9015 phone; 317-506-2249 cell; 317-579-0914 fax
Day 2 of Rangzen Walk: Presentation & Suffering
The major highlight of the second day (Wednesday, Dec 2) of the "March for
Tibet's Independence" to Chicago was a presentation at Lebanon Senior High
School. After walking about 8 miles in the morning, the core group of walkers were
warmly welcomed by 200 students for what was supposed to be a 60 minute
program. At first, the students seemed distracted, but when Ngawang Norbu began
talking about being carried by his mother through the Himalayan Mountains, the
students seemed to wake up with great curiosity. Then, Ngawang-la began
discussing the history and situation of The Panchen Lama, Gendhun Choekyi Nyima. When
Ngawang-la finally told the students that China's actions with respect to The
Panchen Lama were outrageous and bizarre, all of a sudden the students stood up
and began applauding. From then on, the students were riveted to his every
word and those of the other walkers. Even more importantly, most of the students
were seen wiping off tears from their eyes as were the walkers.
As stated earlier, the presentation was to last one hour. However, the
students had so many questions that the program lasted two hours! Before hearing the
Tibetan walkers, the students knew little about Tibet. By the end, they were
filled with information, curiosity, and lots of flyers requesting that the
take various actions on behalf of The Panchen Lama and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche!
This presentation also had a very dramatic effect on the walkers. When they
returned to the walking route, they were all charged up. Prior to the
presentation, they were averaging about 1.75 miles per hour. After the presentation,
they were averaging over 3 miles per hour. Needless to say, the walkers really
want to do more high school presentations as do we organizers! Today, the
walkers covered 19+ miles.
Media coverage was quite good again. A local paper attended the presentation
and walked with the walkers.
In the evening, the local Tibetans once again cooked up some meat and rice.
The walkers looked extremely tired and they are beginning to experience all
kinds of body pains. As Tenzin Jamyang reported, however, "I am handling my pain
the same way I did when I was on the hunger strike at the United Nations in
1995. I start thinking about all the suffering the Tibetans inside of Tibet
experience every day and my pain disappears. Walking though is much harder. On the
hunger strike, I only had to sit and calm my mind. Now, I have to face many,
many challenges while walking and at the end of the day. Still, thinking about
the people in Tibet makes me realize how lucky I am and how I must use this
life to do everything I can to help get my country back. Each day I need to
remember the pain that the people are feeling in Tibet and I must do something to
solve this situation. Then, my suffering goes away."
Tenzin-la's meditation can teach us a lot. He and the others are also trying
to relieve their cramps and pains with ben gay ointment. The smell of the ben
gay has totally taken over the entire floor where the walkers are sleeping in
the All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis. A poignant reminder of what
this walk and all of our efforts are about.
For a more complete story and pictures, visit www.rangzen.org