Journalist Pico Iyer has a long history meeting with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet who lives in exile in India. Iyer joins Fresh Air to discuss how the Dalai Lama is responding to the current Tibetan uprising and protest against Chinese rule.
Journalist Orville Schell talks about his new book Virtual Tibet: Searching for Shangri-La from the Himalayas to Hollywood (Metropolitan Books). For centuries now, the mountainous and remote nation of Tibet has been the object of Western fascination. Today, Tibet is the subject of movies and Hollywood celebrities have taken on Tibetan Freedom as their cause. Schell talks about Tibet, real and imagined, and takes us through the history of the West’s infatuation. Schell has covered China and Tibet for many years.
Choying Drolma is a Tibetan Buddhist nun who practices a contemplative system of Buddhism called Cho. As part of that system, she also sings religious songs and chants. Their music was recorded by guitarist Steve Tibbetts who then created guitar arrangements around it. The result was the CD "Cho" (newly released on Hannibal Records). Drolma is currently on tour with Tibbetts and her fellow nuns.
Jetsun Pema, sister of the Dalai Lama. She's written an autobiography about Tibet and her work there,"Tibet: My Story" (Element). In it she recounts life in Tibet before the Chinese occupation, exile from Tibet, and her work as the president of the Tibetan Children's Village, which encompasses over 11,000 Tibetan refugees in India. Pema also plays the role of the mother of the young Dalai Lama in the film "Seven Years in Tibet."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reporter recently traveled across the Himalayan Mountains with a group of Buddhist monks and nuns who were fleeing from persecution by the Communist Chinese government in Tibet. Some of them had been imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese. If caught, they would be sent back to prison and tortured. During their 14-day trek they experienced frost-bite, snow blindness, oxygen-thin air, pain, and hunger.
Member of the Exile Tibetans' Parliament, the Assembly of the Tibetan People's Deputies, Tendzin Choegyal. He is the youngest brother of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He talks about the selection of the Panchen lama -- the second highest leader in Buddhism -- and China's efforts to interfere with the process.
Thupten Jinpa was a refugee in India as a child, became a monk at a Tibetan monastery, and is the translator, editor and annotator of "The World of Tibetan Buddhism," written by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
Author and long-time observer and student of China Orville Schell. Schell is correspondent for "Red Flag over Tibet," which will air tonight on PBS's Frontline (February 22 at 9 P.M. check local listings). In "Red Flag over Tibet," SSchell takes the viewers to that mysterious and isolated country on the "Roof of the World." He explores the question: Will Tibet survive its 40 years of occupation by China? He explains why the survival of Tibet--its people and its culture--has become an international issue.
Sogyal Rinpoche was born in Tibet and raised in the buddhist tradition. He also studied at Cambridge University in England. He has lived outside of Tibet, in exile, for 20 years. Rinpoche is the incarnation of Terton Sogyal (1856-1926), a Tibetan mystic and the teacher of the last Dalai Lama. Rinpoche's new book, "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying," combines Tibetan wisdom with modern research on death and dying.
We discuss Tibet with Robert Thurman. Thurman is professor of Indo-Tibetian Buddist Studies at Columbia University, the organizer of the Year of Tibet activities, and the first American to be ordained a Tibetian Buddist monk by the Dalai Lama.
Musicologist David Lewiston. Since the early 60s, Lewiston has traveled the world collecting the music of the indigenous cultures. He's recorded the Andean music of Peru, the fiestas of southern Mexico and the marimba music of Guatemala. In addition, he's travelled extensively in the Himalayas and other remote, mountainous areas of the Far East. These recordings have been released as part of the Nonesuch Record Company's Explorer Series. Over the last few years, Lewiston has focused on the music and rituals of the people of Tibet, now living in exile in northern India.
Dr. Robert Thurman, the first American to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He later returned to the United States and established The Institute for Buddhist Studies at the University of Massachusetts. He visited Tibet in the fall of 1987 and is now setting up a Tibet House in New York City.