Thoughts on a Fist-Bump

Lama Choyin Rangdrol writes about the Dalai Lama’s fist-bump and what it means in the context of today’s world.

When I began my discussion some years ago no one imagined a black president would become the center of global politic, and that China would be nudging itself into a dominant position in global resource acquisition. I tried many times to bring my concerns to the Office of Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. My teacher, abbot of Namgyal Monastery, the Dalai Lama’s personal monastery, made many attempts to connect me with inside sources to no avail. There simply was little or no interest. I credit my late teacher, Khempo Gyurmed Tinly, with the vision to foresee the necessity of bridging this divide. He died in 2005. They know who he was, and know he tried. I also reached out to Obama folks; after all I live in Hawaii. But the change they were looking for at the time did not foresee the complexity of an American, Chinese, Tibetan matrix that would create pivotal sound bites, images, and editorials to be examined by competitive world leaders.

His thoughts are very much worth reading.

One thought on “Thoughts on a Fist-Bump

  1. Archivist’s Note: Comments have been preserved from the original website for archival purposes; however, comments are now closed.

    Thanks for posting this. I’m trying to understand Rangdrol’s concerns and the subtext of his post.

    This passage struck me in particular: “His Holiness is entering the twilight of his life. We are beyond do-overs. So much work could have been done to prepare for this auspicious and poignant moment. Is there a more sophisticated message we could and perhaps should be sending to China and its recently swooned African political leadership beyond fist-bump controversy?”

    So it sounds like either the Dalai Lama’s advisers did not do their homework and prepare for this encounter with the black communities of Memphis – or that they were not media savvy enough to respond more thoughtfully when the critics and TV cameras started questioning them about it. Either way, it is unfortunate that this incident has dominated the news. And I would have loved to hear more about the actual event! I can sympathize with the frustration in Rangdrol’s post after all the hard work he has done.

    – Claudia

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