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Lions Roar : November 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN NoveMBer 2009 88 also the first person to ever go out on my own. The Maoist rule was you couldn’t— we had to go out in a group. I also broke the taboo of having an English boyfriend. I had come from China with the caution- ary tale that if we had a foreign boyfriend, we’d be drugged and carted back to Chi- na in a jute sack, and I firmly believed it. When I was anywhere near the Chinese embassy my legs would turn into jelly and, if I were in a car, I’d slide down so my head would be below the window. Now, I don’t think the embassy was actually do- ing that kind of surveillance. It would have been too difficult. Actually, it wouldn’t have been. There were only thirteen of us. The surveillance in the embassies under Mao had been absolutely incredible. But I don’t think that in 1978 there was still that kind of surveillance going on. Under Mao, no- body from the Chinese embassies was allowed to go out alone while they were abroad. When Mao sent his first ambassa- dors from China, all to other Communist countries, he said to them, “I’m appoint- ing you as ambassadors. You’re army generals. You don’t speak a foreign lan- guage and you’re not diplomats. But I know one thing—you won’t be able to run away.” He knew he was running a prison camp called China. How do you define home now? China is under my skin. If I didn’t go back regularly, I’d feel restless, so I go back to China every year. Every time I go I’m torn between two extreme emotions— joy because I can see how peoples’ lives are changing for the better, and anger at the injustices that are still going on— the poverty, the different lives led by the haves and the have-nots, and the repres- sion and censorship. My heart is always torn between these two emotions and I feel exhausted after each trip. I come back to London to rest. Home is London. Home is here with my husband. It’s peace and quiet. ♦ Hear Andrea Miller’s conversation with Jung Chang at www.shambhalasun.com. For more information contact: Ligmincha Institute at Serenity Ridge 554 Drumheller Lane, Shipman, VA 22971 email@example.com; 434.263.6304; www.ligmincha.org; www.ligmincha.org/store The distinctive movements of trul khor arose as the result of deep meditation practice by Tibetan yogic adepts in remote Himalayan caves and monaster- ies. They are a powerful tool for clearing, balancing and harmo- nizing the subtle aspects of one’s energetic dimension. The Tibetan spiritual tradi- tions teach that when the chan- nels of the subtle energy body are clear and the winds circulat- ing through them (prana, vital breath) flow unimpeded, the natural state of the mind — still, silent and thought free — is revealed. This natural state of mind cannot be created or destroyed; it is universal, unborn and undefiled. The trul khor movements serve to clear the energetic disturbances that obscure this clear open awareness, support- ing meditative awareness while helping to reduce agitation and dullness and improve physical health. Alejandro Chaoul has been teaching these retreats for more than a decade at the request of Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, guiding students in a deep exploration and familiar- ization of the body's energetic dimension. ALEJANDRO CHAOUL,Ph.D., has studied trul khor with many masters of the Bön Buddhist tradition of Tibet. He is an assistant professor at the University of Texas (U.T) Medical School. Alejandro teaches meditation to cancer patients and their supporters and is involved in research using tsa lung trul khor with cancer patients at the U.T. MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He received his Ph.D . in Tibetan religions from Rice University. Alejandro is the author of the recently published Chöd Practice in the Bön Tradition from Snow Lion Publications. NOV. 12 – 15, 2009 TIBETAN YOGA: Trul Khor Spinning the magical wheel of body, breath, and mind Wisdom Teachings from The Bön Buddhist Tradition of Tibet WITH Alejandro Chaoul