Two Cents of a Monk

I used to believe that I am an open minded person. And perhaps I was right to an extent. My viewpoint had always been a liberal one. I don't mind sitting with someone and listening to him, even if his thoughts are radically different from mine. But all this changed when I met a Tibetan monk and I realized how 'closed' my concept of 'open mind' was...

I did not speak to him for long. He had fled the Chinese oppression. He had no home, no family, no contacts. Just a bundle of clothes and a little cash. He told me that he had been a teacher at the local monastery when the protests broke out. The local police/ army stormed in to peoples homes and killed the eldest members of those families they suspected of being behind the protests. His elder brother was killed too. He managed to flee with a few young disciples.

But his luck ran out when they were caught by two Chinese border guards. After pleading for their lives they managed to evoke some sympathy. <<i guess there are good people in the Chinese army as well>>. It's what happened after that which shook me. They spent the night in the makeshift camp nearby. At night the two guards came to him and started "preaching" him communism. If someone had to do that to me, I would probably launch myself at him. But this monk actually sat and listened to them. Not because he was scared, but because he wanted to know as to what was so superior about communism that made them kill Tibetans. He wanted to know their viewpoint. He wanted to know what communism, or should I say Chinese communism was.  After listening to about an hour of 'lecturing', he told them just a few things about his beliefs.

He still doesn't know what changed in them. But they let him and his disciples escape on the condition that they wouldn't leak their names.

Now this may not be my own experience, but the sheer fact that this guy could sit and listen to that utter 'communist' rubbish spewed by some low ranking soldiers who have probably never read Karl Marx's Das Kapital, just amazes me. Open mindedness is not about accepting the other persons ideas, it is rather listening to him, no matter what he says.  I have  nothing but respect for that old monk....

jaykain jaykain
22-25, M
Feb 27, 2009