Today I finished the book of the life of Ani Pachen la (1933-2002).
And today, the 2nd of February, is unknowingly to me till now, the anniversary of her death in Dharmasala in the year 2002. I waited until I reached the end of the book to check on the Internet if she was still alive. Another of this unexplainable coincidence.

Some people called her the Joan d'Arc of Tibet. And as Joan D'arc (1412-1431) is one of my inspiring example of true surrender to God, who was leading French soldiers to several victories during the 100 years War and was burned at the stake at a young age (19 y.o). I humbly recite a prayer for this indomable Tibetan warrior nun who stood, fought and led an army of warriors against the Chinese invaders.

The book is her autobiography which has accompanied me in the last days in a world of abuse torture and faith, in the magnitude and silence of the Tibetan mountains with their monastery of peaceful life till the sorrow changed the very earth of Tibet and their culture.

I am horrified at the immense brutality and persecution that the Chinese has inflicted on her. Reading her story (written beautifully through the pen of Adelaide Donnelly) you are carried in the first chapters into a dreamlike state of Tibet full of its ritual, tradition, spiritual richness and integrity of spirit. As a woman of the mountain myself and a warrior of life in many ways, I resonate with the simple deep enriching life of a Tibetan tribe, long before the Chinese decided to make Tibet their own. How wrong! Tibet will remain always Tibet.
The Tibetan prayers flag are blowing on my balcony in the strong wind of Amsterdam, as my personal support and love for Tibet.

Slowly the horror of the invasion unravels through the story of Any Pachen and you are thrown without even realizing into a nightmare of the uttermost reality. The facts told in the book did really happened and you can really say that to survive such abuse is a miracle, a grace of Buddha. It is possible to understand how someone is able to endure and survive such cruelty if they possess an untamed courage, a deep trust and one of the most ancient practice of meditation on compassion.
Compassion in action. Faith in His Holiness and an integrity of spirit that nothing can bend.

I was touched deeply in my soul by the essence of Ani Pachen that transpires throughout the book and I just wanted to write this piece in memory of this wonderful courageous woman exactly on the day of her departure from this world 8 years ago.
Maybe because I come from a small village in the mountain in the independent region of Trentino in Italy, maybe because the Tibetan cause has always brought tears to my eyes, or simply because in my visit to Dharamsala in '90 I fall in love with the Tibetan people there and their kindness. Or perhaps I was in one of my past life as often I said a Buddhist monk.

I like to think this way and I also believe that truly everything is transitory. In one moment life can be broken and you are no more in this form. Sometimes I wonder how our human body can endure and survive the most horrendous torture, famine, and sickness and I am amazed by what is possible that apparently seems impossible.
The physical torture and terrible abuse are only one sad facet of the persecution that the Tibetan people had to suffer. The indoctrination, brainwashing and thought reform in the name of Chinese education are as bad if not worse. Attacking ones' own identity, spiritual beliefs and faith and coercible forcing to deny or betray them is the most disgusting sin on earth.

My life with Miracle of Love
Regretfully we still see everyday those tactics applyed in the most sophisticated spiritual group, as I had my personal experience in the Miracle of Love cult. Perhaps physical abuse is not so obvious but let me tell you the game of punishment and reward and spying on each other, confession sessions and humiliation have their part in the education of a "good indoctrinated miracle of love member".
It makes me scream!
Just recently, I had another opportunity to realize how deeply the involvement in MOL can effect the psyche and the soul of a person, making it very difficult a full recovery. One of my closest friend, even after years of being out of MOL, but still having a lot of ties with MOl, has been behaving with me and my husband as if he is still inside the group, denying our friendship and breaking his contact with us without explanation after years we constant support him in his troubled time.
Compassion and pardon are my prayers in these days.

In memory of Ani Pachen.

Ani Pachen survived both the physical and psychological torture with extreme dignity and a fiery spirit. I am reminded in reading her story how sacred is human existence and how vital is to learn the art of cultivating peace of mind so that, even in the most challenging situation fear doesn't hold you down and paralyzes you but you can find true refuge inside into a place of peace and tranquility.
In your memory Ani Pachen, with gratitude:

"The ocean of peace lies ahead of me
Sail the boat, O pilot
You are my constant companion now
Take me in your lap.
Along our journey to the infinite
The pole star alone will shine.
Giver of freedom
Set me free
May your forgiveness and compassion
Be my eternal resources for the journey.
May the mortal ties fall away,
May the vast universe
Hold me in embrace,
And with an undaunted heart
May I come to know the Great Unknown."

Rabindranath Tagore

The mountain on top of Mclead Ganj in 1990.
Oh, how I loved to hike there and just be there!

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