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Enlightened by Love and Sacrifice: An excerpt from Leaving Buddha

I had heard about Christians sneaking around like snakes and trying to trick Tibetans to believe their religion. Once you accept their religion, you become their slave and have to do what they tell you to do.

“Did the Americans trick you?” I asked, feeling sorry for him. “Do you need help to escape?”

“What? No! I live in America, not China. You do not need to escape from America. You can leave whenever you like. They do not have guards keeping you in. It is not like China where there are guards making sure that people do not escape. Instead, in America, they have guards trying to keep the people out because so many people want to go there.”

“You mean like India?”

Dharamshala, India
Image: Amit Phulera / Wikimedia Commons

“Not exactly. America is much better than India. I lived in Dharamsala for many years, but I never really felt at home. I was always considered to be a refugee from my homeland of Tibet. The longer I lived in Dharamsala, the more I hated it.”

“Yes, but they give you so many things for free. Isn’t that what everyone wants?”

“Not when the free stuff is barely scraps and there is no avenue to make yourself better. I couldn’t get hired at a better job to provide more money for my family. I couldn’t move us out of Dharamsala on my own. India would never allow me to move to New Delhi and get a job or open a small shop or be the boss of my own business. Then, when the American came around, he told me about Jesus and how Jesus gives us hope for the future. He gave me a book about the life of Jesus, and the stories were unlike any­thing I had ever read.”

“Peema,” I interrupted. “Do you need my help for something?”

“No. I came here for you, not for me. Your uncle told me that you were here all alone and didn’t know anyone and might need some help. God has put you on my heart. I have been waking up late at night thinking of you and praying for you—even though I have never met you before. I have been thinking about you even in my dreams. I traveled all the way up here in obedience to God.”

“In your dreams?”

“Yes. Dreams were a powerful channel for Jesus to communicate with me before I knew who He was. At first, I thought Jesus was a divine daka who bypassed my physical mind to communicate directly with my spirit through dreams, but He is so much more than that. Jesus brought a light to my life, and He can do the same for you.”

Peema was crossing the line. He was doing something that was extremely dangerous at the monastery. If the other monks knew what he was talking about, they would beat him to a bloody pulp. “I am sorry, Peema. I do not know if I want to hear anymore. I think…I think I must go.”

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Category: Fall 2019, Living the Faith

About the Author: Tenzin Lahpka (a pseudonym) was a Buddhist monk in Tibet before he had a life-changing encounter with Jesus and became his follower. With Eugene Bach, he wrote Leaving Buddha: A Tibetan Monk’s Encounter with the Living God.

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