Full Power in the Holy Land

The Ganges River from the Laxman Jhula bridge in Rishikesh, India

In December 2019, I accompanied my mother to India for a journey I had no expectations for. I learned not to have expectations the first time I traveled to India, but I knew something special was about to happen on this journey. We bounced between Rishikesh in the north and Hubli near Goa.

For one week, we lived in a Tibetan village called Mundgod in southern India with thousands of Tibetan monks and one of the world's foremost teachers, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Because of my mum’s work supporting the Tibetan people for the past ten years raising money and awareness for their cause, she was treated like a celebrity, and I was honored to be her plus one.

A gong my mum, Pam Wicks (above), and her community mobilized to send from America for a Tibetan monastery in Mundgod.

I was deeply moved by this experience for many reasons, not least the heart-wrenching story of how China has brutally occupied Tibet. I have been aware of this political crisis for years, but to experience the displacement first hand was next level. Many Tibetan people, including His Holiness, now live as refugees, and still, they are fully committed to peace, to forgiveness, to working the edge and promoting kindness. How could I justify the drama I was holding onto? I can’t. Buddhism is about taking responsibility for yourself, watching the mind and practicing compassion.

HH, who calls himself “a simple monk,” takes my breath away with his genuine compassion, kindness and lived values. He reminded us to study, to be inquisitive, to think and reason for ourselves in a world where we are constantly being told what to think and believe. He reminded us to love, to be happy, and to cultivate our minds as the greatest tool for changing the world. This experience lifted me up and reminded me of my reason for being on this planet, and revived my commitment to Buddhist studies.

His Holiness addressing a giant crowd of monks and devotees at the inauguration of the new Goman Debate Hall. Mum and I were sitting to HH’s left on stage.

Mother Miracle

Shahla was born into a wealthy Iranian family and “had it all” and gave it all up when she was called to a higher purpose. On her way out of India, a small child reached out to her as she pulled away and she couldn’t get that image out of her mind for years. She cried daily until deciding to let go of all of her many belongings and go where she was called: to created The Mother Miracle School in Rishikesh, India. Mother Miracle provides top quality education to children living in extreme poverty from Kindergarten through high school. Mother Miracle school is committed to teaching the children four languages on the computer, equipping them with coding skills that enable them to earn a high paying salary right after graduating, lifting their family out of poverty and breaking a generational cycle of impoverishment.

This trip to India energized me to take action, to listen to my heart song, to act in the face of injustice, to give a voice to those who have lost theirs with courage and bravery. Join me.

Mother Miracle is in need of help to support the children from teachers and wifi to food for the children — please consider helping today by contacting info@mothermiracle.org

Flying over the Himalaya Mountains