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Walk for Tibet Florida 2012 Honors Jigme Norbu
What a heartfelt gathering in St. Augustine Florida to participate in a memorial Walk for Tibet to honor the late Jigme Norbu & his message of World Peace, Human Rights & Compassion, Tibetan Freedom and Freedom for all Oppressed Peoples.
Despite not knowing each other one year ago, this Band of Brother/Sisterhood is bonded in the spirit of love, peace, cooperation and creative leadership. Wangchuk Dorjee flew in from Colorado and Miesa Myrick flew in from Wash DC as they did last year. Local hosts Jim Sheils & Jamie, Brian & Coco Scrone with newest member baby Zion, Barbara Ottaviani-Jones, & Jamie Richardson & Ted were generous as ever. Susan Brown & Jamie DeFrates sang to our heartstrings, and paid tribute to Jigme with what has become his signature song, Winterhawk. Deacon Dan & Peggy Scrone added their wisdom and faith to the events. I drove 5 hours north to be together. And we had support from afar from many, including Tina Rongers, who provided the Native American ritual items and Internationsl Freedom poen used in the morning service. And, of course, Jigme’s family was supporting from behind the scenes.
In Palm Coast, Damian and Gary Collins put together a dedicated group of Walkers including children waving the Free Tibet signs. They also put up a rain tent in case of the expected downpour, but blue skies prevailed instead. Geishe Lama Thubten Tuk kindly came from Orlando to officiate, as he had quietly done previously on auspicious occasions.
We welcomed previous walkers and new participants, in the morning pier service- so poignant to those of us there with Jigme last year. Then we walked about 1.5 miles along the Intracoastal Walterway in St. Augustine, pausing to host Buddhist and Christian and universal prayers in front of the St Francis of Assisi shrine. How appropriate!
Later in the afternoon we traveled the 28 miles to where Jigme took his final steps on earth on his Walk for Tibet. There, about 30 people gathered to hold more prayers, welcomed by local host Damian Collins, an update by Wangchuk Dorjee on the dire situation in Tibet with 22 deaths by immolation in recent months, a request by Miesa Myrick to keep getting the word out, and I read from a Letter from Children to Adults to being living more in peace and kindness in their own lives in order to show a better way than war for the children, our future.
We walked another mile to the Hammock Wine & Cheese Shoppe where the Collins’ hosted refreshments for body and soul.
In between, we who have become ‘old friends’ gathered several times for shared meals, memories and discussions on making the world a better place each in our own unique ways. Very beautiful & poignant, but full of laughter and love too. Soul fulfilling, just as Jigme would have it.
More photos to follow.
February 18, 2012
Walk for Tibet walkers will honor Jigme Norbu with a mini-walk in St. Augustine Florida on Saturday February 18, 2012. Jigme, nephew of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was struck and killed last Feb. 14 on the first day of his 300 mile Walk for Tibet Florida. The walk, which continued along the coast to West Palm Beach, was in support of Ambassadors for World Peace, developing leaders seeking Human Rights, Freedom for Tibet and all oppressed peoples and World Peace.
Many of the original small band of walkers and local singers from St. Augustine, along with Buddhist Monk Tuk from Orlando, Wangchuk Dorjee from Colorado, Myessa Myrick from Washington DC, and myself, Donna Kim-Brand, will regroup and start as we did last year; with a blessing on the pier overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, then walking past the Fountain of Youth Park and meeting public who want to join at 11:30 in the park at Lady of Leche Chapel. We will Walk for Tibet approximately one mile to Lion’s Bridge on St. Augustine’s downtown side.
We will join another group at the accident site in Palm City at 3pm for a memorial service then walk back to Hammock Wine & Cheese Shoppe where the owners will host music and light snacks in honor of Ambassadors for World Peace.org.
August 27, 2011, Hammock Wine & Cheese Shoppe owners Damian & Gary Collins hosted their 3rd annual Arts Festival. This year they focused on supporting the continuing work of Ambassadors for World Peace.org, the organization founded by Jigme Norbu. Jigme and Walk for Tibet Florida companions Wangchuk Dorjee & Donna Kim-Brand had been invited to stay under the beautiful trees here just south of St. Augustine, when Jigme-la was struck down February 14, 2011.
music, including songs by Jamie DeFrates and Susan Brown who had performed at Jigme’s memorial services & by Bill Snyder who sang an original song- Footsteps of Freeedom- that he & Lee Jacobson wrote in tribute to Jigme Norbu and his vision of Walking for Tibet and World Peace.
Nine Walkers trekked 230 miles from New York City to Washington DC calling for Tibetan Independence and freedom of expression, strategically arriving July 4th. Two of the organizers had been inspired to continue walking on Walk for Tibet Florida following the tragic death of Jigme Norbu.
Walk organizers Sangha, Lobga Palden and Ngawang Tashi with fellow Walkers Lobsang, Ngawang Lodo, Dorjee, Gayaltsen, Dorjee Damdul and daughter Lobsang Dicky (age 12) shared information along with their personal stories of escape and the current Tibetan situation to interested people along the way. At the White House, they made 6 specific requests to policy makers regarding Tibetan freedoms.
Jigme’s brother Kunga, sons Tenzin & Jensen, previous Walkers Marcus Moir, Miessa Myrick, Drew Top Goldsmith, (myself) Donna Kim-Brand and fellow lovers of freedom joined the walk and rallied to welcome the Walkers for Tibet. How appropriate we all spoke of independence, freedom of expression & peace at the White House on America’s Independence Day! How grateful we are in America that we can use our voice to speak up for what matters to us and gather in community and creative collaboration!
In that spirit, Walks for Tibet in honor of Jigme and the vision will continue throughout the year in Boston, Key West-Florida, Australia & Italy.
I continue to participate in AmbassadorsforWorldPeace.org which is developing its mission as an organization to support the voice of Tibet and develop future leaders who become, literally, Ambassadors for World Peace in the spirit of the Norbu legacy.
A news reporter based at Channel 5 in West Palm Beach, Florida, Drew Goodstein, caught the spirit of Ambassadors for World Peace and those who Walk for Tibet. He was able to arrange an exclusive interview with Mrs. Kunyang Norbu, wife of late Rinpoche Dr. Thubten Norbu and mother of late Jigme Norbu. The interview took place at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, where the Norbu family were frequent guests of late artist Ann Norton, a longtime supporter of the Tibetan cause.
The Gardens is also where the Memorial Tribute to Jigme Norbu and Walk Completion Ceremony was held February 26, 2011 after the 300 mile Walk for Tibet Florida.
Mrs. Norbu spoke of the lifelong efforts of Dr. Norbu and Jigme-la and the many Walks for Tibet taking place this summer to keep the dream of Tibetan independence and culture alive. Please support or join these walks, or help in any way you can to keep the flames of Tibetan & all human freedom burning bright! Thank you in advance.
June 22-July 4- NYC to Washington DC
July 19-25- Cape Cod to Boston
July 24- Miami to Key West
July 24 for 2 weeks- Australia
I (Donna) will be joining the Walk for Tibet group arriving from New York City as it arrives into Washington DC on July 4, in honor of Jigme’s vision and future plans for Ambassadors for World Peace.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be in Washington DC upon our arrival, facilitating a sacred Buddhist ceremony, the Kalachakra, for the last time. Many Tibetans and Buddhists are expected to converge on Washington at this time for this special event.
An Appeal for Tibetan Freedom
From: Ngawang Tashi, Advisory Regional Ngari Association New York
Reflecting upon current global political transformation, we are reminded
that the world is constantly changing and nothing is permanent. Who
could have imagined such a wave of protests would sweep the regimes in
Tunisia, Egypt and others, which are till recently ruled by notorious
dictators who suddenly fell like a house of cards. But it all started
with street vendors in Tunisia standing up and crying out for their
basic rights. They paved the path of freedom for the rest of their
Tibetan calendar completes its circle every 360 days, and we have a
saying, “Every 60 day’s history repeats itself”. In the 1940’s
when the most of the former colonial nations were gaining freedom from
European rulers, we lost our freedom to the Chinese government. 1.2
million Tibetans died as a direct result of the invasion, followed by
ongoing repression, and cultural and environmental destruction on the
We have been given a second chance. The revolutions in the Middle East
have reminded the world that change is possible, that dictators don’t
last forever. The Chinese regime is the largest dictatorship in the
world. We Tibetans and supporters should all unite and lead our struggle
for freedom. At this critical juncture, doing nothing and merely
expecting some divine intervention will be the most risky thing.
Therefore, some of us (Tibetans & friends) have shown the courage to start a
PEACE MARCH from New York to Washington, D.C, in the peak summer with temperatures over
100F. This will take approximately ten days to complete.
YOUR WISHES, SUPPORT, PRAYERS AND PARTICIPATION WILL HELP US IN THIS
ENDEAVOR. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN THE MARCH OR SUPPORT IT, PLEASE
Ngawang Tashi: (917) 500-4570 WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/NGAWANGTASHIRUTOG@GMAIL.COM_
or Sangha: (347) 735-1761
March starts on June 22, 2011
Venue: United Nations Ralph Bunche Park (47th Street & 1st Ave), New York City
Destination: Washington DC by July 4th (more details of route and finale events to follow)
The Newark Peace Education Summit sparkled with panelists including activists, celebrities, youth, academics, Nobel Prize Laureates and the shining star, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
I attended both to gain on-the-ground knowledge of best practice to assist in making my legacy leadership work and the future projects of Ambassadors for World Peace relevant, and also to share the work of Ambassadors for World Peace with kindred souls. I was able to deliver Walk for Tibet wristbands to activist Russell Simmons, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, and Tibetan scholar Prof. Bob Thurman, and many interested others.
We had confirmation that Jigme is still working ‘behind the scenes’, when it was arranged that I sit right next to Tina Rongers, who had assisted Jigme behind the scenes from afar. We’d never met before, but discovered what was a shared journey in many ways over the past year. We will continue the discussion as to how best to carry on Jigme’s vision….through Ambassadors for World Peace and our own work.
We gained a range of practical ideas and inspiration to press for ‘making the impossible possible’.
I was delighted to hear of the emphasis on ‘training your brain’, as that has been my main field for several decades. I have programs to develop skills, tools and strategies for better thinking, learning & creativity at work, school and in life. More details to come soon. When you leave your name and email in the box on this site, you will receive notification when the various projects and courses launch.
Two distinctions made at the Summit were between ‘anger’ & ‘moral outrage’ and ‘wimpy peacenik’ & ‘fierce compassion’. Peace is a tough ‘game’. Think about that, and find your own small ways to gain inner peace and share your brand of ‘peace’ with others.
Northwest area Tibetans gathered in Portland, Oregon April 21, 2011 to hear my (Donna Kim-Brand) photo-story of the February Walk for Tibet Florida. They seemed totally engaged in the unfolding of Jigme Norbu’s original plan and how events developed unexpectedly when he met his death on the first day of the 300 mile Walk along the Atlantic coast of Florida.
For me, creating the slide show and telling the story for the first time in public was highly emotional, yet rewarding. For all the sadness, there was also an abundance of magic and goodwill both on the Walk and in Portland. All people in attendance were anxious to find ways to continue to spread the message of Tibetan Freedom and support their Tibetan brethren still suffering inside Tibet. They have a very active and intelligent membership.
I am grateful for the invitation to present Jigme’s story, and for their kind hospitality.
Stay tuned for next steps and upcoming events by AmbassadorsforWorldPeace.org.