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My Personal Journey That Encouraged My Interest In Tibetan Buddhism

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My life has been affected by my belief in the Tibetan religion as a result of a friendship of many years ago. Shortly after graduating from the University of Victoria in 1978, I had been undecided about which direction that I should take in my continued learning at the post degree level. I had shown academic promise as a student of cultural geography before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Pacific Asian Studies in 1978. One of my social geography professors, Doctor David Lai, in my third year had wished to sponsor me to take the Master’s Degree in Administrative Urban Studies at the University of Victoria at the time. I was undecided after graduating and I had a desire to help people in the teaching area. I took a position as a program worker, working with mentally handicapped adults at the Springwood Training Center, a group home located in Victoria, British Columbia. I started as a volunteer, and later became a paid position.

There I met my friend Roger Michel, who was the chief psychologist, a PHD, who worked at the same institution. My friendship with Roger lasted a lifetime, until his death from natural causes many years later. He was a person, great friend and a very interesting man indeed. The effect that he had on my life was unmistakable. Roger was also a Tibetan Buddhist, who had traveled to Tibet as Nicholas Roerich did, after the end of the second world war. Roger was a personal friend of the Dalai Lama, who had lived with the Tibetans, before returning to France after the war ended. This man had a profound spiritual influence in my life, and I am proud that he called me his friend. Lieutenant, Colonel Roger Michel had also been a decorated war hero who had been a spy on many missions under Winston Churchill, during campaigns against the Nazi’s in the desert wars against Rommel and other German leaders of the Reich.

I spent many years listening to my friend talking about his experiences in Tibet and after the war. He had a PHD in Psychology but he had chosen to work with the mentally handicapped due to the profound influence that his religion had on his life. Roger also volunteered to help prisoners and incarcerated individuals in the prison system in British Columbia for many, many years. This tied into his Tibetan beliefs about helping those that had been abandoned by the greater society.  Roger taught me about the importance of helping other people in this lifetime. He espoused a gratitude and joy in living that I really benefited from, as a human being.

Roger engendered the belief in me that Earth is a school. We are here only to progress in transferring the love of a universal creator towards helping others in this world. He spoke to me from his heart and our friendship grew with the understanding that love and caring toward others, are the qualities that will lead us all in the direction of evolution. Roger explained to me that forgiveness and caring about others was the pathway to greater incarnations in the next life. Roger also explained many of the mystical secrets about Tibet, based on his experiences having lived in that place, many years ago.

He told me about the secret caverns below the cliffs of the monastery in Lhasa. He had traveled with other monks to the depths of these places and seen the Temple of Memories, a large library filled with many leather bound large books that were supposed to contain many of the secrets pertaining to incarnations of the many souls on this Earth. Roger told me about floating platforms in the catacombs beneath Lhasa, Tibet, where one could be taken up to view the books in the library. He also mentioned to me the pool of knowledge that also existed in that underground cave. He said that the catacombs were lit by artificial lights that defied physics and explanation. Roger told me that the monks took him to a deep, clear pool in the catacombs. They said to Roger, jump in, and you will learn many new things. He was reluctant to give me specific knowledge due to the secrecy involved, but he said that he experienced a profound knowledge and happiness after jumping into the pool. He did not emerge for a long time after bathing in the waters, as was reported by the other monks. He was submerged a longer time than any human could be to prevent drowning.

After China invaded Tibet the country was ravaged and destroyed by China. The United Nations reports that over half a million people and many monks were murdered by the Chinese. Their religion and their culture were completely destroyed by China. Most of the religious leaders were forced to flee to northern India after the invasion, including the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile from his own country for decades. It was an amazing gift in my life to have personally known this man, Roger Michel. He was a person who deeply influenced my life in many ways, but mostly by showing me the importance of following the way of the heart. He is sorely missed. He was loved and known by my entire family. He profoundly affected my father Graham, my mother Deirdre, my sister Linda, and another close living friend of mine, Henry Fair. Everyone he came in contact with, benefited by knowing him. Roger Michel was indeed a great, great man.


Patrick Ireland – Publisher of www.patrickirelandsreviews.com



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About Patrick Ireland

My name is Patrick Ireland, living in the Philippines with my wife and two daughters. I have been studying the web for over a decade. Now that I am 60 years old, I am starting to apply some of the knowledge that I have gained. "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to never stop questioning." -Einstein.

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