Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


December 27, 2007

Arjia Rinpoche

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center (

Today’s Date: 12 December 2007

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

Horses. I grew up in Eastern Tibet and loved to ride horses.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

The mountains. I loved to play in the fields and look up at the mountains.

Now? I still love the mountains.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is and why?

The horse is my favorite animal because I love to ride horses. I also like other animals like pets – cats and dogs.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Pollution is very dangerous. We have to control climate change that countries make. We have to watch our actions.

5. If you could give one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Be careful. The Earth is our home and we should take good care of it, or else we will suffer.

Received via postal mail

Arjia Thubten Lobsang Rinpoche – A Brief Biography

In the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, "Rinpoche" is a title given to a tulku--a reincarnated being of a previous holy person. When he was two years old, Arjia Rinpoche was recognized as the incarnation of the father of Lama Tsong Khapa, the great thirteenth-century Buddhist reformer, and, as such, became the Abbot of Kumbum Monastery located in eastern Tibet.

It may seem a bit strange to think of a two-year old child becoming a monk, but among Tibetans and Mongolians, it is a very high honor to have your child become a monk and receive a Buddhist education.

For twenty years, beginning in 1958 when he was seven years old, Rinpoche was subjected, as a member of the “exploiting class,” to the humiliations forced upon all established citizens by the Chinese Communist Party. When the "Chinese Great Leap Forward" occurred, Rinpoche was only eight years old, and he had to disrobe and attend a Chinese school. During the following five years, he was indoctrinated in the Chinese Communist ways, but due to his teacher's influences, he secretly maintained his Buddhist identity.

From age twelve to seventeen when the Chinese policies slightly eased, Rinpoche studied at Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, the monastery of the Panchen Lama.

From seventeen to twenty-eight, which was during the Cultural Revolution, the political situation got much worse again, and he had to work in the fields at hard labor with other lamas and monks.

In 1979 he was reinstated as Abbot of Kumbum Monastery and advanced in the governmental hierarchy. In 1998, he was about to become leader of the Chinese National Buddhist Association but felt the noose tightening around his own personal and spiritual freedom. In a crisis of conscience, he escaped from Beijing to Guatemala and, with the help of the Dalai Lama sought asylum in the United States.

Rinpoche settled in Mill Valley, California where he established the Tibetan Center for Compassion and Wisdom. In 2005, His Holiness the Dalai Lama asked him to become the director of the Tibetan Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana. He moved to Bloomington in February 2006 and has been working to renovate the center and establish Buddhist teachings and Tibetan/Mongolian cultural events.

taken from

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