As you probably know, there was an earthquake in eastern Tibet on April 14. I was there when it hit; north of the epicenter, at a site in Amdo (Qinghai Province). The exact location of the site, referred to in some legends as the Chenpo Terma, had been a mystery to all but a handful of Tibetans for over 300 years.
I had been to the site only the day before with my travel partners. The experience was transformative (more – much more – about that later). No booby traps. No skeletons. Technical difficulties were all that vexed us, but that’s common in remote places like the Tibetan Plateau. We planned to go back the next day better prepared, with our solar camera batteries fully charged, weather cooperating.
The quake hit early the next morning. We were safe, thank goodness, having camped nearby but (for no particular reason) well away from rock formations that toppled or shifted during the quake. From what we could tell when we returned to the site, the quake destroyed the only entrance, blocking us from going in again, and may well have destroyed its internal structure.
I have really done a lot of soul searching since then. I already knew quite a bit about the Chenpo Terma’s history and meaning, but the time I had experiencing it first hand, and nailing down the first glimmer of a coherent physics since then, make me feel determined to not let superstition sway me. The coincidence of the earthquake the day after our entering the Chenpo Terma was too much for many. Those who allowed us to visit are questioning everything all over again. Maybe I should have taken a hint.
There are those, some of whom I do not wish to upset and some I wouldn’t mind a bit upsetting, who take task with me trying to make this common knowledge. I have come to terms with the fact that I may be betraying the “natural order of things.” It comes down to the difference of my new view of the natural order of things since.