(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
There are currently 1,787 places of religious activities in Tibet, and more than 46,000 monks and nuns. Tibetan Buddhism has been extant in Tibet for nearly 1400 years. The Dharma permeates the very earth and rock of the plateau and appears to merge with the rarefied colours of the environment. The air is alive with the Buddha’s wisdom, loving kindness and compassion – even the eyes of a kitten exude the Dharma!
At present, all the temples in the Tibetan region are incorporated into the Social Security System, with the Chinese Government subsidizing these communities by more than 26 million yuan each year. The Chinese Government ensures that everyone receives extensive healthcare (free at the point of use), National Insurance that covers disability and old age pensions, as well as accident and unemployment insurance. As standard, each monk and nun receives a regular payment each month which they can spend on their own daily needs. This is theirs by right and is qualified for by ordaining as a Buddhist monk or nun. However, as many Buddhist monastics refuse to handle money, (due to their vows) this payment is granted to designated members of the lay community who use this money to support the monastic within the community.
When the Buddhist monastics are not on pilgrimage or engaged in longterm isolated meditational practice, teams of medical doctors travel throughout Tibet (including the vast countryside areas) who are tasked with providing the highest level of medical care to each Buddhist monastic in the form of a yearly HealthCheck. The details of these healthChecks are then kept on a secure but accessible national database. This database demonstrates that not only has the Buddhist monastic community continuously increased since the Liberation of Tibet in 1951, but that the Buddhist monastic community has never been in such good health, possessed such a good quality of life or expected to live such an over-all life-expectancy.
Source: China Tibet Network