50 for Tibet: Celebrating One Mountain Culture to Preserve Another.
About Us: 50 for Tibet History

• History of the Tibet Occupation • The Rowell Fund
• Galen Rowell and Barbara Cushman Rowell • Tibet at a Glance
• History of Galen's Interest in Tibet  

History of Galen's Interest in Tibet

In the spring of 1989, Galen and Barbara Rowell traveled to Dharamsala in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas to give a home slide show. However, this was not just another show in the long string of them that he had been doing. It was for His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Having first visited Lhasa, Tibet in 1981, Galen was already aware of the Chinese practice of deception regarding their occupation of Tibet. However, his audience with His Holiness was based more on the preservation of the enduring meaning of Tibet rather than the politics of Chinese occupation. Galen and Barbara found their slides of wild animals on the impressive Tibet landscape to be received with joy by His Holiness.

"With Tibet's low population and tremendous open space, there is great potential for species to recover if the old environmental ethic of Tibetan Buddhism is reestablished."
~ Galen Rowell, My Tibet Page 60

Soon after his return to California, the idea of a book combining his slides and the words of His Holiness came to Galen as he was hiking a spur of the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. One year later (in 1990), the book "My Tibet" was published as a product of this idea and will forever link Galen and Barbara to His Holiness and the philosophy of the Tibetan people and their land on the roof of the world.