If Marvel Studios can take the time to painstakingly find an unknown actor like Tom Holland to portray their very specific version of Peter Parker than they could afford to find a Jewish/Roma actress for Scarlet Witch and Asian actors for Dr. Strange and Iron Fist.

Did you know Tibet once controlled an empire? It ruled the Himalayan highlands, Bengal, and the modern Chinese provinces of Gansu and Yunnan from 618 CE to about 840 CE. Between the first and third emperor, their territory expanded eventually to the height shown in the map above. But difficulty of transportation and communication, and religious tensions due to the introduction of Buddhism in the early 700s CE, led to infighting which pitted the royal family against ancient noble families and supporters of the new religion.

The last two emperors were assassinated, one by pro-native religionists, one by a Buddhist hermit. Yes, a Buddhist assassinated an emperor. After the death of the tenth emperor, the Tibetan Empire disintegrated into civil war.

In Buddhism, What Happens Between Death And Rebirth?

The “Tibetan Book of the Dead,” from the 1300s, was a Buddhist funerary text. According to the book, the wicked dead are said to endure bodily tortures after death before being reborn into the next life. Spiritual reflection will show there is no need to fear, the book reassures its readers, “because, in truth, your body is a natural form of emptiness.”

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March 17th 1959: Dalai Lama flees Tibet

On this day in 1959, Tenzin Gyatso - the fourteenth Dalai Lama, a central figure of Vajrayana Buddhism - fled Tibet for India. He fled following the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule which broke out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, where the Dalai Lama lived. Fearing for his safety, he and around twenty of his entourage fled Lhasa on March 17th and embarked on a 15 day journey on foot over the Himalayan mountains to Dharamsala in India where they had been offered asylum. No news was heard of the Dalai Lama, and many feared their spiritual and political leader had been killed during the arduous journey. However, on March 30th he crossed into India and people learned that he was safe. He was followed by around 80,000 Tibetans who settled in the same area of India, leading to it becoming known as ‘Little Lhasa’. This place became the home to the Tibetan government-in-exile. Tibet remains under Chinese rule, and the Dalai Lama continues to try to find a peaceful negotiation for Tibetan self rule.

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The Practice of the Tibetan Kapala,

Common in Hindu and Buddhist Tantric traditions, especially those practiced in Tibet, a Kapala is a ceremonial vessel made from a human skull.  Sometimes, the skull could be heavily decorated with silver, bronze, turquoise, and various stones or gems, sometimes it could be a plain skull that has elaborate carvings. Usually the skulls were collected from sky burials, a practice in which a corpse is left on the side of a mountain so that birds can feed upon.  This is based on the idea that nothing should go to waste.  The purpose of the Kapala was as a container to hold offerings to various Hindu and Tibetan deities.