Map of Himalaya

November 7, 2018
Welcome World !

About Whole World

March 10, 1977. I was 22 and I had arrived the previous afternoon in the hill station of Mussoorie, India and checked-in at the Grand Hotel. 3 stories and 50 rooms, but I was the sole guest. Off season. India’s hill stations are wondrously charming and at 2000 m the climate and air is invigorating. After a walk around town and dinner, a storm set in. Winds full of rain then snow howled while the power went out for the night. Huddled under ten blankets, the sounds of the storm gradually carried me off to sleep in that giant, empty hotel. The next morning it was calm, and clear, and bright and fresh. Four inches of snow covered the town. I had planned a 2 hour hike up to Lal Tibba, a lookout point, to see the Himalaya mountains, and it would be my first time to do so.

On the way, by chance, I happened to converge with a demonstration march of Tibetans and supporters. I did not know it then, but every March 10, Tibetans, wherever they are (there are approx. 100,000 living across the Himalaya outside of Tibet), commemorate March 10, 1959, when their uprising against Communist China’s invasion and occupation of Tibet began in Lhasa, after 10 years of ever-increasing subjugation and repression. On this date, fearful of an imminent abduction of the Dalai Lama by the Chinese, 300,000 Tibetans surrounded the Norbulingkha Palace to offer protection. The Chinese military took up troop and artillery positions. One week later the Dalai Lama and some of his family and government were spirited out of Lhasa at night and began the 14 day trek to escape over the mountains to India. In Lhasa, the Tibetan defenders were hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned. Early on March 19, the Chinese began shelling the Norbulingkha and the crowd of men, women and children still camped outside. By March 21, culminating in a shootout at the Jokhang temple, it was all over with approx. 15,000 Tibetans dead. The Dalai Lama and his small entourage crossed the border March 31.

In the following years the killing accelerated and the toll is now estimated at 1.2 million. March 10 is now known as ‘Tibetan Uprising Day’. I recommend seeing the 1997 Martin Scorsese directed film ‘Kundun’. Tibetans have resisted China’s rule long before and ever since March 10, 1959. They also live with it.

The march disbanded. I paused for some Chai and Samosas, and a chat, before carrying on with my walk.

Arriving at Lal Tibba, one doesn’t see the snow peaks till the path crests the lookout ridge … suddenly … took my breath away … whewww ! Taking it all in … I was entranced. I was home. The snow peaks, about 70 km. straight ahead at their nearest, arched across my view from the north-west horizon to the east horizon, I reckon, some 200 km or more in either direction. A true wide-angle panorama. And hundreds of peaks including Nanda Devi (150 km. distant) and other famous peaks could be discerned against the cerulean blue. Mount Kailash was only 300 km. away in the direction of Nanda Devi, in the ‘Trans-Himalaya’ range, hidden behind the Himalayan ranges. I sat, stared, meditated and contemplated for 2 hours. A great deal of my destiny revealed itself to me that day. I certainly knew I wanted to do vast amounts of world travel and exploring, especially in the Indian Subcontinent and these mountains and Tibet.

I organized my plans for the future and in the process a triangle shape formed in my mind’s eye. I should do my best to divide my attention in life as equally as possible between the 3 corners: First (bottom left corner) – Earn a Living. I’d already, a year earlier, chosen my career, i.e. to trade with India in precious and exotic materials and products. Precious metals and stones, essential oils, fine fabrics, art, specialized agriculture – any natural and precious thing, including and maybe especially, places and people – I loved it! I chose a name-change of ‘Which Way? Travel and Trade’ for my company that day. That name didn’t last though ‘WW’ did. Second (bottom right corner) – Art (what I really enjoy, especially making music). That day I chose the name ‘Wonder Works Productions’ to label that area of my life, thinking I might one day set up a company for it, which I never did, though I continue to write music. Third (top and apex corner of the triangle) – Charity, which basically means, for me and others dear to me, in practical terms, finding and propagating ways to reverse the painful environmental and biodiversity degradation and wealth inequality we see increasing instead of decreasing. I saw a sort of Institute of Learning and Education hidden up there in a remote quiet valley behind those rows of clarity ridden mountains – not too far from Kailash, where solutions and answers could, in an unfettered environment, be sought and found – financed by profit from my trading company. I chose the name ‘The Whole World Foundation’ for my ‘Institute’ that day. That was March 10, 1977. Something called the Internet came along some years later. We can now have ‘a virtual’ Institute. I still retreat in the real life Himalaya for R+R and R+D.

It’s all since boiled down to ‘Whole World’, ‘Whole World Trade Ltd.’, and ‘WW’, and a Business / Charity model of: ‘For Profit Non-Profit‘. Generate profit, but give it all away, sensibly, skillfully. You’ll learn more if you click and read at PHILOSOPHY

Lyn, a.k.a. Diane-Lyn, a.k.a. Lyndi, joined forces with WW in 1996. That’s when we started in Precious Plants and Tea and Spice in earnest. We run the show, and it literally was a show in the beginning. Along with getting the business going in new directions we did a lot of political / musical / spiritual street theatre for a few years, to spread awareness about the state of affairs in Tibet and Burma, and in the financial and food systems all around you. Then, suddenly, we found huge amounts of our attention, and years and years of our time, diverted from Plan A (our business) to a field study never planned on: the justice system / injustice system in Canada. That is a totally other story for another day and another place.

I have lived and operated out of Toronto all my life, and Lyn and I now live and operate from Warkworth, Ontario, in the countryside a few hours from Toronto.

We are specialists in the certified organic and other products you see on our home page and detailed under the products tab and in our online shop (opening Spring 2019). Our expertise lies geographically in the Indian Subcontinent, and most particularly in the Himalayas and Orthodox Tea.

Our suppliers are amazing people and every last one of them are friends. We look forward to sharing our knowledge.


Rhys Fockler

Please roam our site as well as:

About Darjeeling tea and the region. logo

The other Himalayan tea.