listening to the dalai lama

in collaboration and partnership with the maui community, his holiness, the 14th dalai lama, will have the entire world as his audience as part of a realtime webcast of his public appearances on the island of maui on april 24 and 25, 2007.

with broadband computer access, you can see and hear the dalai lama speak on “the approach to world peace” and the “eight verses of training the mind: a buddhist philosophical discourse” by logging on to the tibet fund website.

i found this out through janet riehl, one of the people on the ten zen seconds blog tour.

the dalai lama has become a bit of a superstar but like another one of my heroes, bob marley, it does not seem to detract from his message. (the dalai lama and bob marley, how do you like that?) i’m always taken by how down-to-earth he is.

two memories stand out from his visit to vancouver in 2003. this was the second time i had seen him, the one where he appeared with archbishop desmond tutu, rabbi zalman schacter-shalomi and dr. shirin ebadi in the educating the heart series.

one was seeing the dalai lama sit beside desmond tutu. the two were like two little boys, slapping each other’s thighs, goofing around (as much as that was possible on the sombre stage out at UBC). their obvious friendship and sheer mirth together was – freeing. opening the heart not with quiet prayers or deep contemplation but with simple joie de vivre. (much like bob marley, come to think of it).

the other memory was the dalai lama’s impatience with religion. over and over he emphasized that the task is to help open the hearts of people who are not into religion or even spirituality. at one point someone asked him about a higher power and he just wanted to have nothing to do with it. the fact that he happens to be into religion, he said at one juncture, was completely beside the point. religion isn’t important. opening our hearts, living with regard for our fellow women and men – that is.

isabella mori
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