Tag Archives: dalai lama

the dalai lama in vancouver

last week i had the pleasure again to see the dalai lama. the topic of the talk was women and peacebuilding. i’d like to share with you my notes, taken down as closely as possible in his delightful language.

this is the third time i’ve seen the dalai lama. one of the things that i enjoy about these talks is that they always underscore the same message, but from a slightly different angle. also, simply being in the presence of the dalai lama (even when he falls asleep partway through the session, as he did this time, so exhausted from his super demanding schedule) is inspiring. not because he is grave and religious. he is the funniest head of state i’ve ever encountered; a trickster, really. you know that smile that he always shows? it’s the smile not only of happiness but of someone who delights in having fun and making jokes, and that comes through all the time in his talks. and like any true comedian, he is irreverent, he always looks at the status quo and says, “hmmmmmmmmmm ….”.

another thing i absolutely love about him is the ease with which he says, “i don’t know.” wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people in authority would simply say “i don’t know” when they don’t have an immediate answer to a question? no spinning, no ignoring the question and talking about something totally different, no pretending you know … so refreshing!

the quotes below reflect in a small way, i hope, the dalai lama’s commitment to compassion, his view on the role of anger, the importance he places on motivation, his urging us to take action, his deep respect for diversity, his global thinking, and his deep passion for the environment, the alleviation of poverty, and the central place of education.

the dalai lama will be back next year, i hear. we here in vancouver are very lucky to have been chosen by him as the dalai lama center for peace and education.

compassion practitioner

some anger also have role

harsh method does not mean we feel anger towards the person

anger immediate motivation

be content and still outraged

serious concern for wellbeing of humanity

anything that is harmful, you oppose

“what is your greatest fear?” “environment. gap between rich and poor, not only on international level but also on national level.”

frustration creates anger, sometimes violence

the female? good talk, i like it

they call me many things. god king, living buddha, monster, feminist – don’t matter

if no more dalai lama – no important

in case female dalai lama can be more effective – why not?

where is compassion? in the slums

media should pay equal attention to the positive things

“do you feel optimistic about the world?” “oh yes! our life starts with compassion! our life begin with lovingkindness”

this body go well with peaceful mind

we need motivation

compassion really also from the beginning to the time of death

human nature gentleness

whenever i meet young people, i give them hope and importance

peace starts within ourself. then that creates a certain atmosphere

will we be an extremist for love?

the facts should be written down, and then there will be a change in consciousness

everything tight, fear, distress: no creativity

there must be opportunity to express human potential

different country, different situation

whole world become like one community, then implement local situation – but same goal

i want to say yes to everything!

research and education very essential



image by elton melo

buddhist carnival – december 2008 edition, part 2

here is part 2 of this month’s buddhist carnival. part 1 can be found here.

balance
one of the things that attract me so strongly to buddhism is the idea of moderation and balance. i love the story of the buddha attaining enlightenment not through his years of asceticism but after accepting a modest drink of milk and honey from a young woman. this is walking the middle way.

grace talks about the balance that is such a hallmark of the well-lived buddhist life. i love the story she tells to illustrate it:

i walked along a favourite creek not too long ago. it is in a pristine slot canyon, with high red rock walls on either side. to get to the spring at the end, i must criss-cross the water a dozen times.

each crossing is different. some are easy, with large flat rocks. in some, poles have been placed across the water, and i must balance with one foot on each log, in an awkward, hitch-step fashion to reach the other side.
as i get deeper into the canyon –

read a balanced life to see what happens there …

accessible buddhism
my good friend carol sill has an exciting new site, called opensourcespirit.org. on it, she interviews people from all walks of spiritual life, usually on video. here is an interview with peter fenner from radiant mind, who talks as eloquently about the various strains of buddhism as about his approach to making buddhist ideas accessible to all.

change
william at integral options, where he tirelessly scoures the blogosphere for interesting material, has a thoughtful article on change, inspired by two articles that he discusses at length. one is about changing ourselves:

we can’t change the world, we can’t change our country, we can’t even change our family members, but we can change ourselves. wanting to change others is attachment – a clinging to the way we want things to be rather than working with things as they are.

and the other about leaving the box of safety or, as they say in german, “jumping over your shadow”:

as long as we remain in our comfort zones, change is not very likely to happen. we know we are open to change when we live on the edge of our personal safety. and this does not mean physical safety, but rather those feelings and situations that create anxiety, such as a personal or national crises.

12-step meditation meetings
darren littlejohn presents how to start a 12-step sangha meeting posted at the 12 step buddhist.

the reason i started 12-step sangha was to focus on meditation as part of a recovery program, not as a substitute. i’ve included the format we’ve been using below, but in a simpler version. the idea was to use some buddhist meditation techniques, but to keep the style, topics and sharing oriented to recovery. this is different than a buddhist style group that allows recovering people.

tibetan philosophy
loden jinpa is a buddhist scholar, and opens for us doors into buddhist philosophy that we may sometimes not even know exist. one of the great teachers he discusses on his blog is tsong khapa. here is a little introduction:

tsong khapa’s overall enterprise and in particular his insight into the illusory-like nature of persons and phenomena is about solving the problem of existential suffering. the solution to this problem is found in the extirpation of ignorance – the ignorance that reifies essence in things and functions as the root cause of suffering. it is the root of suffering, as it pervades the cognitive process for ordinary unenlightened beings propelling them into dysfunctional actions.

read on here

the dalai lama’s successor
on now public:

the dalai lama opened his much anticipated meeting with the international media here on sunday with a terse “i have nothing to say”, but went on to indicate that he was ready to pass on his political role to tibetans in exile and choose his successor, probably a young girl, in his lifetime. in his 90-minute interaction with the media, the nobel laureate made many remarks that are sure to irk china and cause some anxiety in new delhi. he said tibet’s cause was linked up with the question of democracy in china and that india’s approach to the tibetan issue was “too cautious”.

therion, a fellow canadian, sends us the story of a different successor: ram bahadur bomjon : buddha boy back from the jungle

and finally, two more contributions. axel presents zen-like living, and igor talks about what his rabbits taught him about buddhism.

that’s it for this year! if you have a buddhist blog post you’d like to contribute, please send it to me here, or, if you have a hard time connecting to blog carnival, drop me a line.

thanks!

a buddhist carnival – 1st edition!

this is really exciting – our first buddhist carnival!

tiny buddha contemplates the wood pile

the plan is for this carnival to feature first and foremost articles that directly and specifically talk about buddhist practice, reflection and ideas. however, there will also be room for posts that may not explicitly mention buddhism but touch on concepts intrinsic to it.

as adam genkaku fisher, one of my favourite buddhist writers, says in his book answer your love letters

“buddhist” is what other people say. buddhism is what you do.

buddhism does not exist in order to enlarge or improve or adorn some fantasy called “buddhism.” it is just a human world and as such has its successes and flops. but there is one thing remains constant and throughout – your own unlimited, and peaceful life.

so let’s see what buddhists do …

zen and the art of mindful consumerism at the zen housewife

perhaps we can apply the same mindfulness to our consumerism that buddhists apply to eating and other aspects of their lives. in choosing to buy a product, we could make the choice to be acutely aware and conscious of what we are consuming, considering the resources and energy required to make the product, and the people who worked to bring it to us. instead of thinking that taking time out from shopping may harm the economy, let’s review what our needs are, and consider how our purchases may harm those who are making the cheap goods that we so readily consume.

the dalai lama’s smile at mckay today carole reflects on glenn beck, a radio commentator, who seemed to feel that the dalai lama with his eternal smile was being ineffective:

i have never been in the presence of the dalai lama, nor do i know if mr. beck has. but i have been in the presence of a buddhist master. his very presence and countenance so affected me that for days following that meeting i not only felt calmer, more centered and closer to the concept of world unity, but those around me visibly noticed and commented on my own changed behavior.i have also been in the presence of countless politicians, local and national. i have never felt calmer, more centered or more united with humanity as a result nor have those meetings ever had any lasting positive effect upon me.

mr. beck’s implication is that a smile and joyous inner sense of peace will not help the world situation in any significant way. but aggression and war, the modus operandi of the politicians and people in power, have never helped the world in any significant way either and they’ve had their crack at it for at least 2000+ years now. so, before we are so quick to write off the smiling monk, perhaps we should give joyfulness and love of humanity a try.

parenting as practice at socially sustainable

though most parents do not likely have a lot of time to devote to a meditation practice, most of us can make an effort to be more mindful in our family lives. and what a feat it is if we can do just that.

love, sorrow, and attachment at the urban monk

gautama buddha once said: ” i teach one thing and one only: that is, suffering and the end of suffering.” and what causes this suffering? he answers this question in his four noble truths: “the origin of suffering is attachment.” how do we overcome attachment, then? with the strangest thing of all – the one thing that we think causes attachment.

zen meditation technique – free guided meditation book for daily practice – ch 1 at mastery of meditation, zen & kundalini yoga. this is an article detailing zen meditation (zazen) technique.

joy at all times at loving awareness

we tend to think of joy as somehow mutually exclusive to other experiences. if we’re feeling sad, then of course it’s impossible to have joy. likewise if we’re having a fight or our business is having a downturn. this article points out how they’re not exclusive, and helps the invitation of joy into your life, by surrendering to the present moment. (you might also be interested in another article matthew submitted, that childlike state, and love).

trust, freedom and resentment at trust matters

sometimes, perhaps all the time, happiness is letting go of things you can’t control.

the dilemma of desire at tupelo kenyon

what is desire? where does it come from? why do we have it? does it serve us in a positive way, or does it distract us and keep us perpetually in discontent? this article sheds some light on these important questions so that each of us can find our own answers. (enjoy some music as you read plus songs with lyrics related to each article – all free.)

additional submissions include

i’d like to thank everyone for their submissions – you made this first carnival possible!

let’s try this again next month, shall we? look for the 2nd edition of a buddhist carnival here at change therapy on december 15, 2007.

have an article you think we should see? go here to submit it.

in gassho.

(image courtesy of photonoob)
(this post appears in debra morehead’s carnival of healing)