The life of Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, has been the subject of many books, movies and blogs. His life has been lived in exile since he was 23, and as the leader of a nation without a land, the responsibilities would be enough to make the ordinary person give up.
At the age of 78, the Dalai Lama still continues to travel the world giving his message of love and acceptance to the thousands that attend his public talks.
Standing in an auditorium filled with 10,000 people during his recent Sydney visit, I couldn’t help but wonder at the diversity in attendance. Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, religion is not the heart of his message. Understanding the human condition is.
And no one understands the human condition more than the Dalai Lama. The core teaching of Buddhism – the Four Noble Truths (based around an understanding of suffering)– have been a doctrine experienced first hand by the Tibetans as they are forced to live either in exile or within Tibet under extreme conditions placed upon them by the Chinese.
A sad state of affairs, which has lead to self-immolations and protests now taking place over a widening area of Tibet. Some protests have also taken place outside Tibet and China. In the midst of all the suffering, His Holiness and a comparatively small band of supporters continue to lobby the governments in each country to help make Tibet free once again.
“Everyone wants a happy life. We do not want suffering. Do not want problems. However, most problems are actually our own creation. So here’s the big contradiction. No one wants problems. But we create problems by ourselves. Nobody intentionally creates problems. We become slave of emotions, such as hatred, anger, attachment.”
Image © Lee Howell
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