Tag Archives: Dalai Lama

Almanac: The Dalai Lama

And now a page from our “Sunday Morning” Almanac: October 5th, 1989, 25 years ago today . . . the day the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced it was awarding that year’s Peace Prize to the 14th Dalai Lama, the political and spiritual leader of the people of Tibet.

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The Dalai Lama (born Tenzin Gyatso in 1935), the traditional religious and temporal head of Tibet’s Buddhist clergy, in 1959.

He was born in 1935. Buddhist leaders declared him — while still a young boy — to be the re-incarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama.

Monks prepared him for his new role, a role that was disrupted in 1959, when Chinese occupying troops forced him, at the age of 23, to flee Tibet for exile in India.

In the years that followed, the Dalai Lama has steadfastly championed the Tibetan cause, while at the same time opposing any resort to violence.

Instead, as the Nobel committee emphasized, the Dalai Lama “advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people.”

The Dalai Lama accepted the Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo on December 10, 1989.

In his Nobel lecture speech he included a prayer:

For as long as space endures,
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, abide
To dispel the misery of the world.

And in the quarter-century since, he has continued to speak out for Tibet . . . and for non-violence and tolerance, earning the admiration of people of all faiths all around the world.

A ceremony in India this past week marked the 25th anniversary of his Peace Prize . . . but what the future holds is in some doubt.

The Dalai Lama forswore the political part of his role in 2011, and at age 79 he has questioned whether there should even be a 15th Dalai Lama after he’s gone.

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Capitalism and the Dalai Lama

WHAT can Washington, D.C., learn from a Buddhist monk?

In early 2013, I traveled with two colleagues to Dharamsala, India, to meet with the Dalai Lama. His Holiness has lived there since being driven from his Tibetan homeland by the Chinese government in 1959. From his outpost in the Himalayan foothills, he anchored the Tibetan government until 2011 and continues to serve as a spiritual shepherd for hundreds of millions of people, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

Very early one morning during the visit, I was invited to meditate with the monks. About an hour had passed when hunger pangs began, but I worked hard to ignore them. It seemed to me that such earthly concerns had no place in the superconscious atmosphere of the monastery.

Incorrect. Not a minute later, a basket of freshly baked bread made its way down the silent line, followed by a jar of peanut butter with a single knife. We ate breakfast in silence, and resumed our meditation. This, I soon learned, is the Dalai Lama in a nutshell: transcendence and pragmatism together. Higher consciousness and utter practicality rolled into one.

That same duality was on display in February when the Dalai Lama joined a two-day summit at my institution, the American Enterprise Institute. At first, his visit caused confusion. Some people couldn’t imagine why he would visit us; as Vanity Fair asked in a headline, “Why Was the Dalai Lama Hanging Out with the Right-Wing American Enterprise Institute?”

There was no dissonance, though, because the Dalai Lama’s teaching defies freighted ideological labels. During our discussions, he returned over and over to two practical yet transcendent points. First, his secret to human flourishing is the development of every individual. In his own words: “Where does a happy world start? From government? No. From United Nations? No. From individual.”

But his second message made it abundantly clear that he did not advocate an every-man-for-himself economy. He insisted that while free enterprise could be a blessing, it was not guaranteed to be so. Markets are instrumental, not intrinsic, for human flourishing. As with any tool, wielding capitalism for good requires deep moral awareness. Only activities motivated by a concern for others’ well-being, he declared, could be truly “constructive.”

Tibetan Buddhists actually count wealth among the four factors in a happy life, along with worldly satisfaction, spirituality and enlightenment. Money per se is not evil. For the Dalai Lama, the key question is whether “we utilize our favorable circumstances, such as our good health or wealth, in positive ways, in helping others.” There is much for Americans to absorb here. Advocates of free enterprise must remember that the system’s moral core is neither profits nor efficiency. It is creating opportunity for individuals who need it the most.

Historically, free enterprise has done this to astonishing effect. In a remarkable paper, Maxim Pinkovskiy of M.I.T. and Xavier Sala-i-Martin of Columbia University calculate that the fraction of the world’s population living on a dollar a day — after adjusting for inflation — plummeted by 80 percent between 1970 and 2006. This is history’s greatest antipoverty achievement.

But while free enterprise keeps expanding globally, its success may be faltering in the United States. According to research from Pew’s Economic Mobility Project, men in their 30s in 2004 were earning 12 percent less in real terms than their fathers’ generation at the same point in their lives. That was before the financial crisis, the Great Recession, and years of federal policies that have done a great deal for the wealthy and well-connected but little to lift up the bottom half.

The solution does not lie in the dubious “fair share” class-baiting of politicians. We need to combine an effective, reliable safety net for the poor with a hard look at modern barriers to upward mobility. That means attacking cronyism that protects the well-connected. It means lifting poor children out of ineffective schools that leave them unable to compete. It entails pruning back outmoded licensing laws that restrain low-income entrepreneurs. And it means creating real solutions — not just proposing market distortions — for people who cannot find jobs that pay enough to support their families.

In other words, Washington needs to be more like the Dalai Lama. Without abandoning principles, we need practical policies based on moral empathy. Tackling these issues may offend entrenched interests, but this is immaterial. It must be done. And temporary political discomfort pales in comparison with the suffering that vulnerable people bear every day.

At one point in our summit, I deviated from the suffering of the poor and queried the Dalai Lama about discomfort in his own life. “Your Holiness,” I asked, “what gives you suffering?” I expected something quotably profound, perhaps about the loss of his homeland. Instead, he thought for a moment, loosened his maroon robe slightly, and once again married the practical with the rhapsodic.

“Right now,” he said, “I am a little hot.” Via

Top Tibetan Monk On Money Laundering Charge

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A Tibetan monk seen as a possible successor to the Dalai Lama is to be prosecuted for money laundering.

The decision to prosecute Karmapa Urgyen Trinley comes after an Indian court overturned a decision to drop charges.

A judge at the Himachal Pradesh High Court issued an order for authorities to open criminal proceedings over the recovery of around $1m (£650,000) in foreign currency during a raid on his Buddhist monastery four years ago.

Criminal conspiracy charges were filed after the raid but a district court in 2012 dismissed the case but the latest appeal means Trinley now faces judicial proceedings.

The case dates back to a raid in January 2011 on a monastery in the Himalayan town of Dharamshala in which investigators say stacks of bank notes in 26 different currencies were recovered, including the equivalent of £65,000 in Chinese yuan.

The raid came after police stopped two people driving a car that was full of cash – the pair said the money was intended for a land deal involving a trust run by Trinley.

Khenchen Lama Rinpoche will give three separate public teachings at The Friends Meeting House, Kettering, on Monday, July 13

The 30-year-old has denied any wrongdoing, saying the bank notes were donations from devotees gathered over the years and he was not involved in any land deals.

The monk, who fled Tibet at the age of 14, is recognised by both China and the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the Karmapa Lama, the 17th incarnation of the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Since fleeing Tibet and reaching India after an eight-day journey on foot and horseback, Trinley has lived mainly at the Gyuto Monastery in Dharamshala, the northern Indian hill station that is the seat of the Tibetan government in exile.

He is seen as having the highest profile of an array of young lamas who could succeed the 80-year-old Dalai Lama.

Their appearances together have increased speculation he is being groomed as the Nobel peace laureate’s spiritual successor.

Trinley’s spokesman, Kunzang Chungyalpa, said the lama had great faith in India’s judicial system.

“He strongly believes truth will prevail at the end.”

The Dalai Lama is going to Glastonbury

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and actress Sharon Stone attend The Lourdes Foundation 'Leadership in the 21st Century' Event with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at the California Science Center on February 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for The Lourdes Foundation)

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the highest monk in Tibetan Buddhism, is going to Glastonbury this Sunday.

The trip has been rumoured for a while but the festival’s organisers confirmed today that he will be giving a talk at the festival. It’s part of the Dalai Lama’s 4-day visit to the UK.

His Holiness will be able to take in the likes of The Who and Lionel Richie on the Pyramid Stage, or The Chemical Brothers and Jamie T on the Other Stage if he fancies something a bit more modern.

Emily Eavis, daughter of Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis, says in a statement:

The Dalai Lama

“We’re honoured to welcome the Dalai Lama to Glastonbury 2015. He will be talking in the Green Fields and exploring the farm this Sunday as part of his trip to the UK. What a special moment for the Festival!”

Chonpel Tsering, a representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, says: “This upcoming visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be particularly notable as it takes place just a week before His Holiness turns 80 on 6 July 2015.

“The visit will offer all those attending the events, and beyond, an opportunity to hear the message of compassion, hope, dialogue and tolerance of this widely respected spiritual and moral authority.”

Amit Shimoni Turns Obama, Dalai Lama And More Into Hipsters

amit shimoni turns obama, dalai lama and more into hipsters

Back in december, designboom featured the work of designer amit shimoni, who paired painted portraits of famous world leaders with the outfits and hairstyles of today’s youth.

amit shimoni hipstory part two

Now, shimoni continues the ‘hipstory‘ series with the addition of seven world and cultural leaders, both contemporary and historical.

amit shimoni hipstory part two

Barack Obama is tattooed with the words ‘hope’ and ‘change’ on his chest and sports a trendy man-bun;

amit shimoni hipstory part two

hillary clinton has half-purple hair and wears a chunky gold chain over a colorful t-shirt; the dalai lama dons a burgundy hoodie and necklace, bearing a tibetan symbol in green and gold. shimoni says of the ongoing series,

amit shimoni hipstory part two

‘hipstory’’wishes to reimagine the great leaders of modern history and place them in a different time and culture  —  ours.

amit shimoni hipstory part two

amit shimoni hipstory part two

amit shimoni hipstory part two

amit shimoni hipstory part two

The Dalai Lama to appear at Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury’s 2015 festival is going to be a more spiritual experience than usual: His Holiness the Dalai Lama will headline the UK festival’s Pyramid Stage on Sunday, June 28th.

The 79-year-old Buddhist monk will deliver a “message of compassion and mutual understanding” during his morning slot.

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Afterward, he’ll DJ with Thom Yorke inside an abandoned airplane fuselage and make smores with Mumford and Sons.

The 2015 edition of Glastonbury takes place June 24th – 28th in Pilton, UK.

The only other confirmed artist is Lionel Richie, who will undo all the purity brought by his Holiness during his Sunday night headlining performance.

Dalai Lama: ‘I would rather be the last Dalai Lama than see a stupid person take my place’

(ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)

The Dalai Lama has said he would rather be the last to hold the spiritual post than see it pass to a “stupid” successor.

No one may follow the Buddhist leader, he told BBC Newsnight, saying it was “up to the Tibetan people” to decide what will happen after his death.

The 14th Dalai Lama, whose real name is Tenzin Gyatso, has made the claim several times, to the chagrin of China, which insists it has the right to choose a successor.

He is the longest serving leader and has been in the post for 64 years, since he was 15 years old.

“The Dalai Lama institution will cease one day. These man-made institutions will cease,” the 79-year-old told Newsnight.

“There is no guarantee that some stupid Dalai Lama won’t come next, who will disgrace himself or herself. That would be very sad. So, much better that a centuries-old tradition should cease at the time of a quite popular Dalai Lama.”

Each dead Dalai Lama is thought to be reincarnated in the body of a male child identified by high lamas (Buddhist priests) in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama leads a symbolic walk across a peace bridge in Londonderry

The Dalai Lama leads a symbolic walk across a peace bridge in Londonderry during a visit in 2013

China has repeatedly insisted it has the right to choose his successor, but the Dalai Lama says that he will not be “reincarnated” in the Communist state if Tibet is not free and that no one has the right to make the decision “for political ends”.

Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that when it came to the reincarnation of living Buddhas, China had a “set religious procedure and historic custom”.

“China follows a policy of freedom of religion and belief, and this naturally includes having to respect and protect the ways of passing on Tibetan Buddhism,” she said.

“The title of Dalai Lama is conferred by the central government, which has hundreds of years of history. The (present) 14th Dalai Lama has ulterior motives, and is seeking to distort and negate history, which is damaging to the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism.”

China views the 14th Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist inciting Tibetans against its rule since it began in 1950. He fled to India in 1959 following a failed uprising and has been in exile ever since.

The current Dalai Lama, who has won the Nobel Peace Prize, advocates a “middle way” with China, seeking autonomy but not independence for Tibet.

A Tibetan monk carries a portrait of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, during a function organised to mark 'Losar' or the Tibetan New Year in Kathmandu

In 1995, a boy in Tibet was named as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama, the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, but China put the child under house arrest and installed another in his place.

But many Tibetans reject the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama as a fake.

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