I have just watched a program called “Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama” and all I can say is that you must watch this program.
I have, for the last nine years now, studied Buddhism.Â Not for the sake of becoming a Buddhist, but because of all the religions and beliefs that I have encountered and studied, Buddhism has struck me as one of the most interesting, for reasons that I will go over later.
To listen to the Dalai Lama and to watch him speak and interact with others is truly a delight.Â The film warns you in the beginning that he has a infectious laugh and smile, and that turns out to be no lie.Â If you sit any watch this program, I dare you to NOT smile almost every time you see him smile, laugh or play to the camera.Â He is most certainly a little bit of a ham when it comes the the camera.
In the face of all that has happened to his culture and his people, the tremendous loss of the histories and artifacts of his past and the past of Buddhism, he smiles.Â He smiles and he dismisses it as so much water under the bridge.Â Then, as if you do not think that he could do one better… he forgives the Chinese for their actions and destruction.
This is something that I, at this time, would not be able to bring myself to do, yet deep inside, I understand what his reasons were and why he, and most other monks, feel this way.Â While I understand that carrying a hatred for a person or people is unhealthy and causes us more pain than it helps us, I am not able to follow in those steps… yet.
I also admire his, the Dalai Lama’s, ability to interact.Â You can see in his eyes and his actions that he genuinely loves everyone.Â He does not care what color you are, what you look like, what religion you are or how you dress.Â His love is not swayed by what he can get from you or how much you can donate to his cause.Â If you can help the Tibetan cause, then he will accept that help, but you can tell that he will only accept that help if it is offered freely and is not contingent on something in return, short of the love that he and his people offer to all.
Most surprising to me is that the Dalai Lama, in spite of what the Chinese have done, encourages us (meaning the world) to engage in favorable relations with them.Â This is another thing that I find hard to talk myself into actively doing.Â I know that it is impossible, as an American, to stop buying Chinese products.Â Look at how much of what you and I buy, on a daily basis, that is made in China.Â I bought a “Proud to be an American” t-shirt a couple weeks ago, and it has a “Made in China” label in it.Â This in and of itself is enough to make a person question the direction that their country is going.
But he, and they, look above that.Â They, somehow, are able to see beyond their own loss and need to understand the need for peace in the world.
This brings me to my final point.Â I think that all the religions of the world could stand to benefit by studying Buddhism.Â If even the “Big Three” (Judaism, Christendom and Islam), could incorporate the basics principles of Buddhism towards one another.Â Accept the differences and embrace them for what they make us, not use them as dividing points and wedges to further separate us and make us fear one another.Â Teach us to look at one another an laugh at the little things we bicker over.Â After all… as Buddhism teaches us… everything is tranistory, nothing last forever.
What would my ten questions be?
They have all, already been asked, and the answers are there, but we, as a world, are not mature enough to understand them yet.Â Hopefully we will mature enough to do so, before we destroy ourselves and the world that we are borrowing from our children.
While the term has become somewhat cliche these days and more a joke to those that do not understand, I do agree with the “Free Tibet” movement.Â I do side with the Dalai Lama on the point that this should be done through peace, not through conflict.Â People who are used to conflict and war are not intimidated by it.