Dalai Lama Asks Japanese Priests to Produce Buddhist Scientists


His Holiness the Dalai Lama holding a interactive session with Buddhist practitioners from
various Buddhist temples at a hotel in Nagano

On June 20, at an informal discussion with over 200 Buddhist priests in Nagano, Japan, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said Japan with its highly developed scientific knowledge combined with its ancient Buddhist tradition can produce Buddhist scientists.

He said Japanese Buddhist practitioners should engage in dialogues with scientists to explore areas where science and religion can find a common ground i understanding universal values like compassion and kindness.

Meditation is a healthy way to develop a calm mind. You don’t have to use injections or drugs to achieve peace of mind,” he said. Interests in Buddhist science, which has little to do with abstract and esoteric notions of religion like after-life, has grown over the past years as scientific findings increasingly point to the inherent connection between physical and emotional well-being, he said.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting Japanese children

In the United States, universities of Stanford, Wisconsin, and Emory have already established programs to study the development of a peaceful life. Tibetan monks in India now study modern science in addition to regular Buddhist curriculum. All western scientists interested in Tibetan Buddhism were either Jews, Christians or non-believers, he said, but Japan with its background in Nalanda tradition of Buddhism that emphasizes logic and investigation in reaching the ultimate reality has the potential contribute a lot in such secular dialogues.

According to Ven. Yukai Shimizu, an official with Zenkoji Temple, this exchange of ideas between His Holiness and Japanese priests on Buddhism which was held at the convention hall of Kokusai Hotel is a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” because not many Japanese priests get such forums to discuss and debate. “It’s a great opportunity for them to learn from His Holiness,” he said.

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Dalai Lama on Barack Obama

The Dalai Lama congratulated US President-elect Barack Obama on his election victory on November 4 with the following letter:

 

Dear President-elect Obama,
 
Congratulations on your election as the President of the United States of America.
 
I am encouraged that the American people have chosen a President who reflects America's diversity and her fundamental ideal that any person can rise up to the highest office in the land.  This is a proud moment for America and one that will be celebrated by many peoples around the world.
 
The American Presidential elections are always a great source of encouragement to people throughout the world who believe in democracy, freedom and equality of opportunities.
 
May I also commend the determination and moral courage that you have demonstrated throughout the long campaign, as well as the kind heart and steady hand that you often showed when challenged.  I recall our own telephone conversation this spring and these same essential qualities came through in your concern for the situation in Tibet.
 
As the President of the United States, you will certainly have great and difficult tasks before you, but also many opportunities to create change in the lives of those millions who continue to struggle for basic human needs.  You must also remember and work for these people, wherever they may be.
 
With my prayers and good wishes,
 
Yours sincerely,
 THE DALAI LAMA

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A Monk's Struggle on the Cover of Time Magazine


"Since China wants to join the world community," the 14th Dalai Lama said as I was traveling across Japan with him for a week last November, "the world community has a real responsibility to bring China into the mainstream." The whole world stands to gain, he pointed out, from a peaceful and unified China—not least the 6 million Tibetans in China and Chinese-occupied Tibet. "But," he added, "genuine harmony must come from the heart. It cannot come from the barrel of a gun."
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The Dali Lama, the Torch and Steve

Steve Varon is a businessman from New York with a vision and a goal of having the Dali Lama carry the Olympic torch during the Beijing Olympics later this year. If you know even the slightest bit about world politics, you know that the concept of the Dali Lama participating in an Olympics being held in China is difficult to conceive.  Yet Steve pushes forward, having obtained the green light from the Dali Lama himself, as well as positive feedback from many world leaders.

What iconic image could say more about world peace than the Dali Lama participating in this event. 
blog excerpt courtesy: jordanayan.typepad.com

Bombers have fan in the Dalai Lama

November 10, Winnipeg Free Press
By Joe Paraskevas

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have received all the inspiration they should need to win their playoff game Sunday. The Dalai Lama, one of the world's holiest figures, has emerged as a surprise Big Blue booster. "Victory to the Blue Bombers," he scribbled in Tibetan with a black Sharpie marker on some Winnipeg Blue Bomber equipment, adding his name to the lore of this city's Grey Cup-seeking CFL team.


Allan Nimmo/Special to the Winnipeg Free Press

The Bombers play the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division semifinal in Winnipeg on Sunday. The exiled Tibetan leader signed the helmet and an official CFL football as he flew to Ottawa two weeks ago.
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Bush Honours Dalai Lama

October 17, New York Times


Over furious objections from China and in the presence of President Bush, Congress on Wednesday bestowed its highest civilian honor on the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists whom Beijing considers a troublesome voice of separatism.
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Dalai Lama to Meet Canadian PM

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet with the Dalai Lama in October. The meeting has Chinese officials very upset. Especially since the meeting will take place on government grounds.

"We are against the provision of venues by foreign countries to the Dalai Lama's secessionist activities and also against foreign dignitaries meeting with him." -Statement by Chinese officials to the Globe and Mail


The Chinese, who have run a behind-the-scenes campaign to prevent a formal meeting between the Tibetan leader and the prime minister, claim that the Dalai Lama is not a mere religious figure. Instead, they argue that he is a political figure who aims to split their country apart.

The Dalai Lama has had positive results recently on the world stage. Last year, U.S. President George W. Bush signed a bill giving the Dalai Lama a Congressional Gold Medal, once again over Chinese objections. More recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama at the chancellery in Berlin in September.

By the way, did you know that the Dalai Lama and George W. Bush have the same birthday (July 6). A good reason not to depend on astrology.


The Dalai Lama is welcomed to the White House by President Bush on September 10, 2003. (White House)