09 October 2008

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is a symbol of compassion and peace, and is easily recognizable all over the world. Over at Shambhala Sun, Pico Iyer wrote a piece called "Center at the Summit" describing the fourteenth Dalai Lama's impact on the world. Here's an excerpt:
The calmness of the Dalai Lama, the steadiness with which he walks along his path and pursues what he regards as his core mission, can only be truly appreciated by being set against the very real-world problems that have always been his companion and his daily fare. He spent his early childhood (what would have been his kindergarten years, in our terms) as official leader of his country during the Second World War. By the time he was eight, he was receiving emissaries from F.D.R. with urgent requests for help in the transportation of American troops. He witnessed civil war around him as a boy, barely twelve years old on his seat in the Potala Palace. He was fourteen when Chinese soldiers moved into his country, and of high school age—fifteen—when he was prematurely made the political as well as the spiritual leader of his people.
For me, and possibly many others, the Dalai Lama represents peace in a world full of hate and war. His teachings tell us that we can still have mindfulness and be a part of the wider world. He is not just important to Buddhists, but to people of all religions.

What does the Dalai Lama mean to you?

No comments: