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Dalai Lama NY Times Op-Ed Today

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  • medit8ionsociety
    May 24, 2010 Many Faiths, One Truth By TENZIN GYATSO WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best — and that other faiths
    Message 1 of 5 , May 25, 2010
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      May 24, 2010
      Many Faiths, One Truth
      By TENZIN GYATSO
      WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own
      Buddhist religion must be the best — and that
      other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see
      how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes
      of religious intolerance can be today.

      Though intolerance may be as old as religion
      itself, we still see vigorous signs of its virulence.
      In Europe, there are intense debates about newcomers
      wearing veils or wanting to erect minarets and
      episodes of violence against Muslim immigrants.
      Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of
      those who hold to religious beliefs. In the Middle
      East, the flames of war are fanned by hatred of those
      who adhere to a different faith.

      Such tensions are likely to increase as the world
      becomes more interconnected and cultures, peoples
      and religions become ever more entwined. The
      pressure this creates tests more than our tolerance —
      it demands that we promote peaceful coexistence and
      understanding across boundaries.

      Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity
      as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe
      there is genuine potential for mutual understanding.
      While preserving faith toward one's own tradition,
      one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.

      An early eye-opener for me was my meeting with
      the Trappist monk Thomas Merton in India shortly
      before his untimely death in 1968. Merton told me
      he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity,
      yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism.
      The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist
      learning from the world's other great religions.

      A main point in my discussion with Merton was how
      central compassion was to the message of both
      Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the
      New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus'
      acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and
      fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated
      by the desire to relieve suffering.

      I'm a firm believer in the power of personal contact
      to bridge differences, so I've long been drawn to
      dialogues with people of other religious outlooks.
      The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed
      in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying
      thread among all the major faiths. And these days
      we need to highlight what unifies us.

      Take Judaism, for instance. I first visited a
      synagogue in Cochin, India, in 1965, and have met
      with many rabbis over the years. I remember vividly
      the rabbi in the Netherlands who told me about the
      Holocaust with such intensity that we were both in
      tears. And I've learned how the Talmud and the Bible
      repeat the theme of compassion, as in the passage in
      Leviticus that admonishes, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

      In my many encounters with Hindu scholars in India,
      I've come to see the centrality of selfless compassion
      in Hinduism too — as expressed, for instance, in the
      Bhagavad Gita, which praises those who "delight in
      the welfare of all beings." I'm moved by the ways this
      value has been expressed in the life of great beings
      like Mahatma Gandhi, or the lesser-known Baba Amte,
      who founded a leper colony not far from a Tibetan
      settlement in Maharashtra State in India. There he
      fed and sheltered lepers who were otherwise shunned.
      When I received my Nobel Peace Prize, I made a donation
      to his colony.

      Compassion is equally important in Islam — and
      recognizing that has become crucial in the years
      since Sept. 11, especially in answering those who
      paint Islam as a militant faith. On the first
      anniversary of 9/11, I spoke at the National Cathedral
      in Washington, pleading that we not blindly follow
      the lead of some in the news media and let the violent
      acts of a few individuals define an entire religion.

      Let me tell you about the Islam I know. Tibet has
      had an Islamic community for around 400 years,
      although my richest contacts with Islam have been
      in India, which has the world's second-largest Muslim
      population. An imam in Ladakh once told me that a
      true Muslim should love and respect all of Allah's
      creatures. And in my understanding, Islam enshrines
      compassion as a core spiritual principle, reflected
      in the very name of God, the "Compassionate and
      Merciful," that appears at the beginning of virtually
      each chapter of the Koran.

      Finding common ground among faiths can help us
      bridge needless divides at a time when unified action
      is more crucial than ever. As a species, we must
      embrace the oneness of humanity as we face global
      issues like pandemics, economic crises and ecological
      disaster. At that scale, our response must be as one.

      Harmony among the major faiths has become an essential
      ingredient of peaceful coexistence in our world.
      From this perspective, mutual understanding among
      these traditions is not merely the business of
      religious believers — it matters for the welfare
      of humanity as a whole.


      Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the author,
      most recently, of "Toward a True Kinship of Faiths:
      How the World's Religions Can Come Together."
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      As this article is not being used for commercial purposes
      of any kind, its use falls under the Fair Use statutes.
    • dan330033
      With all these religions valuing and promoting compassion and caring, it s surprising all the killing, manipulation, war, deception, greed, stealing, and power
      Message 2 of 5 , May 25, 2010
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        With all these religions valuing and promoting compassion and caring, it's surprising all the killing, manipulation, war, deception, greed, stealing, and power games one sees in the world.

        Or is it?

        Somehow, religion gets co-opted into the fray time and time again - used to support nationalism, mistrust, notions of superiority, and entitlement to take control of resources belonging to others.

        This has been true of every major religion.

        Perhaps it is the nature of the human being to invent institutions that will preach compassion, and then use that same institution, when needed, to promote the opposite.

        Perhaps this is how the human being operates, depending on situations and context - able to be warm and caring in one situation, ruthless and cold in another. And in each case, able to pull out the teachers and teachings to support the actions taken (against or for the other).

        Until there is no other, and no separated self.

        Until there truly is peace.

        And compassion not used to emulate an ideal, or to follow a teaching - but compassion that flows naturally from being aware that the other isn't an other - is not at a distance from the self that views the other.

        When and as there is no division between self and other, compassion won't have to be preached, nor used as an ideal attempted to be instilled.

        - Dan -

        (nothing new below)

        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > May 24, 2010
        > Many Faiths, One Truth
        > By TENZIN GYATSO
        > WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own
        > Buddhist religion must be the best — and that
        > other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see
        > how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes
        > of religious intolerance can be today.
        >
        > Though intolerance may be as old as religion
        > itself, we still see vigorous signs of its virulence.
        > In Europe, there are intense debates about newcomers
        > wearing veils or wanting to erect minarets and
        > episodes of violence against Muslim immigrants.
        > Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of
        > those who hold to religious beliefs. In the Middle
        > East, the flames of war are fanned by hatred of those
        > who adhere to a different faith.
        >
        > Such tensions are likely to increase as the world
        > becomes more interconnected and cultures, peoples
        > and religions become ever more entwined. The
        > pressure this creates tests more than our tolerance —
        > it demands that we promote peaceful coexistence and
        > understanding across boundaries.
        >
        > Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity
        > as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe
        > there is genuine potential for mutual understanding.
        > While preserving faith toward one's own tradition,
        > one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.
        >
        > An early eye-opener for me was my meeting with
        > the Trappist monk Thomas Merton in India shortly
        > before his untimely death in 1968. Merton told me
        > he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity,
        > yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism.
        > The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist
        > learning from the world's other great religions.
        >
        > A main point in my discussion with Merton was how
        > central compassion was to the message of both
        > Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the
        > New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus'
        > acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and
        > fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated
        > by the desire to relieve suffering.
        >
        > I'm a firm believer in the power of personal contact
        > to bridge differences, so I've long been drawn to
        > dialogues with people of other religious outlooks.
        > The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed
        > in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying
        > thread among all the major faiths. And these days
        > we need to highlight what unifies us.
        >
        > Take Judaism, for instance. I first visited a
        > synagogue in Cochin, India, in 1965, and have met
        > with many rabbis over the years. I remember vividly
        > the rabbi in the Netherlands who told me about the
        > Holocaust with such intensity that we were both in
        > tears. And I've learned how the Talmud and the Bible
        > repeat the theme of compassion, as in the passage in
        > Leviticus that admonishes, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
        >
        > In my many encounters with Hindu scholars in India,
        > I've come to see the centrality of selfless compassion
        > in Hinduism too — as expressed, for instance, in the
        > Bhagavad Gita, which praises those who "delight in
        > the welfare of all beings." I'm moved by the ways this
        > value has been expressed in the life of great beings
        > like Mahatma Gandhi, or the lesser-known Baba Amte,
        > who founded a leper colony not far from a Tibetan
        > settlement in Maharashtra State in India. There he
        > fed and sheltered lepers who were otherwise shunned.
        > When I received my Nobel Peace Prize, I made a donation
        > to his colony.
        >
        > Compassion is equally important in Islam — and
        > recognizing that has become crucial in the years
        > since Sept. 11, especially in answering those who
        > paint Islam as a militant faith. On the first
        > anniversary of 9/11, I spoke at the National Cathedral
        > in Washington, pleading that we not blindly follow
        > the lead of some in the news media and let the violent
        > acts of a few individuals define an entire religion.
        >
        > Let me tell you about the Islam I know. Tibet has
        > had an Islamic community for around 400 years,
        > although my richest contacts with Islam have been
        > in India, which has the world's second-largest Muslim
        > population. An imam in Ladakh once told me that a
        > true Muslim should love and respect all of Allah's
        > creatures. And in my understanding, Islam enshrines
        > compassion as a core spiritual principle, reflected
        > in the very name of God, the "Compassionate and
        > Merciful," that appears at the beginning of virtually
        > each chapter of the Koran.
        >
        > Finding common ground among faiths can help us
        > bridge needless divides at a time when unified action
        > is more crucial than ever. As a species, we must
        > embrace the oneness of humanity as we face global
        > issues like pandemics, economic crises and ecological
        > disaster. At that scale, our response must be as one.
        >
        > Harmony among the major faiths has become an essential
        > ingredient of peaceful coexistence in our world.
        > From this perspective, mutual understanding among
        > these traditions is not merely the business of
        > religious believers — it matters for the welfare
        > of humanity as a whole.
        >
        >
        > Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the author,
        > most recently, of "Toward a True Kinship of Faiths:
        > How the World's Religions Can Come Together."
        > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
        > As this article is not being used for commercial purposes
        > of any kind, its use falls under the Fair Use statutes.
        >
      • sean tremblay
        Dan great words from the Dali Lama  but man that topic can get me going for DAYS! One of my first impressions of the Afghans was, they are a soft spoken
        Message 3 of 5 , May 25, 2010
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          Dan great words from the Dali Lama
           but man that topic can get me going for DAYS!
          One of my first impressions of the Afghans was, they are a soft spoken people, never say an unkind word, they are hospitable,and generous, they love to laugh.  They are also very affectionate, faithful and religious. They also smoke tons of Dope!
          It's a wonder there is any violence there at all!
          On the flip side a cross word can end in a knife fight! a knife fight can end in an inter tribal feud that can go on for generations, it was my experience that it was from tribal feuds that the divisions between government and Taliban were drawn with each side aligning with a group that they thought best gave them the advantage in the fight.  But like the internal struggle of inner violence many of us face, they too can end there fighting by simply not fighting, just letting go!

          --- On Tue, 5/25/10, dan330033 <dan330033@...> wrote:

          From: dan330033 <dan330033@...>
          Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Dalai Lama NY Times Op-Ed Today
          To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 7:13 PM

           

          With all these religions valuing and promoting compassion and caring, it's surprising all the killing, manipulation, war, deception, greed, stealing, and power games one sees in the world.

          Or is it?

          Somehow, religion gets co-opted into the fray time and time again - used to support nationalism, mistrust, notions of superiority, and entitlement to take control of resources belonging to others.

          This has been true of every major religion.

          Perhaps it is the nature of the human being to invent institutions that will preach compassion, and then use that same institution, when needed, to promote the opposite.

          Perhaps this is how the human being operates, depending on situations and context - able to be warm and caring in one situation, ruthless and cold in another. And in each case, able to pull out the teachers and teachings to support the actions taken (against or for the other).

          Until there is no other, and no separated self.

          Until there truly is peace.

          And compassion not used to emulate an ideal, or to follow a teaching - but compassion that flows naturally from being aware that the other isn't an other - is not at a distance from the self that views the other.

          When and as there is no division between self and other, compassion won't have to be preached, nor used as an ideal attempted to be instilled.

          - Dan -

          (nothing new below)

          --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > May 24, 2010
          > Many Faiths, One Truth
          > By TENZIN GYATSO
          > WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own
          > Buddhist religion must be the best — and that
          > other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see
          > how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes
          > of religious intolerance can be today.
          >
          > Though intolerance may be as old as religion
          > itself, we still see vigorous signs of its virulence.
          > In Europe, there are intense debates about newcomers
          > wearing veils or wanting to erect minarets and
          > episodes of violence against Muslim immigrants.
          > Radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of
          > those who hold to religious beliefs. In the Middle
          > East, the flames of war are fanned by hatred of those
          > who adhere to a different faith.
          >
          > Such tensions are likely to increase as the world
          > becomes more interconnected and cultures, peoples
          > and religions become ever more entwined. The
          > pressure this creates tests more than our tolerance —
          > it demands that we promote peaceful coexistence and
          > understanding across boundaries.
          >
          > Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity
          > as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe
          > there is genuine potential for mutual understanding.
          > While preserving faith toward one's own tradition,
          > one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.
          >
          > An early eye-opener for me was my meeting with
          > the Trappist monk Thomas Merton in India shortly
          > before his untimely death in 1968. Merton told me
          > he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity,
          > yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism.
          > The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist
          > learning from the world's other great religions.
          >
          > A main point in my discussion with Merton was how
          > central compassion was to the message of both
          > Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the
          > New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus'
          > acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and
          > fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated
          > by the desire to relieve suffering.
          >
          > I'm a firm believer in the power of personal contact
          > to bridge differences, so I've long been drawn to
          > dialogues with people of other religious outlooks.
          > The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed
          > in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying
          > thread among all the major faiths. And these days
          > we need to highlight what unifies us.
          >
          > Take Judaism, for instance. I first visited a
          > synagogue in Cochin, India, in 1965, and have met
          > with many rabbis over the years. I remember vividly
          > the rabbi in the Netherlands who told me about the
          > Holocaust with such intensity that we were both in
          > tears. And I've learned how the Talmud and the Bible
          > repeat the theme of compassion, as in the passage in
          > Leviticus that admonishes, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
          >
          > In my many encounters with Hindu scholars in India,
          > I've come to see the centrality of selfless compassion
          > in Hinduism too — as expressed, for instance, in the
          > Bhagavad Gita, which praises those who "delight in
          > the welfare of all beings." I'm moved by the ways this
          > value has been expressed in the life of great beings
          > like Mahatma Gandhi, or the lesser-known Baba Amte,
          > who founded a leper colony not far from a Tibetan
          > settlement in Maharashtra State in India. There he
          > fed and sheltered lepers who were otherwise shunned.
          > When I received my Nobel Peace Prize, I made a donation
          > to his colony.
          >
          > Compassion is equally important in Islam — and
          > recognizing that has become crucial in the years
          > since Sept. 11, especially in answering those who
          > paint Islam as a militant faith. On the first
          > anniversary of 9/11, I spoke at the National Cathedral
          > in Washington, pleading that we not blindly follow
          > the lead of some in the news media and let the violent
          > acts of a few individuals define an entire religion.
          >
          > Let me tell you about the Islam I know. Tibet has
          > had an Islamic community for around 400 years,
          > although my richest contacts with Islam have been
          > in India, which has the world's second-largest Muslim
          > population. An imam in Ladakh once told me that a
          > true Muslim should love and respect all of Allah's
          > creatures. And in my understanding, Islam enshrines
          > compassion as a core spiritual principle, reflected
          > in the very name of God, the "Compassionate and
          > Merciful," that appears at the beginning of virtually
          > each chapter of the Koran.
          >
          > Finding common ground among faiths can help us
          > bridge needless divides at a time when unified action
          > is more crucial than ever. As a species, we must
          > embrace the oneness of humanity as we face global
          > issues like pandemics, economic crises and ecological
          > disaster. At that scale, our response must be as one.
          >
          > Harmony among the major faiths has become an essential
          > ingredient of peaceful coexistence in our world.
          > From this perspective, mutual understanding among
          > these traditions is not merely the business of
          > religious believers — it matters for the welfare
          > of humanity as a whole.
          >
          >
          > Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, is the author,
          > most recently, of "Toward a True Kinship of Faiths:
          > How the World's Religions Can Come Together."
          > ----------------------------------------------------------
          > As this article is not being used for commercial purposes
          > of any kind, its use falls under the Fair Use statutes.
          >


        • dan330033
          ... Hi Sean - Yes, good points. Thanks for your sharing about the Afghans. The inner struggle isn t separate from the outer struggle, because there is no
          Message 4 of 5 , May 26, 2010
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            --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, sean tremblay <bethjams9@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dan great words from the Dali Lama
            >  but man that topic can get me going for DAYS!
            > One of my first impressions of the Afghans was, they are a soft spoken people, never say an unkind word, they are hospitable,and generous, they love to laugh.  They are also very affectionate, faithful and religious. They also smoke tons of Dope!
            > It's a wonder there is any violence there at all!
            > On the flip side a cross word can end in a knife fight! a knife fight can end in an inter tribal feud that can go on for generations, it was my experience that it was from tribal feuds that the divisions between government and Taliban were drawn with each side aligning with a group that they thought best gave them the advantage in the fight.  But like the internal struggle of inner violence many of us face, they too can end there fighting by simply not fighting, just letting go!

            Hi Sean -

            Yes, good points. Thanks for your sharing about the Afghans.

            The inner struggle isn't separate from the outer struggle, because there is no inner separated from an outer.

            It is the struggle of the identified vs. the identified, on the battlefield that has been identified.

            Until none is identified.

            Such that inner and outer aren't divided.

            Such that there is nothing out there to identify as, and nothing in here to do any identifying.

            - Dan -
          • sean tremblay
            Right on ... From: dan330033 Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Dalai Lama NY Times Op-Ed Today To:
            Message 5 of 5 , May 26, 2010
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              Right on

              --- On Wed, 5/26/10, dan330033 <dan330033@...> wrote:

              From: dan330033 <dan330033@...>
              Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Dalai Lama NY Times Op-Ed Today
              To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 3:47 PM

               



              --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, sean tremblay <bethjams9@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dan great words from the Dali Lama
              >  but man that topic can get me going for DAYS!
              > One of my first impressions of the Afghans was, they are a soft spoken people, never say an unkind word, they are hospitable,and generous, they love to laugh.  They are also very affectionate, faithful and religious. They also smoke tons of Dope!
              > It's a wonder there is any violence there at all!
              > On the flip side a cross word can end in a knife fight! a knife fight can end in an inter tribal feud that can go on for generations, it was my experience that it was from tribal feuds that the divisions between government and Taliban were drawn with each side aligning with a group that they thought best gave them the advantage in the fight.  But like the internal struggle of inner violence many of us face, they too can end there fighting by simply not fighting, just letting go!

              Hi Sean -

              Yes, good points. Thanks for your sharing about the Afghans.

              The inner struggle isn't separate from the outer struggle, because there is no inner separated from an outer.

              It is the struggle of the identified vs. the identified, on the battlefield that has been identified.

              Until none is identified.

              Such that inner and outer aren't divided.

              Such that there is nothing out there to identify as, and nothing in here to do any identifying.

              - Dan -


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