Sunday, April 02, 2006

the Dalai Lama

A article about the Dalai Lama offers up some interesting quotes from the world's most famous bald guy (aside from Telly Savalas*):

On Bush:

"He is very straightforward," said the monk.

"On our first visit, I was faced with a large plate of biscuits. President Bush immediately offered me his favourites, and after that, we got on fine. On my next visit, he didn't mind when I was blunt about the war.

"By my third visit, I was ushering him into the Oval Office. I was astonished by his grasp of Buddhism."

On Bin Laden and the terrorist/fundamentalist mindset:

"Fundamentalism is terrifying because it is based purely on emotion, rather than intelligence," the 70-year-old monk said at the seat of his government-in-exile in the northern Indian hilltop town of Dharamsala.

"It prevents followers from thinking as individuals and about the good of the world.

"This new terrorism has been brewing for many years. Much of it is caused by jealousy and frustration at the West because it looks so highly developed and successful on television. Leaders in the East use religion to counter that, to bind these countries together."

Terrorists, he warned, must be treated humanely.

"Otherwise, the problem will escalate. If there is one Bin Laden killed today, soon there will be 10 Bin Ladens. Awesome. Ten Bin Ladens killed, the hatred is spread; 100 bombed, and 1,000 lose members of their families."

I like how he said "Awesome." Very Keanu.

The article mentions that the Dalai Lama also spoke out against homosexuality (his metaphysical treatise, The Way to Freedom, gives you a glimpse of why: His Holiness' vision of the bardo makes homosexuality something of a difficult proposition), but provides no quotes. Enterprising guy that I am, I did some research, and found a 1998 article by Steve Peskind for Shambhala Sun titled "According to Buddhist Tradition." Give it a read.

I've mentioned it on this blog before but feel it worth mentioning again: Master Shin Go Seong of Hanguk-sa in Germantown, Maryland feels the Dalai Lama "should have stayed in Tibet." I think he should have, too. I have mixed feelings about his relationship with the media, with politicians, with commercialism, and with Hollywood elites** like Richard Gere. The Dalai Lama might be a nice guy, but an immutable cosmic truth is that big religion means big business.

*If you remember nothing else from this blog post, remember this: you absolutely MUST not-- ever-- click this link.

**Don't laugh, asshole. Richard Gere is more powerful than GOD.


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