H.H. Dalai Lama: Inter-faith Event at University of Louvain
Settembre 13th, 2016 by admin

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to members of the Young Presidents’ Association in Brussels, Belgium on September 12, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam

Inter-faith Event at University of Louvain
Paris, France, 12 September 2106 – On his last morning in Brussels, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with members of the Young Presidents’ Organisation, a global network of young chief executives. They said they accepted that science has shown basic human nature to be compassionate, but wanted to know how to apply this finding in their businesses. His Holiness replied: “The quality of every human activity ultimately depends on your motivation. If you are motivated by hatred, fear or jealousy, whatever you do is unlikely to turn out well. On the other hand an outburst of destructive emotions like anger tends to be a spontaneous response to some other event. As human beings our intelligence allows us to train in unbiased compassion. When we are motivated this way, the result is more enduring, whereas the result of anger is relatively short-lived. Whatever you do motivated by genuine, unbiased compassion will never give you cause for regret. This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with religion because it is rooted in common sense and our common experience.”

His Holiness told his young listeners about a Tibetan monk he had known well in Tibet, who remained behind there in 1959, was arrested and harshly imprisoned for 18 years. When he was released in the 1980s, he made his way to India where His Holiness met him and asked him what had happened. He said he had frequently faced danger. When His Holiness asked what he meant, he said he’d been in danger of losing his sense of compassion for his Chinese gaolers. His Holiness recalled how moved he’d been to realise that the loss of compassion was what the monk thought of as danger.
“This,” he said, “is evidence of real spiritual practice. Such compassion is a source of strength. It brings self-confidence and a transparent sincerity. If you deal with your employees or customers with such compassion, you’ll succeed.”
His Holiness went on to point out that according to circumstances, there may be occasions when, with a compassionate motivation, you need to take firm action or use harsh words. He said that is consistent with having a clear motivation and keeping in mind your greater goal.

A member of the Young Presidents’ Association asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama during their meeting in Brussels, Belgium on September 12, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam

Asked about the use of technology, His Holiness repeated that whether it is constructive or not depends both on your motivation and the way it is used. He spoke of his dream to green the deserts of the Sahara and central Australia using solar power to drive desalination plants to generate water to make the land arable and grow food.
To a question about dealing with difficulties, His Holiness answered that life is difficult and to imagine we will face no problems would be unrealistic. He said:
“When I was very young I was reluctant to study, but I became genuinely interested in my early teens. Then, at the age of 16, I lost my freedom as a result of the Chinese invasion. At 24 I lost my country. Over the last 57 years as a refugee there have been all kinds of problems. A Chinese friend’s research showed that between 1956 and 1962 300,000 Tibetans were killed. In the face of such sadness, the advice of the 8th century Indian master Shantideva has been helpful. He recommended assessing a problem carefully. If it can be solved, there is no need to worry, just do what needs to be done. If it can’t be solved, worrying about it won’t help.”
At the University of Louvain, to the south-east of Brussels, His Holiness joined a panel including: Mgr Jozeph De Kesel, Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels; Albert Guigui, Chief Rabbi of Belgium; Salah Echallaoui, President of the Muslim Executive of Belgium and Steven Fuite, President of the United Protestant Church of Belgium to engage in an interfaith dialogue before an audience of 1000 students. The conversation took place in French, with His Holiness’s remarks being translated by Ven Matthieu Ricard.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting the audience as he arrives to join in an inter-faith dialogue at the University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium on September 12, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam

“Respected spiritual brothers – and no sister? – younger brothers and sisters, I became a refugee in 1959 and made my first visit to Europe in 1973. After the long flight from India, we landed in Rome where I was surprised to find that although there were differences in the landscape, the people were equally human beings. Since then, we have become even more interdependent and we all now face the threat of climate change. From space our world is just a small blue planet where no national boundaries can be seen. This is why I am committed to promoting the idea of the oneness of humanity, the idea that we all belong to one human family. I am very happy to be here among you, leaders of several religious traditions.”
He suggested that here in the 21st century we face a pressing need to behave as more mature human beings. Although scientists have found evidence that basic human nature is compassionate, the existing education system, oriented towards material goals, does little to develop it. All major religious traditions, on the other hand, have a common message of love and compassion, he said. Although people are nervous about Islam, His Holiness declared he has many good Muslim friends compassionately concerned for the welfare of others. He said they tell him that anyone who causes bloodshed is no longer a proper Muslim. He clarified that as far as he is concerned we should not speak of ‘Muslim terrorists’ or ‘Buddhist terrorists’ because those who engage in terrorist violence are no longer concerned with religious practice.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking during an inter-faith dialogue at the University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium on September 12, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam

His Holiness outlined three aspects of religion: the religious aspect that involves the common practice of love and compassion. Then there are the various philosophical views that may be quite different, but still serve as support to the practice of love. Thirdly, is the cultural aspect which includes customs and observances that have grown up at different times and in different places. Some of these, like the Indian caste system are no longer consistent with democracy and freedom and so need to change. He said he has called on his friends among Indian spiritual leaders to speak out about the need to bring such change about.
Asked about the place for women in religion, His Holiness said that despite some differences of physique, men and women are equally human beings. Scientists have found that women are more sensitive to others’ needs. This leads him to wonder if more of the leaders of our almost 200 nations were women there might be less war in the world.

Mayor of Paris’s 2nd Arrondissement Jacques Boutault welcomes His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his arrival in Paris, France on September 12, 2016. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL

Finally, he said he wanted to mention that while in the past, when countries and communities had less interaction, it was acceptable to think in terms of there being only one truth and one religion. Today, when we our communities have become multi-cultural and multi-religious, on the level of the individual it remains appropriate to think of one truth and one religion, but in terms of the societies and world in which we live it is more appropriate to think in terms of several truths and many religions.
After enjoying lunch with the panel and members of the University, His Holiness left for Brussels airport and flew to Paris. Tibetans were gathered on the street outside the hotel to greet him and he was welcomed by Jacques Boutault, French member of the Europe Ecology Greens (EELV) and Mayor of Paris’s 2nd Arrondissement and his old friend, and activist against the death penalty, Robert Badinter.

Comments are closed

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa