by Robert Wilkinson
Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the most remarkable men in the world, the venerable Dalai Lama. Welcome to one form of proof that reincarnation really happens.
This year rather than reinvent the wheel, I've taken things I posted on past birthdays.
As I wrote several birthdays back, I believe we can celebrate this 623rd birthday, since he does "remember" all the way back to his incarnation as the first Dalai Lama, born 1391. It's a miraculous thing when a person can with unimpeachable authority KNOW not just who they were in a prior life (with no prompting) but can also identify their previous life possessions, such as glasses, bowls, and malas (prayer beads).
His Holiness is truly one of the most benign and enlightened consciousnesses to ever walk this Earth. I have had the extraordinary privilege of being able to attend numerous talks and extended instruction with Him in many venues, and I am always in awe of his gentle sense of humor, his generosity of Spirit, and his profound wisdom. He is truly a kind and playful gentle man and all around good guy. If anyone ever deserved a Nobel Peace Prize, it's this Arhat consciously living His Eternal Consciousness.
For those who don't know the history of this remarkable man, here's a brief sketch. His current incarnation began July 6, 1935. This Spiritual man for the Ages was enthroned on February 22, 1940 in Lhasa, and he was forced to deal with Communist Chinese brutality from a very young age.
By the late 1940s Chairman Mao Zedong made his move, and in 1959 His Holiness was forced into exile in India along with many thousands of monks. Since then Tibet and practitioners of the Middle Way have been brutalized by Bejing governments without mercy.
For a brief overview of the previous 13 Dalai Lamas, please go to this link courtesy of NPR. And this article, courtesy of the Dalai Lama's website, gives a bio of His Holiness as well as a whole lot more.
Here's Charlie Rose interviewing His Holiness:
From New Delhi in March 2012, His Holiness offering his take on the core of Buddhist thought.
The Four Noble Truths – Day 1 (3+ hours)
The Four Noble Truths – Day 2 (3+ hours)
From September 2010 in Dharamsala, an extraordinarily important set of teachings!
The Heart Sutra and 37 Practices of A Boddhisattva - Day 2 Afternoon (2 hours 11 min)
The Heart Sutra and 37 Practices of A Boddhisattva - Day 3 Morning (2 hours 30 min)
Here’s a fantastic find! From May 10, 2013, a full 1 hour 21 minute talk! The Dalai Lama at the University of Oregon
Here’s a one hour conversation from San Diego television with His Holiness! The Dalai Lama Discusses Neuroscience and the Emerging Mind
From February 2010 in Florida, 25 minutes of The Dalai Lama Speaks On Dealing with enemies and adversities
Here’s two hours at UC Santa Barbara of The Dalai Lama Speaks on the Nature of the Mind
Here’s 50 minutes of instruction about Gnosis and Meditation Techniques
From Bangalore in 2011, HHDL giving us two hours on Finding Happiness in Troubled Times
From April 2013 at the University of Lausanne, over two hours of The Dalai Lama Speaks with Scientists on the Nature of Aging and DyingFrom Cambridge in 2013, 1 hour 45 minutes of The Dalai Lama on Educating the Heart From 30 May- 2 June 2014 in Mumbai, between 2 and 3 hours in each session!
Unfortunately, Day 3 Afternoon and Day 4 Morning are nowhere to be found)
By all means check out the movie "Kundun," an excellent piece of work showing just some of his tests of compassion this lifetime, and the documentary "10 Questions for the Dalai Lama," is another major piece of work.
According to the review of "10 Questions" in the Boston Herald, the film maker was "granted a one hour meeting in which he could ask 10 questions."
The filmmaker picks his selections carefully; we learn about the Dalai Lama’s views on his religion, China’s occupation and how to resolve the conflict in the Middle East (“more festivals and picnics!,” he says with a coy smile). He speaks candidly and yet at times can’t stop giggling.
The Dalai Lama’s blend of humor and intellect make him irresistible. The movie - much of it shot with one camera - doesn’t have too many tricks up its sleeve. But you’ll find yourself drawn in, all the same.
(“10 Questions for the Dalai Lama” contains no objectionable material.)
"No objectionable material" indeed! "More festivals and picnics" for the Middle East? Now that's an enlightened view!
Happy Birthday, Your Holiness. May you have enough birthdays to see an end to suffering, may you outlive the rule of China over Tibet, may you ultimately see the Tibetan culture restored, and may you return to your beloved Tibet, "the land of snows." If there is one call the entire world should resonate to, it's FREE TIBET!
A few good quotes:
"War is legalized murder."
"If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them."
"It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come."
"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. "
"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."
"Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life."
"As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery… we have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness."
Aum Mani Padme Hum!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson