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The Heart of the Dalai Lama

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The Heart of the Dalai Lama

Post by Freya on Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:44 am

The Heart of the Dalai Lama

“When I was your age,” the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is telling a group of six hundred or so young female students at Chikushi Jagakoen school in Fukuoka, Japan, “I was a quite lazy student. I didn’t have much enthusiasm for studying.” Though sitting politely, their hands in their laps, the girls almost visibly come to attention, drawing closer as he says this (they weren’t expecting such words from a celebrated visitor). “So my tutor always kept a whip,” he goes on, as naturally as if he were talking to his oldest friend. “I was studying with my elder brother, so the tutor kept two whips. One was yellow—a ‘Holy Whip!’ But I think if you use the ‘Holy Whip,’ the effect is the same as from the other one. ‘Holy Pain.’”

Even the girls, trained to be reserved and demure since birth, cannot contain their laughter—and delight, perhaps, and relief. Even this man regarded as an incarnation of a god by his followers is, at some level, just like them. Even he has been in need of discipline at times, and is in the lifelong business of finding an answer to suffering, or “Holy Pain,” as it might be. I scribble down his every word and notice how seamlessly he’s transmitting certain fundamental truths of Buddhism. Don’t be distracted by externals, or signs of ceremony—a yellow whip hurts just the same as any other whip. Don’t think of holiness as something separate from the realm of suffering—if anything, our most sacred duty comes in our response to the realm of suffering, which evolves throuh a change in perception. Don’t think of people as unequal—everyone has to go through the same lessons, and the Buddha himself, master democrat, gave us a sense of power and potential by always reminding us that he was no different from us...

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