The Coastal Post - September, 1996

Quintessential Compassion And Kindness Is The 14th Dalai Lama

BY TSU HRIM LAHA

If you never were allowed to return to your homeland, roots, birthplace, family, friends and heart dwelling, how bitter, angry, resentful and vengeful would you react and act, towards usurpers of same?

The average person might seek violent, demonstrative actions based upon righteous indignation. Ecocide, genocide, forced labor, repopulation aimed at annihilation of indigenous natives are additional impetus to take up armed rebellion, political demonstrations, suicide, and/or other radical means of reclaiming what is rightfully theirs and ousting the oppressors.

However, the 14th Dalai Lama has continuously advocated non-violence, the path trod by Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Oscar Ramirez and many, many other enlightened beings in this age of chaos, upheaval and violence.

Further, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan peoples, remains exiled in India with equanimity, good will toward the oppressive government of China and moreover, prays for the Chinese brothers and sisters, who also suffer imprisonment, torture, unspeakable torments and are separate from the government officials in their horrific acts of violence.

The Dharma, Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, art, music, prayers, dance, incredible medicinal tomes of knowledge, and ethnic cultural mores, would not have been disseminated throughout the world had not the diaspora taken place.

If the Tibetan refugees can follow a non-violent, non-retributive or revenge-oriented existence, how can we in the West not do likewise with the same calm fortitude and loving kindness? Compassion is all-encompassing if sincerity accompanies the thoughts, words, deeds and actions in everyday life.

Loving kindness, coupled with a pure selfless motivation, is to pray for relief from suffering and its causes, and wish happiness and its causes for every sentient being, those we love, hate and are apathetic toward.

This is not to say that one should become complacent, by neglecting to be always mindful, in gentle speech, generous acts, kind thoughts, words, deeds and actions. We must try to live right-minded lives, as an example of true, active, diligent spirituality.

Since the ancient texts, sacred Sadhanas, emphasize daily attention to all the aforementioned priorities of living in this world, changing it by patience, it seems practical and unavoidable. Their mere survival, through the ages of destruction, suppression and propaganda against following/living a spiritual life, is indicative of their merit and beneficence.

H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama recently met with the Chinese community, gave Teachings and Empowerments and special, tender, loving kindness and compassion to those wonderful people, for the first time in Pasadena, California, July 26-August 2. He then attended a fund-raising event to benefit the Tibetan torture victims, refugees and children in the Tibetan government in exile in India. The brave, pure, sincere folks of high-powers Hollywood gave from their hearts.

Generosity is Dharma in action, risking ridicule, intolerance and displacement from their own community, they spoke of their open minds and hearts and the practical projects of films about the Tibetan peoples' plight and the biography of the Dalai Lama.

Steven Segal, Richard Gere always in the forefront, Melissa Mathison, Harrison Ford, Dwanyth Paltrow, Brad Pitt and many, many others contributed time, money and energy. A mix of Tibetan, professionals, ordinary and extraordinary peoples came together in unity for a message crucial, a good cause. Martin Scorcese has had a film project in the making, too, and brings his own perspective and spiritual awareness to many films.

Never enough is my response, never again genocide, destruction of Tibetan peoples and their unique culture. The older one becomes the more there is to be learned and the less rigid we become, unfolding our hearts to the clear love and light of constant loving kindness and compassion.