Rewiring the System


Dalai Lama in Long Beach CA

Posted in Uncategorized by rewiringangel on September 30, 2009

Dalai Lama speaks in Long Beach on suffering

The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism speaks words of wisdom at Long Beach Arena over the weekend

By Antoinette Luzano

Dalai Lama Stanislav Zbynek / CTK / ABACAPRESS.COM

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, gestures prior during public appearance at the Congress Center in Prague, Czech Republic, on Nov. 30, 2008.

When the Dalai Lama spoke over the weekend in Long Beach, he was speaking not just to Buddhists, but to all people.

The 14th dalai lama, Tenzin Gyatso, came to the Long Beach Arena on Friday and Saturday to present his teachings. Organized by the Geden Shoeling Tibetan Manjushri Center in Westminster, the free, sold-out event was one stop on his visit throughout the world.

Though the teachings were not applicable exclusively to Buddhists, the Dalai Lama made note of religion.

“Religious teachings should be about compassion, forgiveness,” he said before he began his teachings in Tibetan.

His teachings on the Four Noble Truths, the foundation teachings of Buddhism translated to English, Vietnamese and Mandarin, were centered around suffering — the first truth being that life is essentially suffering; the second, that suffering is caused by selfish craving; the third, that people can end suffering; and the fourth, that its cessation is through the “right” actions.

He said  people often blame suffering on themselves despite possible external causes. He also said that, according to Buddha, “ignorance is the root of our suffering.” The Dalai Lama said “negative forms of action” contribute to suffering.

He said the point is to distinguish between positive — which would contribute to both a person and others’ well-being — and negative actions, adding that when people reflect on their everyday lives, “Although we aspire for happiness, we often believe in actions that are self-destructive.” He cited examples of those actions that he said people do not generally consider cause suffering, such as jealousy.

“We have a tendency to run deliberately toward causes of suffering,” his translator said for him.

He also emphasized meditation and acknowledgement of the emptiness of the self, which requires training in morality, mindfulness and awareness, in order to dispel ignorance. He gave examples of other religions, such as Hinduism and Christianity, that have some history of lessons in meditation and morality.

The Dalai Lama also gave the Amitabha Initiation and the healing practice Medicine Buddha Initiation. The Amitabha Initiation is a Buddhist blessing to live a long life and achieve the Amitabha Buddha’s pure land, which involved drinking water blessed by the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and is said to be the reincarnation of the bodhisattva, or one who does not reach nirvana to help others, named Avalokiteshvara.

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