When I saw the Dalai Lama in Vancouver BC, I was impressed by his happy personality and total lack of ego. He liked to smile and tell jokes and was very personable towards the audience. Before a short meditation session he held with the audience, he told us not to fall asleep. He said we would look like we were meditating until our heads fell to one side, at which point he dropped his head and started laughing! He just didn’t seem to take himself very seriously, which I thought was fantastic.
During the entire day spent with him, the audience was completely silent. His presence was amazing and no one in the audience of more than 5000 people were whispering or talking to one another. There was total respect towards the Dalai Lama.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He is also the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on July 6, 1935, and was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are believed to be enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.
The Dalai Lama talked about how it was his wish for peace among the different religions of the world. He also said that we should be less self-centered in our lives and help others in our society. In addition, he mentioned his three lifetime commitments. His first is to make known the means for individuals to be happier in a more peaceful society. The second of his commitments, as a Buddhist, is to encourage inter-religious harmony, and his third commitment as a Tibetan is to preserve Tibetan culture.
The Nobel Peace Prize of 1989 was awarded to the 14th Dalai Lama. The committee awarded the prize to the Dali Lama because in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet from China, he has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based on tolerance and mutual respect.
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