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Dalai Lama charms southern Sweden

Karen Holst · 20 Apr 2011, 07:30

Published: 20 Apr 2011 07:30 GMT+02:00

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The captivated 3,300 spectators at the Färs & Frosta Sparbank Arena in Lund followed the Dalai Lama’s lead in perfect unison – he laughed, they laughed; he spoke, they listened.

The mood was light and entertaining as the 75-year-old Buddhist monk, born Tenzin Gyatso, covered everything from raising children to the current political situation of Tibet and its exiled government.

Often addressing the audience during his 90-minute on-stage conversation with Swedish comedian Johan Wester, the Dalai Lama randomly alternated between quick nuggets of insight or lengthy explanations.

Wester opened the afternoon with a joke aimed at His Holiness’ choice of attire, commenting that even during his fourth visit to Lund the Dalai Lama still chose to don the same colours as Lund’s handball team.

And from that point a relationship fused and a conversation flowed.

“What is the best thing to teach children these days?” Wester asked the insightful monk.

“It is a troubled world and our real hope is in the hands of the future generations. Children must be raised with maximum compassion and affection. Even discipline must come from a place of compassion for the long-term well-being,” replied the Dalai Lama, who says the seed of his compassion came from his own mother, the illiterate wife of a farmer.

To further illustrate this, the endearing Buddhist leader told of his lack of interest in studying when he was 6- or 7-years-old.

The teacher therefore kept two whips close at hand, one regular whip to be used on the Dalai Lama’s only classmate and one yellow ‘holy’ whip in case the holy student needed help focusing on his studies.

He insisted this ‘toughness’ originated from a genuine concern for his overall education.

The Dalai Lama also emphasised the need for modern educational systems to provide children with moral teachings and principles, not from a position of religious beliefs but from a point of secular values.

“In previous times, the church took care of moral teachings, but with a growing number not interested in church, the schools must begin to include morals and ethics in education. This is a very serious matter,” he said.

His Holiness is often asked about happiness - how to achieve it and how to sustain it.

“We have so much to be happy for in Sweden. But why do we still have so much loneliness?” Wester asked.

The answer was quite simple – too little human contact with one another.

“If you take care of your neighbour, you feel a part of them and they feel a part of you. And this then begins to feel like community,” replied the Dalai Lama.

He said a self-centred attitude keeps people at a distance from one another and that breeds constant notions of loneliness, distrust, suspicion and fear, which the hailed Holiness believes destroys the self and one’s immune system.

“There is too much competition in business, in politics, in most things and this creates anxiety and stress. You must think more about your inner value, which is important to bring value into life, and then transfer that value to others. Then you will have peace of mind, healthy body and satisfaction.”

Further charming his audience, the endearing Dalai Lama disclosed his secret in removing barriers and connecting with people from all over the world.

“I think my smile has a little effect,” he leaned toward the audience, erupting in laughter at his joke.

“I always see people as my Human Brother or my Human Sister, no matter if they are a king, a president or ordinary. And if I offer a genuine smile and show an open heart, they also smile. What do you think? Does that make sense?”

His Holiness got personal and shared his daily routine, which begins with a 3.30am wake followed by meditation until breakfast at 5.30am.

The vegetarian’s day ends without dinner, “because a heavy meal before bed creates a dark mind in the morning and no meal means you rise with a clear mind.”

He usually turns in for the night by about 7pm.

He listens to BBC radio nearly every day, does not watch TV as he finds it “makes the mind dull,” prefers analytical meditation to “keep perspective” during his free time, shrugs off yoga, and maintains at least eight hours of nightly sleep to fully renew his energy.

On a serious note, the 14th Dalai Lama touched upon humanity, peace and religion, which were injected with personal anecdotes from his travels around the world, including, India, the United States, Italy, Portugal and Japan.

His nuggets of wisdom were continuously embraced by the audience with an approving applaud.

“Your best friend is your knowledge. It is always with you. And will always help you.”

Story continues below…

“If humanity struggles, we as individuals struggle. We must take care of each other to achieve maximum happiness and maximum satisfaction in life.”

“Prayer is not sufficient. Peace must come from action.”

“The major religions of the world teach the same things – love, compassion, forgiveness and tolerance. With more than 6 billion people in the world, we need these different approaches that reach different people. It is a new reality and we must accept different religious traditions.”

And naturally His Holiness offered further explanation toward his recent decision to relinquish half his role and, while remain Tibet’s religious leader, retire as the exiled nation’s political frontman.

“Religious and political institutions must be kept separate. I say that to others all the time and to not practice that would be hypocritical, no?” he laughed.

After 10 years in the making, he felt the time was right to step down from the political scene, a move that ended four centuries of tradition and created a fully democratic system.

“Our little secret?” he asked the audience and winked. “That night, I had an unusually deep sleep, very comfortable sleep. That means I did my duty.”

The Dalai Lama’s visit was sponsored by the Swedish humanitarian organization, Individuell Människohjälp, and raised about a half a million kronor ($80,000), which will be used to support the organization’s efforts for Tibetan refugees living in India.

Karen Holst (kholstmedia@gmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

22:19 April 20, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
I've always been an admirer of the Dalai Lama (current one is the 14th to hold the title) and he has often struck me personally as one of the founts of wisdom.

No wonder the Chinese want some sort of veto on who becomes the 15th Dalai Lama - they see such wisdom as a threat to their 'top down' kind of society.
00:24 April 21, 2011 by absolut
He is definitely right about caring for each other. The Swedes should take that to their heart...
08:04 April 21, 2011 by karex
14th Dalai Lama - alongside my late mother, the two people who inspire me the most. Delightful and wise people with a gentle soul. We need millions of them in this world.
18:26 April 21, 2011 by jostein
As a fellow ethnonationalist i wish Dalai Lama the best of luck.
02:46 April 22, 2011 by No Haram Done
"In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher." - The Dalai Lama

_Funny, once Buddhism stretched from E. Persia (Iran) to Afghanistan to China to the Celebes Is.

_Islam ERADICATED it everywhere except the Tibetan Plateau & the Chittagong Hills!

_Now, Buddhism's Dalai Lama has become an abject 'dhimmi' apologist for Islam, the death-cult that DESTROYED his Buddhism more THOROUGHLY than Communism ever could!

_Islam has a DECEPTIVE dualistic nature: quiet & peaceful when it's in an INFERIOR position in its HOST country, then VIOLENTLY MURDEROUS when it at last achieves NUMERICAL strength!

_The Dalai Lama denies this dualistic reality of Islam due to his ignorance of its actual doctrines (Koran, Hadith & Shari'a)!

_He doesn't know that according to Islam, HE is the worst kind of 'kafir', a polytheist, who is cursed & sent to Hell by Allah.

_No, instead he maintains an arrogant ignorance & says that ALL religions are "good"!

_That's a LIE as well as RIDICULOUS!

_Students of history & anthropology (like ME!) know that many ancient cultures sacrificed their OWN loved ones due to religious belief.

_ALL religions are NOT necessarily "good"!

_The Dalai Lama's greatest intellectual FAILING is that he confuses cause & effect!

_He acts & speaks as if Muslims create Islam, that THEY are the cause & Islam's the effect.

_Actually, it's Islam's doctrines (Koran, etc.) that CREATE & motivate the Muslims!

_These doctrines create those 'mischievous few' (HIS words!) who desire to KILL 'kafirs' in the way of Allah.

_His greatest moral FAILING is that he arrogantly remains IGNORANT & passes this ignorance on to the world, giving it the stamp of his spiritual "authority"!

_The cure for his ignorance is the understanding of dualism & submission.

_Islam means 'submission' and the Dalai Lama 'submits' ("sohl" is the Arabic word for "peace")!

_The Dalai Lama could remain silent, but he speaks out in favor of Islam at every possible public event.

_It's not clear to me why he so willingly takes on the role of the DECEIVER!

_Whatever his "reasons", he gives refuge to our enemies who are HIS enemies, too!

_I say: SHAME on the Dalai Lama!

_I hope the NEXT one somehow develops some HARBITUDE, dude!
12:02 April 22, 2011 by visitorfromnowhere
Did he tell them to forgive the bankers again? Or did somebody whisper in his ear that that probably wasn't the best way to win supporters in 2011?
03:15 April 23, 2011 by registeredb1b
12:56 April 24, 2011 by wenddiver
Photo of Dali Lahma demonstrating the problem with Crazy Glue at head of article.
05:32 April 25, 2011 by Luis17lp
Dailai Lama is men of God!
06:38 April 27, 2011 by wenddiver
@Luis171P- When did Jesus say that?
15:58 April 28, 2011 by jamesblish
He speaks in platitudes. Why on earth do people listen to this piece of human garbage? The fact that it's possible to be anything else but an agnostic in 2011, is simply mind boggling.
19:17 April 30, 2011 by rybo1
The Lama is just as laughable as the "Pope-a-Dope". They do nothing but grant us platitudes and do nothing to heal the misery of this world. The media concocts them to be great spiritual leaders when in essence a homeless man or woman has more spirituality than either of these two self serving twerps. Worship them and love them if you like, but at the same time grow up and get a life.
04:35 May 2, 2011 by TX4ever
The Dalai Lama? You've got to be kidding me. This man did not die for me nor rise for me--- First born of the dead. He just doesn't matter.
06:25 May 2, 2011 by wenddiver
Peddle it to Osama Bin Laden he could probably use a change of religion in hell tonight, the US Forces just popped a cap in Osama Bin Laden's A$$, he is as dead as an anchor. Looks like the Allied Forces won one!
14:26 May 9, 2011 by Roy E
Sweden really isn't into action. Nor is it into praying much. The contemporary society is mostly into striking self-righteous poses.

Perhaps the Dalai Lama need to start there in his sermon. .
17:22 May 13, 2011 by jomamas
The Dalai Lama is a good dude.

So is the Pope.

Loser atheists can walk around in the darkness and cynicism forever, or they can transcend their little pathetic ego's and witness the life that they are and surrounded by.

I'm sorry that neither Christian or Eastern traditions are doing a good enough job of explaining it, but the evidence is right there for you.

I'm amazed at how many 'rational' thinkers can even grasp basic metaphysical concepts. It's laughable to think that people think that this entire thing called life is a statistical coincidence.
19:27 May 13, 2011 by Unconditional1
Peace also is attainable by a complete lack of action. No humanly co-created free-will conflicts--peace is the result.
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