using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : May 2010
SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2010 52 of suffering—if anything, our most sacred duty comes in our re- sponse to the realm of suffering, which evolves through 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 re- minding us that he was no different from us. and yet, as ever, the Dalai Lama conveys all this without us- ing the word “don’t” at all. “But,” he tells the young students, “I believe some years I lost” through not paying attention. “Please pay attention to your studies.” It’s a tonic and liberating idea: ex- citement is in the eye of the beholder, a reflection of the choices that we make. he’s already told the girls, at the beginning of his lecture, that he’s “nothing special,” no different from any one of them, in his human challenges (or his human potential). so if they are impressed by the sense of presence, alertness, and kind- ness they see before them, embodied in one being, they’re es- sentially impressed by an image of what they can be, too, if they so choose. Indeed, by learning from his mistakes, they can go beyond him in certain respects, and pay attention to the pos- sibilities around them from a younger age. at some point, he assures them, he realized that his studies were in fact the most exciting adventure around; it wasn’t necessarily that the difficult Buddhist texts changed, but that his way of seeing them did. he doesn’t tell them, I have noticed, that whenever he has a spare moment on the road he turns to a copy of some Buddhist teaching, his greatest joy whenever he isn’t inspecting the world around him (to get a deeper, more detailed and empirical sense of what reality looks like). In yokohama he’ll ask an engineer, backstage, before a large lecture, how the soundboard works. When we have lunch with an ambassador from Bahrain, he’ll try to learn more about the history of Islam and arabic cul- ture. When old friends come to meet him in his hotel room, he asks them how things are going in Japan, and listens to their answers closely, like a doctor hearing a list of symptoms. one reason he’s in this little girls’ school in Fukuoka this morning is that so many Japanese mothers, on recent trips, have told him of their urgent concern about alienation among the young in their country, children who shut themselves in their rooms and never have contact with the world, teenage suicides. The other reason he’s here is no less practical: these students, some barely out of kindergarten, are the ones who will make the world we live in thirty years from now, the real power brokers in the larger view of things. on his previous trip to Japan, one year before, the Dalai Lama had spent his one day in Tokyo not visiting politicians or cultivating the media or talking to movers and shak- ers; he’d spent the entire day visiting two boys’ high schools associ- ated with temples, offering them lectures like this one and sitting in meditation with the boys in a school zendo. Children are not only more open to transformation and more in need of positive direction than their elders are; they’re also potential more or less incarnate. Two months after this meeting, I’ll meet one of Britain’s leading young writers, who has worked hard for Tibet, turning a rigorous, scrupulous eye on the events of the day, and becoming one of the leading modern historians of India. “The Dalai Lama came to my school when I was very young,” he told me. “I was just in my teens. and it was a school run by Benedictine monks. But somehow it made an incredible im- pression on me.” as soon as he finished his studies, he went to Dharamsala to study in the Library of Tibetan Works and ar- chives. Later he would spend two months on a punishing trip across Tibet, recording what’s really happening there. IT’s so easy noT to listen to the Dalai Lama, I’ve found over the decades I’ve been traveling with him. It’s almost impossible not to be inspired by him, to be warmed, to be clarified, to feel that you’ve come into a presence of rare goodness and uncanny, omni- directional compassion. I’ve been lucky enough to know him for thirty-five years now, since I was a teenager, and every november, when he comes to Japan, I travel by his side every day from around 7:30 every morning, when his working day begins, to around 5 p.m., when it concludes. I sit in on his closed-door meetings with parliamentarians, his audiences with old friends, his chats with ceremonial hosts, his discussions with leaders of all Japan’s reli- gious groups. It’s exhausting even watching him go through his day. he comes down to the hotel lobby for his first event, after four hours of meditation, and finds five Tibetans who have traveled across the island to see him. he stops to receive and bless the cer- emonial silk scarves they’ve brought to him, and as they sob with emotion and gratitude, he gives them heart and tells them not to give up sustaining their culture and their confidence in its survival. It’s almost impossible not to be inspired by him, to feel we’ve come into the presence of rare goodness. Yet he manages somehow to make us feel we’re meeting not just a great philosopher and global leader, but an old friend.