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Lions Roar : July 2017
above another. Rather, his is a commitment to a peace-filled world marked by deep respect for every religion. We live in a society torn apart by war, bigotry, and senseless living in the name of a holiness that no true person of faith could ever claim. Always fearless and determined, the Dalai Lama, year in and year out, bears witness to a God of love. He gives guidance to all who seek a faithful life, often without speaking a single word. The Dalai Lama strongly advocates an inclusive view of the world, and with courage calls on every religious leader to preach a faith that unites people and brings them to a greater empathy and concern for others. In these troubled times of mistrust of leaders and misuse of prestige, the Dalai Lama is a figure whose gracious presence shines brightly today and far into tomorrow. I pray that the life and witness of the Dalai Lama will be available for gener- ations yet to be born. On their behalf, we give thanks for this man of peace who dares to teach all God’s children, with none excluded. REV. DR. JOAN BROWN CAMPBELL is the president of the Global Compassion Council. The Beacon of Love Jack Kornfield By the tens of thousands, people all over the world flock to the Dalai Lama’s live teachings. Yes, they go to learn profound Buddhist teachings on mind, emptiness, and how to transform suffering into compassion. Yes, they go for inspiration, to be with a renowned Nobel Laureate, a world leader, and embodiment of compassion, peace, and understanding. In these difficult, divided times, his message is a profound medicine for the heart—an antidote to violence, intolerance, and fear. They also go to experience his tenderness and care for all living beings. To learn what it is like to become a beacon of love for all whom we touch. But especially, they go to hear him laugh! To see a man who carries so much responsibility and has borne so much tragedy, whose country and religion have been taken over and deci- mated, still laugh and be joyful is a balm for the hearts of all. His deep resonant voice, his amused chuckle, his playfulness, and embodiment of delight is almost a magical power. We all wait for it like children hoping for a special story or dessert. What he teaches us with his laughter is that while we may face great difficulties, nothing can limit our spirit. Compassion, joy, and freedom of heart are our human birthright. He invites us to live this truth. He shows what humanity can become. What we need are more Dalai Lamas, thousands like him across the world. What we need is more love. JACK KORNFIELD’s new book is No Time Like the Present: Finding Freedom and Joy Right Where You Are (Atria). The Lamp for Our Path Jan Willis Some people’s very presence in the world gives hope, solace, and courage to the rest of us. Their life and being is a gift to us all. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is such a person. Though his country was invaded by the Chinese Liberation Army in 1950 and he has witnessed firsthand the attempted destruction of his people and their culture, he is not bitter. Rather, he forgives. This remarkable ability to forgive and to remain without bitterness is striking to all who meet him. His abiding compassion, peace, and joyfulness are hallmarks of the man. One of His Holiness’s predecessors, the great sage Atisha, titled his famed work A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment. His Holi- ness the Dalai Lama is assuredly such a lamp. He is a principal exemplar of his Buddhist faith—a nonviolent man in a violent world, a peacemaker in a world of war, a joyful heart in the midst of sorrow. He shows us that the end of suffering is possible. In a world like ours where craving, strife, bitterness and greed seem constant and inevitable conditions, His Holiness’ embodiment of peace and compassion changes everything. His joyful fearlessness is a lighthouse’s strong beam cutting through the dense fog of ignorance. How fortunate we are to be able to glimpse his light in the world. JAN WILLIS is a professor of religion at Wesleyan University and the author of Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist. The Bodhisattva Robert Thurman We have been blessed to live in an era that keeps alive the memory of certain great humans who, though once just like us, became perfected with full and accurate knowledge of reality and joyful, selfless, and artful love for others. They are called “buddhas”—awakened from sleepwalking in delusion and blos- somed into omnicompetent compassion for all others. If Shaky- amuni Buddha were to return today, he might be someone like the Dalai Lama. The buddhas encourage us to find our purpose and realize our full potential of lasting happiness, whatever our religion LION’S ROAR | JULY 2017 52