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Lions Roar : July 2019
WOMEN ARE THE LEADERS OF THE FUTURE WHEN I WAS ABOUT TO TURN THIRTY, I was given an opportunity to have a private audi- ence with His Holiness. “Hey kid,” my boss said, “I’ve got us a meeting with the Dalai Lama at his place in India.” I was already packed. In Dharamsala, five of us waited like groupies before a big show. His Holiness burst in, robust and radiant. “So sorry to keep you waiting!” he said. We spoke of universal consciousness, mili- tary actions, and politics. We laughed. We mostly laughed at his bellowing laughs. He abruptly turned to me with a penetrating gaze. Fuzzy eyebrows raised. “You have a question.” “My generation is at a crossroads,” I said. “And I wonder what message you have for Gen Xers?” “In the West, you have education. This is good. You have technology. This is good. But you do not educate your people in values of the heart, of compassion. This you must do,” the Dalai Lama said. “It does not mat- ter whether you are Buddhist or Christian. Compassion lives in the heart, beyond religion. Even me, a Buddhist, can say that you do not need Buddhism. All you need is the compas- sion of the heart. Women know this because peace is implicit in women. You put boys together, they make war. You put women together, they make peace. Women are the leaders of the future.” And then he laughed. After an hour, his secretary insisted we wrap up. The Dalai Lama moved to the door- way and then hugged each of us gently, like he had all the time in the world. When I pulled back from this holy bear hug, he looked me in the eyes and nodded, as if to say, “I see you, and I’ve got you.” I had never felt so seen and so loved. DANIELLE LAPORTE is a Canadian inspirational speaker, author, and entrepreneur. A TRUE KINSHIP OF FAITHS Never seeking to convert others to Buddhism, His Holiness has remained open and willing both to share his insights about Buddhism with others and to listen to them as they shared their insights regarding their own faith traditions. In the autumn of 1994, the Dalai Lama traveled to London to lead the tenth annual John Main Seminar, which brought together Christian and Buddhist meditators for a dialogue on the Christian Gospel. His Holiness opened the seminar by reading from the Beatitudes. As one participant noted, “Tibet’s agony, which he carries constantly with him, has elevated him to a global spiritual role in which the universal religious values of peace, justice, toler- ance, and nonviolence find a joyful and yet profoundly seri- ous embodiment. This was evident the moment His Holiness read aloud the Beatitudes at the first session of the seminar. Everyone felt they were more than words in his case; they were insights he had personally experienced.” In Toward a True Kinship of Faiths, His Holiness states: “The challenge before us—much more urgent than in the past—in this era of nuclear weapons, international terrorism, financial uncertainty, and ecological crisis, is simply peaceful coexistence.” Noting that “one area where peaceful coexistence has been hugely problematic ... is in the relations between the world’s religions,” His Holiness offers that “the challenge before reli- gious believers is to genuinely accept the full worth of faith traditions other than their own ... to embrace the spirit of religious pluralism.” Ultimately, he envisions a “true kinship of faiths,” in which each faith tradition shows respect for the oth- ers, recognizing the compassion and love that is at their cores. RESPECT FOR SCIENCE His Holiness has always been curious. We learn from his auto- biography, My Land and My People, that he was fascinated by science even as a little boy. Sheltered in the enormous Potala Palace, he secretly, gleefully, took apart and reassembled clocks and pocket watches, a hand-cranked movie projector owned by the previous Dalai Lama, and whatever other mechanical instruments he could find. Since becoming a refugee in the larger world, His Holiness has enjoyed numerous conversations with scientists of all sorts, as well as with other spiritual teachers seeking the integration of science and spirituality. He has explained that “The main reason for my confidence in engaging with scientists rests in the Buddha’s statement: LION’S ROAR | JULY 2019 52