Friday, October 12, 2007

The Dali Lama

So the Dali Lama was in town recently, or more specifically he was in Ithaca about 45 minutes away but when your talking about the Lama 45 minutes is close enough to call it in town. I of course was not able to go, grrrr. At the same time I find the Dali Lama and Buddhism as something of a point of contention, only because they are the only reasons I'm not a militant evangelical atheist. I mean when I think of spirituality and what the stereotypical positive views of religion, I think of the Buddhist monks and only the Buddhist monks, everyone else talks big but comes up more than a little lacking in action, or too much action if ya know what I mean. Here I'll run off a list of everything bad I've heard about the Lama, first was that his views towards homosexuality are not too enlightened, second was a friend who dislikes him because he's too damn peaceful. So the first I take as a byproduct of simple lack of exposure, once he finds out that a few of his buddies in orange prefer the sausage he'll probably come around. As for being too peaceful well I think that more a reflection of my friend having just completed anger management class more than a real insult towards the Dali Lama.

A co-worker was able to go and said it was simply amazing. He described it as being completely unlike any other speech by a true world leader. He sat in a chair on the stage and talked to the crowd, no notes nothing just him. One of the point that clearly stuck with my co-worker was the idea that just by simply looking at our bodies compared to other animals we should not be violent, we do not have fangs or claws, we don't have thick protective skin, we are weak and vulnerable, but we are smart and if we choose we can use that intellect to work towards peace. In the Q&A session it was asked what would be done in Buddhism if science was to disprove some part of the religion. He said this has already happened and Buddhism has adapted to fit the known world as opposed to every single other religion which fights against science Buddhism embraces science as they are both seeking the truth, there should be no discrepancies. Of course this is where a lack of a god is a big advantage to a religion, you can change things without having to claim that god told you to change it or other such shenanigans. Any way Mr. Lama thank you for making a mockery of every other organized religion by quite simply practicing what you preach, good luck with getting to go home someday, and freeing Tibet, and Burma.

And now I'll leave you with some words of wisdom indirectly from the man himself. (sorry its friday, no disrespect)

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