Leadership and The Dalai Lama
Today, the Dalai Lama is recognized as a champion of human rights, and has proved to be a man of compassion, the very heart of the Buddhist philosphy.Even throughout the monstrosities of the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he spoke about the Chinese as his brothers. It was on a visit to the Republic of Mongolia, which under Russian rule at that time, that he felt an immediate kinship with the people there. In an attempt to provide hope to those so oppressed, he initiated a link between their two countries. "Mongolia has a similar relationship with Tibet as Tibet has with India. With this in mind, I arranged for an exchange between students from our respective communities, thereby reviving an ancient link between our two countries".
While he is recognized as a great spiritual leader, he considers himself simply a "human being, and incidentally a Tibetan, who chooses to be a Buddhist monk ".
- The Dalai Lama follows the life of a Buddhist monk
- The Dalai Lama resides at his small home in Dharamsala where he rises early each morning to meditate.
- Very often the Dalai Lama is asked to speak on current issues facing the world today such as racial discrimination, religious hatred and environmental protection.
- The Dalai Lama ends each day with meditation, often reciting one of his favorite verses, a committment to a life of compassion, from the writings of the Buddhist saint Shantideva:
For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I too abide to dispel the misery of the world.
In the practice of contemporary Buddhism, the role of the Dalai Lama provides people with an insight into Buddha's teachings as observed in a contemporary representative of Buddhist practice and theory. Despite the political situation of the current Dalai Lama XIV living as a refugee in India, the common threads of compassion, human understanding and personal isolation are maintained in the Buddhist teachings. In 1959, Chinese Communist forces began bombing the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, forcing him to flee his country. Despite modern times affecting the well-being of the Dalai Lama, he continues to provide inspiration and hope to all that have the desire to listen. As time continues to change the material world that we subsist within, in ever-advancing technologies, increasing material necessities of modern life and escalating environmental concerns, the Dalai Lama persists in teaching the identical lessons of Siddhartha Gautama from the 6th century B.C. In this light, the only eternal constants of Buddhism are that of human suffering and pain. To realize these sentiments of Buddhist practice is to find internal fulfillment.