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His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He advocates non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression.   He has traveled to meet rulers in more than 62 countries.  He has received over 84 awards, in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion.  He has also authored more than 72 books. He describes himself as “a simple Buddhist monk”.

"The genuine compassion practitioner I think has more self-confidence, and is more open, sincere, truthful. I think that brings a kind of deep satisfaction to oneself.”

I had the great privilege of being in the company of his HH and Archbishop Desmond Tutu when they presented intimate and large plenaries at the Dalai Lama Peace Summit in Vancouver years ago.  I had helped facilitate a broadcast deal for the event.  Listening to their daily talks was illuminating but it was their presence that evoked a sense of elevation of the spirit that you wanted to know how to bottle this high.  Together they are awe-inspiring.  I was staying in a house with his HH’s brother, Tenzin Choegyal, a man of great wit and deep feeling and Brother Wayne Teasdale, who wrote the “the Mystic Heart”.  He leaned on his profound Christian faith when he would tell us every night that he was beating his cancer. He died a few weeks later.   Our profound talks into the wee hours at night and being in the presence of his Holiness and the Archbishop during those sublime days will remain with me forever.  LILI

Some of the most significant quotes from the interview that I’d love to share with you are:

I’m not saying I’m special, but I believe every human being, each of us, is part of humanity. So my basis of conviction is, if humanity is happy, I am happy.  If humanity faces some disaster, I will face it. The consequences are on me also.  That’s my fundamental belief. Therefore, even for selfish reasons, I have to think about others.  I have to think of the global effect.       

Bishop Tutu and myself and some others, making jokes and that kind of thing, laughing, then perhaps someone who’s got some trouble someplace, enters that room, may get some positive sort of vibration. So I feel this is very important on family level, on community level. I think we must create that kind of atmosphere, then there is one countermeasure of the agitated mind. I think in some way that’s helpful.   Perhaps you can do more.  But first, you  implement these things in your own community, then extend.

I have too many dreams. You know, my main interest is three fields. One, promotion of human value as a global sort of interest. That’s one of my dreams. Second, all religious believers, all work together as spiritual brothers and sisters. Then the Tibet issue. Live peacefully with our Chinese brothers and sisters.

When I was younger and living in Tibet, I believed in my heart that Buddhism was the best way. I told myself it would be marvelous if everyone converted. But this was due to Ignorance.

I firmly believe that we are all the same human being. Physically, mentally, emotionally, we are same.

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