Thursday, October 18, 2007

Free Tibet: The Dalai Lama Gets the Gold

Gotta love that Dalai Lama, right?

That smile, that giggle. That ability, despite obviously vast intellectual and diplomatic power, to maintain an apparent childlike innocence and wonder... That ability to look upon the disasters of the world with equanimity, and to find his happiness where he is.

Still, I could wish he had not chosen to accept his congressional gold medal from a man with so much blood on his hands.

I suppose he had to do it for his country, poor Tibet. But isn't there some rule about a monk accepting gifts of gold? I suppose it's uncharitable of me to be pissed off that Bush should be able to pick up so much in the way of brownie points by inviting His Holiness into his office to spite the Chinese, and use the occasion to lecture them on democracy and the freedom of religion. Very un-Buddhist of me.

And isn't there some rule about monks getting kissed on the cheek?

Ah, well, I'm off to try to practice a little metta.


mandt said...

It's just karma yoga. Laugh!

Mark said...

The Dalai Lama is probably the coolest guy in the world. I watched an interview with him about his beliefs and such, and he was the most humble, giggly, happy man I've seen. Very cool.

Him getting that gold medal reminds me of something Lindsey told me about monks who do funerals in Japan for Buddhist families. It is traditional after funerals to consume meat and drink, but it is against their morals to partake in those things. Still, it is considered incredibly rude to not accept the offer the family gives, so the monk ends up breaking his code in order to appease the family. It is an ethical conflict.

It probably would have been more offensive and less skillful for the Dalai Lama to have not accepted the medal than to have broken a moral code, right?

robin andrea said...

I guess Bush is fishing for the Buddhist vote in 2008. Looks like he won't get it though.

carly said...

P: The Chinese are wary that The Lama is using the limelight of Bush, and this perception is not good for the balance of power. It is good, however, that The Lama's practice is moving forward in non-action. (In western culture it's love thy enemies in an effort to transform them). And by showing up at the White House to serve Bush's posturing purposes, he is creating standstill, stasis, balance. For, the Chinese have to take note that other people will either accept or use opponents of the Chinese, and this gives pause to action, which moves toward balance.

By the same token, regarding yesterday's contributor's comments - to never harm any dangerous thing goes against universal laws and denies the existence of the natural world. Self-preservation is as much a part of the natural world as everything else. To sacrifice one's life for the man-made idea that all other things must live, UNCONDITIONALLY, goes against the balance of nature. It is another example of how man invents ideas which are not in accord with the cosmos. Of course, if the cosmos is seen as nothingness, I suppose this is understandable.

Having said that, the wise man, the sage, first tries with all his wisdom to avoid being stung by the scorpion, and learns from the situation how not to be stung again. If he dies, that is his fate. But he does not kill the scorpion out of spite. He furthers nature by insuring the scorpion can live and not endanger the sage again. That is, he brings the scorpion to standstill by merely brushing him away. Therefore the monk in the parable is not a wise man.

Soldiers in war are put there in a way, by their superiors, so as to engender extreme prejudice and self-preserving instincts. This is the trickery of those who orchestrate war. The approach to the plight of the misguided warrior is not from the point of the battle scene. The correct way to eradicate the predicament of the soldier is do stop the orchestrators of war.

Mark: When one breaks a moral code to accommodate reality, one should re-examine his relationship to the code, and perhaps all codes. In other religions, it's permissible to go on breaking the moral code, and has caused their corruption and demise. One would do much better to follow natural law.

khengsiong said...

Well, the rule says that a monk should not accept gold and silver which, in Buddha's time, referred to money.

The gold model given to the Dalai Lama is not usually taken as money, but getting it from Bush is really a bad idea.