I did not take extensive notes… There were definitely folks with pads of paper and pens at the ready, but I wanted to mentally and emotionally soak it all in… But being anal, I did pull out my phone and jot some things down. I will also admit that while trying to be as pure and focused as I could be, I was slightly distracted, for moments here and there, by the utterly delightful Perrey Reeves (Mrs. Ari Gold from Entourage… and apparently no, she does not have a first name.) I have met her once before at a Lili Claire Foundation event and she was absolutely sweet and kind and there for all the right reasons. I did also see Raphael Sbarge, from Risky Business… although he did not really distract me… sorry… but I did impress myself by knowing his name.
The 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 and has lived in exile in India ever since. He has certainly seen his share of violence and pain, so I wanted to discuss the balance of that and peace, and the very current killing of Osama Bin Laden. I know I am not the only one who asked this question, but I will take a little credit for e-mailing it in… His answer is now turning out to be very controversial.
I would definitely like to read a transcript, as the sound was not ideal and some of his answers were hard to understand, but my question was whether or not we can reconcile a desire and need for peace with the very real need to remove and kill a truly evil person like Bin Laden.
I am not quoting exactly, but his answer said that at times we do need to take action, as long as there is always compassion, and this goes for your enemy as well. He said that forgiveness does not mean forgetting.
Several things I have been reading are blasting this answer… how can a Buddhist justify murder… Will Al Qaeda now go after the Dalai Lama… and on and on.
There is no simple answer here… and while he stresses living with an open heart, I honestly feel that sometimes there is, sadly, a very real need to take on violent acts in order to save lives and do justice for the ultimate betterment of humankind. Look at what happened in TIbet!!! Evil is real and to ignore it or wish it or pray for it to go away is naive. This does not mean we should not love as deeply as we can and keep our hearts open. It does mean that we should stop wishing and hoping and praying, but we must be intelligent and smart and use our brain and all our powers to protect and do right.
I will not lose sleep over Bin Laden’s death, nor will I ever be able to identify with such hatred and depravity. But if I try to be compassionate I suppose I can see that as misguided as he was, perhaps he too, in some warped way, was trying to achieve happiness. No… I don’t know… I’m not there yet… That is a really tough one. But like I said before, I am really going to try to open myself up more and focus on happiness and bliss.
One of the first things he said, and something so important was this: We all need self-confidence, because it all starts with the individual. If we are happy and can find happiness, we then bring that into the family… and if the family is happy, they bring that into the community. So, in this simple way, one person CAN actually make a difference. If we are happy and open and less focused on ambition and material things… if we harness and use the powers of our brain for happiness and love… we, and thus the world will be a better place…
Sorry… I keep running over… so look out for Part 3 tomorrow… but again, I think this is a really worthwhile discussion… and having it is making me happy!