Ethics and Enlightened Leadership
His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Description: His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke at an inaugural event for a new institute in his name, the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values. He tempered his provocative ideas about promoting ethics in a secular society with a stream of lively banter. He recalled that he had visited a homeless shelter in San Francisco the other day and told a man he met that he, too, had suffered the same fate after he went into exile in 1959. "I said, 'me too. Homeless'."
Turning to global issues, he framed the two largest issues facing the world as the economy and ecology. These must be solved with compassion toward those we don't agree with, and by acknowledging the root causes of them. He rejects the notion that the economic meltdown was caused by "market forces" and instead names the causes as human behaviors--greed and hypocrisy.
He called upon the community to not think in terms of "we and them" and encouraged all of humanity to come forward to solve the world's problems. The only condition that should allow for a "we and them" mindset, he declares, would be if aliens from another planet were to visit the earth. "Inner disarmament can be achieved, external disarmament is difficult."
About the Speaker(s): His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born in 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity. In 1950 His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power after China's invasion of Tibet in 1949. In 1954, he went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping and Chou Enlai. But finally, in 1959, with the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India, the seat of the Tibetan political administration in exile. Since 1959 His Holiness has received over 84 awards, honorary doctorates, citizenshiops and prizes in recognition of his message of peace, non"violence, inter"religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion. His Holiness has also authored more than 72 books.
Host(s): Dean for Student Life, The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values
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