For those who follow our instagram @mrandmrsvegan, you guys would have known that we were in Dharamsala and that we met up with The Dalai Lama. Returning from the trip, we thought it would be good to pen down our thoughts and our experiences.
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not a luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”
“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.”
Some places and people and animals we met during the trip.
It was a dream come true as we got to see authentic Tibetan mandalas in person and they were magnificent!
“Whether you believe in God or not does not matter so much, whether you believe in Buddha or not does not matter so much. As a Buddhist, whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter so much. You must lead a good life.”
These are simple universal truths by the Dalai Lama. I think this is what I have always liked about him: The freedom from dogma, his passionate compassion, and most of all his utter willingness to undermine his own position and authority to state what really matters. Thus, when this lifetime opportunity arose (our eternal gratitude to Tara, whom we met at the Chicks Eat Vegan event, and who helps organise the Southeast Asian teachings for His Holiness), we dropped all our plans to sign up for the teaching sessions – barely a week before the registration closed!
I must state for the record that my wife and I are not proponents of any particular religion (although perhaps I gravitate more towards the philosophy of Buddhism and have always been inspired by the possibility of understanding actual interdependent reality beyond our perception of forms). But at this point I am compelled to highlight the response of a young couple (who were our group leaders) we met at the teachings when Priscilla asked them if they were Buddhist.
With no hesitation at all they said – “We’re still trying to be.”
I think they’re definitely on the right path, wouldn’t you agree? I wish we get these kinds of replies more often.
As for the Dalai Lama’s teachings, they range from the esoteric to the personal. But I’ll share a couple of awesome quotes from His Holiness:
(On being asked on what has been the greatest test to his faith throughout all his years)
“I think… Nothing!” (It was not just the response but the conviction in his voice when he said that)
(On the issue of the need for a wider study into secular ethics amongst the youth of today to stem the growing tide of inequality and corruption within governments)
“There is corruption in many countries, some more, some less. Like Singapore… Very low corruption I think.” (at which point someone mumbled about Singapore having no corruption).
“NO corruption??? I don’t believe!! Hahaha! Okok maybe Singapore, no corruption. But I know some Tibetan friends. So corrupt. Now? They are Singapore citizen!”
I think I’m a fan.