Pema's teachings are a rare gift, and what I love most about her is that her success is surely also grounded in the fact that she herself embodies her own advice. "The first step is to develop unconditional friendship with yourself," she taught at a weekend in the Bay Area.
None of the possible shortcomings of the Dalai Lama as a democrat do anything to excuse the human rights abuses that have been and continue to be perpetrated by the PRC in Tibet.
Jesus didn't die so we could be the best, but so that we might know what it looks like to give our lives away. Were we to listen, the Dalai Lama might just be able to teach us something about that.
The controversy that played out at the University of Sydney last month is nothing new. For years, the Chinese government has protested any institution that dared to provide a platform for the Tibetan cause, whether it's a talk by the Dalai Lama, a film screening or a photo exhibit.
I believed my trip to Lhasa ended when my cordial, but strangely nervous, guide escorted me past security onto my return flight to Kunming. Recent events had made the Chinese nervous about curious foreigners like myself wandering the city and making friends with the natives.
If we do not cultivate the skills needed to control our thoughts the mind will create wants that do not serve our well-being. By quieting our minds through physical activity, controlled breathing and meditation, we can begin to hear what we truly desire. Happiness, joy and peace.
To me, this meant that Daniel accepted that humans are, undeniably, human, and subject to the confusion of outside forces. It's not that people are fundamentally "bad," it's that people often have challenging or unhappy life experiences that, unfortunately, cause them to behave unkindly.
I hope you will meet us not just as a people struggling with social problems or even ecological catastrophe, but also you will somehow meet the angel of New Orleans in some of us, and that we will somehow also feel the angel of Tibet speaking through you.
"Concern with others' well being: that is compassion," the 77-year-old Buddhist spiritual leader declared. "Compassion must come from there," he added, pointing toward his heart.
In November 2011, the city council passed and the mayor signed a resolution committing to a multi-year Compassionate Louisville campaign. In doing so, Louisville (pop. 750,000) became the largest American city to make such a commitment.
In the midst of our wreckage that I speak to you, both as a Jew and as a New Orleanian, because survival is not just a matter of urban planning, or of financial aid, or willfulness. It is something deeper. It is of the soul.
It is my fervent aspiration that our culture will pay more attention to well-being, will include strategies to promote well-being with our educational curricula and within the healthcare arena, and will include well-being within our definitions of health.
"Health comes from inner peace" according to a talk I recently attended by the Dalai Lama. He makes it sound so simple. Doesn't inner peace sound easier than giving up French fries or learning how to make kale palatable? But how do we cultivate inner peace and thus health?
"Even Tibetan masters are beginning to realize, if you want real devotion and focus, you have to look to the nuns," Tenzin Palmo says.
The reason I choose to call the eightfold path an advanced teaching is that, while the definitions of each of the practices are relatively easy to teach and understand, their full application and integration takes a lifetime.
Will the global cause spearheaded by the quirky monk, with such Hollywood champions as Richard Gere and Harrison Ford outlive him?