The Teacher - The Dalai Lama of Tibet

Essay by hitman99University, Bachelor's March 2006

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Downloaded 34 times

There is a burgeoning group in the West who are sceptical about Tibetan

Buddhism and its most prominent member, the Dalai Lama. They say they are

suspicious of the increasing number of wealthy and glamorous people who

flock to teachings by an ever more visible number of Tibetan lamas around

the globe.

Surely, they reason, there must be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Perhaps pre-invasion Tibet was an oppressed feudal society headed by a

devious band of monks who hoarded power and privilege in their centuries old


And aren't today's lamas pandering to celebrities a bit too much to be

authentic? Is Richard Gere really a Buddhist?

Criticism is no bad thing. In fact, the Tibetans, with their monastic

tradition of logic and dialectic debating, would welcome these sceptics with

open arms.

But given that the debates are now held on the forecourt of monasteries

supplanted from Tibet to India and Nepal it may be more convenient to sit on

the couch and watch 'The Teacher'.

In it, His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, talks about the most

simple tenets of Buddha's teachings - which will perhaps explain the lamas'

egalitarian attitude towards the wealthy and the less privileged.

Put simply, the first of the Four Noble Truths, the first recorded teaching

by Buddha, is that suffering exists in all our lives whether we are wealthy

or poor, beautiful or ugly, privileged or disadvantaged. This happens

largely because we have trained our minds to discriminate between good or

bad events, depending upon their effect on the most important person in our

lives ... us.

Once we get a touch of what we think will make us happy we strive to make it

permanent. Some do it by acquiring a house, or a car, or...