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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

His Holiness in Japan: October 31, 2009

November 5, 2009

Tibet House of Japan
October 31, 2009

His Holiness began the first day of his 2009 trip
to Japan by meeting a group of 35 Chinese
individuals, mostly Buddhist, 26 of whom had come
all the way from the People's Republic just to
see him. The Chinese sat in a small room,
chanting "Om Mani Padme Hum,' shoes taken off,
while waiting for His Holiness and began sobbing
as soon as they saw him. He began by stressing to
them the importance of study in Buddhism. "I tell
Tibetans and Chinese, "You have to be 21st
century Buddhists. We must be aware of what's
going on in the world and also about Buddhism.
Most of us think we're Buddhists by birth, but
there are over 300 years of texts translated from
Sanskrit and Pali, including the words of Lord
Buddha and Nagarjuna. If we didn't need to study
Buddhism, there'd be no need for these texts!"

As the Chinese crowded round him, receiving
blessings and in many cases weeping, he spoke a
little about the situation in China and Tibet.
Then, going out into a bright, mild autumn
morning, he traveled by car to the Foreign
Correspondents' Club in Japan, where a large
crowd of journalists and photographers was waiting to greet him.

Addressing them, His Holiness spoke of his deeply
felt commitment to secular ethics and to the
promotion of religious harmony, and of how even
the global economic crisis is the result of
"Greed. Then speculation." So even our economic
collapse has to do with our emotions and our
moral strength. "Everyone talks peace, but in the
real world, they if necessary use violence." The
only solution is education, and education in
warm-heartedness and compassion, to give us "inner strength, moral power.

"Using our common experience, common sense and
the latest scientific findings," His Holiness
said, "we can educate children from quite a young
age." He also stressed secularism, "which means
not a rejection of all religions, but real
respect for all religions. Even for
non-believers." In answer to questions from the
floor, he spoke of the elected government that
serves Tibet in exile, and about interdependence.
"Peace will never come through prayer," he said
with great conviction, "but through action. Peace
must come through inner peace."

After a lunch at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo, His
Holiness went to Ryogoku Kokugikan, an arena
often devoted to sumo wrestling, to deliver a
public address on  "The three principal paths for
generating the altruistic mind and enlightment."
The three are, he explained, renunciation; Bodhichitta; and correct view.

The path is a gradual one, he said--"One cannot
become a Buddha suddenly." Later, he addressed
the question of where the self is--or isn't. And
he talked a little about Jey Tsong Kha Pa, the
author of the text, and stressed that "It's very
important to be non-sectarian in one's practice
of Dharma. It's very important to be unbiased as
you listen to a teaching. Then you will examine
and investigate the teaching." The text, he
stressed, says, "Exercise yourself in the effort
to realize interdependence. It doesn't say that
one should exercise oneself in the effort to realize selflessness."

When it was time for questions, a long line of
Japanese people came up to the microphone to ask
him about suicide ("It is said to be a highly
negative action") and sudden insight ("Of course
it's not impossible to have such insights. But
it's better if you do analysis") and self-dislike
("Think about the importance of compassion. First
you must be compassionate towards yourself!").

After some ceremonial presentations, His Holiness
offered warm greetings to all the audience, who
had been listening to him in Chinese, Korean and
English, as well as Japanese, and shared
blessings before returning to his hotel.
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