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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

His Holiness in Japan: November 3, 2009

November 6, 2009

Tibet House in Japan
November 3, 2009

His Holiness began the fourth day of his Japanese
trip traveling on a cloudless autumn day, through
the wooded valleys and hills of Shikoku, to the
Funaya ryokan, or traditional inn, a Japanese
classic that has been entertaining emperors and
their families for 383 years. Meeting a group of
local journalists as soon as he arrived, he
mentioned how much he had enjoyed his hour-long
drive through the unspoiled countryside, with its
human-scale buildings and pristine farms.

Asked about his fifty years in exile, he stressed
many of the positive developments that had
resulted, for all the sadness of displacement,
and the fact that Tibetans in exile, for example,
enjoy a higher standard of education than
Tibetans in Tibet. Most of all, he pointed out
how often people describe themselves in terms of
secondary characteristics--"I am Buddhist, I am
Christian, I am a non-believer, this and that,"
instead of concentrating on what we have in
common. "We have to respect others' rights," he
said, "we have to respect others' views. If
there's too much emphasis on this secondary
level, then there's a feeling of 'us' and 'them.'
And then we are tempted to bully or try to
destroy others. In today's world, economically,
environmentally, for our own common benefit, we
have to have a common aim. As I always say, 'The
whole world should think in terms of 'us.'"

As His Holiness stepped out of the press
conference room, he was greeted by the mayor of
Matsuyama, Tokihiro Nakamura, who passed on his
best wishes and expressed his hope that His
Holiness's long struggle would find a happy conclusion.

After a private lunch with Abbot Mastunaga of
Koyasan and his hosts from the Shikoku Buddhist
Association (or Shikoku Bukkyo Rengokai), His
Holiness traveled to the Matsuyama Buddokan, a
stunning new auditorium that looked like a huge
wooden hall, all black and gold, designed
according to 21st century specifications--a
harmonious blend of old power and modern
ingenuity. There a capacity crowd under the high
wooden rafters of the high-tech arena, with
high-definition screens on either side, listened
to him deliver a talk on "The Essence of Happiness in Life."

"When you go to the supermarket and ask them if
they can sell you happiness or peace of mind,"
His Holiness said, "you hear they cannot. If you
build a big hospital and ask them to offer an
injection of mental peace, you can of course get
one that offers some temporary relief, but
nothing that addresses the fundamental cause." We
have to work for happiness and peace, through
inner transformation and the cultivation of
altruism. His Holiness urged his audience to
think globally and to think holistically, in
terms of the larger picture, if its members
wished to develop real warm-heartedness.

A long line of questioners came to the front of
the building to pose questions for His Holiness
after his talk ended, jumping out of their seats
to request a microphone, and many of their
queries were deeply personal, about pain and
dealing with children and self-dislike. His
Holiness addressed each one in a direct and
practical way, as a doctor might, stressing the
importance of a wider perspective, and of
thinking outside the small boundaries of the
self. "Love is not something you can introduce
with words," he said. "You have to be consumed by
it for life so that it comes out in your every action."
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