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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama shines light on spiritual harmony

June 28, 2010

Report filed by Tsering Tsomo. Photos by Tenzin Choejor
Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
June 26, 2010

Tokyo, Japan -- In a powerful and moving
demonstration of spiritual peace and harmony, the
exhibition hall of Pacifico Yokohama reverberated
with prayers as groups of Buddhist monks from
India, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan took turns
on the stage to recite the Heart Sutra before a
giant Buddha scroll and His Holiness the Dalai
Lama as about 12,000 people watched, some
applauding and some joining the prayers, today at Yokohama district in Tokyo.

Tibetan monks from the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in
South India also joined the prayer ceremony that
highlighted the message of compassion, universal
harmony and interdependence delivered by His
Holiness in his teachings on Dependent Arising
and Generating Altruistic Mind followed by a
public talk on 'Essence of Happiness and Healthy
Co-Existence' at Pacifico Yokohama.

Speaking at the event, His Holiness said this
spiritual gathering of Buddhist devotees - among
them 400 Koreans, 300 Mongolians, 300 Chinese,
and hundreds of Japanese - reflects the
widespread propagation of Buddha’s teachings in
Asia. He said he was optimistic about the
prospects for a more peaceful and non-violent
world as a small but significant group of people
are now focussing their attention and energy on
developing secular ethics of compassion, peace, love and kindness.

These secular ethics have the possibility of
promoting a happy and healthy life for believers
as well as non-believers. However, many see these
secular ethics as religious and hence ignore them
but His Holiness said compassion is biologically
inherent in all living beings, animals as well as
humans, in that everyone needs love and kindness
for a happy, wholesome life.  “There are many
non-believers who are also great human beings,” he added.

  The exhibition hall of Pacifico Yokohama, the
venue of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk and teaching

Secularism, His Holiness said, is misunderstood
by some religious practitioners as rejection of
religion which is not true. In the current
reality, secularism means respect not only for
all religions but respect also for non-believers.
In ancient India, this kind of secular attitude
was quite common. He cited a conversation he had
with a prominent Indian personality who told him
about the Charvakas, a group of atheist
philosophers active in India around 600 BC. The
Charvakas rejected the existence of gods and were
skeptical critics of religion but they were
well-respected as rishis (sages) as any other
learned religious practitioners.

Explaining various levels of compassion, His
Holiness said in contrast to animals, human
beings possess reason and intelligence to
practice a higher level of compassion that treats
even one’s enemy as one’s own because everyone
has the right to be happy and avoid suffering.
"The more we think about others, the happier we become."

His Holiness said in a more interdependent world,
the concept of "we" and "they" has become
obsolete making every country dependent on each
other for mutual well-being. Issues of global
concern such as the current economic crisis and
environmental destruction exemplify the need for
everyone to live together as a human family.
"That’s the new reality," he said, “but our
perception has not changed with the new reality.”
This gap between reality and perception has
triggered many unnecessary problems and disagreements in the world today.

The dependent nature of all existence, that all
things are related to each other and nothing
arises independent of other factors, is the
essence of Buddha’s teachings, His Holiness said,
adding suffering can be overcome not by praying
but by knowing the cause of suffering and the
root cause of suffering is ignorance. The
inability to identify this ignorance leads to
distortion of the reality and throws people into
the never-ending wheel of suffering.

The joint prayer ceremony also saw a group of
traditional Mongolian musicians who dedicated a
special composition for His Holiness. Mr Sadao
Watanabe, an influential Japanese jazz musician
and saxophonist also performed at the event.

Others in the audience included professors,
scientists, students, teachers, and
representatives of some foreign consulates in Tokyo.
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