The Dalai Lama just hit a home run in my mind.
His words regarding Pari were wise, direct and to the point. I haven’t heard words that I agree with so strongly as these in quite some time. Not only were his words on Paris dead on, but his wise insight into the issue 14 years ago still ring loud and true today.
Even more so than they did post 9/11, if that’s possible.
At 81 years old, The Dalai Lama has seen much. He has lived a life exiled from his own Tibet by the Chinese, yet he still manages to exemplify all the peace, love and beauty that I believe is our true human nature.
His peaceful and serene nature gives comfort to any that would look upon him. He is the embodiment of Buddhism and always looks to me as though he knows a great secret, and is very amused by it.
It is he I channel when I want to slip into hate. When I want to condemn and judge I connect with his energy to find my own love and tolerance.
His response to the recent attacks in Paris:
“Violence is a reaction by short-sighted, out-of-control people. At 81, I believe it cannot be resolved through prayers or government help. We have to begin the change at individual level and then move on to neighbourhood and society.”
He’s saying that we must start with ourselves.
I spent last night pondering this statement. I thought a lot about the world yesterday, and how if we ever want to see change on a large scale it has to come from within ourselves. I channeled St. Francis as I thought about changing from within. I thought about Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King, and of course The Dalai Lama.
When I read his words, I felt as though it was confirmation from the powers that be, that I am indeed on the right path, and that maybe I can help to change the world by starting here, at home, with me.
To look at the world and all its hatred and violence we currently see, it can be overwhelming. It can seem hopeless and that there is nothing we can do to fight against it. But there is. We can start within ourselves and be the change. By living a message of love and tolerance, we keep our power. We don’t let the terrorists in when we live this message.
It has become a fact of my adult life. Always lingering and lurking, back and forth between the front lines and the shadows. But always there. Because the “War on Terror” that we launched in 2001 failed. We are still fighting it, and poorly at that.
Terrorism is a touchy subject to discuss openly for any of us. At the mere mention of the word, we can be greeted with a barrage of hate and intolerance for Islam and Muslims, along many others. It’s a sad fact of modern day life in the western world. I am often greeted with aghast looks of incomprehension when I share my very Buddhist views on the nature of terrorism.
As The Dalai Lama said after 9/11:
“Terrorism cannot be overcome by the use of force because it does not address the complex underlying problems. In fact the use of force may not only fail to solve the problems, it may exacerbate them and frequently leaves destruction and suffering in its wake. Human conflicts should be resolved with compassion. The key is non-violence.
Retaliatory military action by the United States may bring some satisfaction and short-term results but it will not root out the problem of terrorism. Long-term measures need to be taken. The US must examine the factors that breed and give rise to terrorism. I have written to President Bush urging him to exercise restraint and not to seek a brutal revenge for the 11th September attacks. I expressed my sympathy but I suggested that responding to violence with more violence might not be the answer. I would also like to point out that to talk of nonviolence when things are going smoothly is not of much relevance. It is precisely when things become really difficult, urgent and critical that we should think and act nonviolently.”
The foresight and wisdom that pours from his words is amazing. How fitting he was then and how fitting his words continue to be now. He said then, “we must examine the factors that breed and give rise to terrorism”, and that is precisely what we did not do. Instead we continue to exacerbate the factors that breed and give rise to terrorism, then everyone scratches their heads wondering how and where ISIS came from.
Terrorism isn’t like fighting the Nazis in WWII. Even the VietCong made an easier foe during the Vietnam War. They at least, were one united enemy within one country. Their definition was defined, their cause united.
Now, we just fight a ghost. We fight the wind. The faces change, the locations change. They pop up anywhere and everywhere. They are women and children. They don’t fight for a cause or a country. They fight for death. To destroy what they don’t understand, and that is us. It is peace and love.
We bomb, we invade, we fight. We continue to pour gasoline on a fire that has been burning since long before Paris. It’s been burning since long before 9/11. We continue to rip the wounds open deeper, instead of making an attempt to study, observe and heal the wounds.
It baffles me that our leaders won’t take the wisdom of The Dalai Lama into consideration. How can they not see in hindsight, that another approach must be taken. We are failing. The world trembles on the verge of mass destruction and war, and yet they will not go the peaceful approach.
It’s almost as if they want to be at war.
Image: Flickr/Kris Krug
Author: Lindsay Carricarte