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This idea works well for those living in a monastery with few worldly concerns beyond filling their alms bowl.
Adopt this in the real world and you become victim – perhaps even lose your country – to those who have broader, more focused goals.
Hey Lama, er HH. Don't forget the love and concern of dedicated fathers.
I agree 100% that it is better to have love in your heart than hate. And compassion. Real, in-depth compassion ,can without doubt effect powerful changes for the better.
But these changes occur mostly within ourselves. Certainly they touch those we touch. But for the most part they bring about transformations to the self.
More importantly – the goal – the one that the Dalai Lama promotes, is not pragmatic. It allows you and me to remain in a loving state while encouraging an over-flexibility. It is possible to be too flexible. That flexibility encourages the "mistakes" that the Dalai Lama speaks of.
It ignores the fact that our desire to attain our own personal goals can be exploited by others. Those who do not have the same goals.
The Dalai Lama meditates in Dharamsala not Lhasa because he had only one goal.
We all can learn from his lesson.
Totally agree that we can learn from the lesson of the Chinese invasion – yes.
However, I have to disagree when you say that, "But these changes occur mostly within ourselves. Certainly they touch those we touch. But for the most part they bring about transformations to the self." I think that a transformation of consciousness on an individual level is what leads to transformation of consciousness on the global level. And, ultimately, it is only that transformation that will give us the world we want.
However, I definitely don't mean to say that action is not important. If we take a leader like MLK, he was able to affect incredible consciousness transformation through his (loving) actions. I think that what made the Civil Rights movement so successful and why forty years down the line we have an African American president, is that there was tremendous "soul force" behind the movement. A lot of wisdom and compassion. The same can be said about the work of Ghandi or Nelson Mandela, among others.
So what am I trying to say? I am trying to say that love and compassion do not mean complacency or a foolish flexibility that lets others step all over you. It is actually an incredibly strong, firm power. Buddhists always talk about how, while compassion is important, it should not be idiot compassion. It can be love and compassion with a warrior spirit – the two are not contradictory.
Make one small ripple and see where it goes. Then make another. Smiles are contagious, there is no harm in smiling and you might never know how far your ripple went or what positive effects it brought to bear.
But sometimes that's all someone needs.
Anna — He HAS lost his country and continues to practice kindness in the world.
Alex and Anna, thank you for sharing this dialogue. Your words on compassion with a warrior spirit resonate.
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