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The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get from it, but what they become by it. - John Ruskin

Lydia McCauley and Kurt Scherer are owners of STONEHOUSE ARTIFACTS, offering Treasures from Colonial India. Online Here.

Our shop is located in Bellingham, Washington. We welcome you to come and visit our small estate, enjoy the grounds and share a cup of Chai.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Dalai Lama

Kurt and I spent most of this winter in India. We stayed in the South for one month, then travelled in the North through Rajastan, the Punjab, and into the Himalayan foothills to the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We were there for the 50th Anniversary of the Chinese takeover of Tibet. The photos above are from the temple just outside of The Dalai Lama's residence. It was truly a wonderful thing to hear The Dalai Lama speak, to hear him chant in the temple, and to simply be in his presence.

Recently I received an email from my daughter's husband's sister's husband. (Did you get that?) He is currently attending MIT and had the opportunity to hear The Dalai Lama speak on April 30, at the Inaugaral Event for The Dalai Lama Center For Ethics. Here's what he had to say about the event:

"It was very interesting to hear him speak. His English is a bit hard to understand, but he seems to be a very genuine and humorous person. He came to MIT for the opening of the new Center for Ethics and Transformational Values (http://www.thecenter.mit.edu/) that he is setting up in cooperation with MIT. Basically, the institution is being established to explore how compassion can be taught in a formal sense to non-religious people. He believes our global economic recession was proceeded by a recession in ethics and values. He does not feel he needs to promote Buddhism, rather he hopes that compassion can be taught. He feels MIT can help finds ways to do this. He clarified his definition of “secular” as one who has respect for all religions rather than one who rejects religion (the MIT center is secular). He accepted the fact that a growing portion of the developed world is becoming secular and that their needs to be a way to instill compassion and values into this portion of the world. He does not feel that everyone in the world needs to become a Buddhist and that other religions can serve a purpose for others. He is a surprisingly realistic leader. He accepts the reality of history, while hoping for a better future. He hopes for a more democratic United Nations (indicating that the Security Council was not ideal). He stated that if he were able to return to an autonomous Tibet (clearly stated as not independent) he would not serve as its leader. He feels the people in Tibet, who have suffered through oppression, would best lead their own region. He hopes for a demilitarized world, but understands that it is not realistic in the short-term. He indicated that the individual should be disarmed, but seemed to feel that inter-country conflict may be necessary. When questioned by a student who asked about the moral conflict of working for a defense contractor, he affirmed that people kill people, not weapons. Implying that some weapons and violence may be necessary as long as it kills the right people, but he also feels this line of thinking is unrealistic. He never gives clear-cut answers, but his responses usually guide you in a direction." - Matt Thompson
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