View Full Version : 14th Dalai Lama

11 Mar 10, 02:58
Before I stick my foot in it (so to speak), I thought I might mix metaphors and test the waters with a question:

Do you see the present Dalai Lama as a leader who transcends traditions?
For example, are his teachings widely accepted in your corner of the Buddhist world?

11 Mar 10, 03:29
I am open to listening to him...like any other Dharma Teacher...though I know some who do not share my opinion...but does not matter...

11 Mar 10, 05:51
I'm moving this topic to the Tibetan Buddhism forum and ask that members read the Code of Conduct if they haven't done so, before continuing with this discussion.

Thanks for your consideration.


11 Mar 10, 06:38
He's about the closest thing to a Pope-like figure that 'Buddhism' has, and to that extent I think he's responsible for introducing countless people to Buddhism for the first time. Sadhu!

Beyond that, I'm unfamiliar with a lot of what makes one Tibetan lineage different from another, so as to 'his teachings' (Gelugpa?) I know very little beyond bookstore titles, only a few of which I've read - I'm much more familiar with Pema Chodron.

I suppose the thing I'd most like to examine are the Dzogchen teachings - doesn't the Dalai Lama hold an important role in this respect?

(If my guess is correct, it's the Tibetan version of Right Concentration, jhanas and everything.)

11 Mar 10, 07:01
from post #4

Dzogchen teachings are Nyingma originally. If you are interested in Dzogchen look out for teachings by the late Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche.

HHDL is Gelug and isn't known primarily as a Dzogchen teacher, though he will have received teachings etc.

In general, for anyone interested in HHDL and Tibet - there's a book called 'The Story of Tibet' -conversations with the Dalai Lama by Thomas Laird.

Some of his conversations with the author about his early life as a Dalai Lama and about some of the previous Dalai Lamas are quite fascinating.

11 Mar 10, 07:14
I suppose other than Kalachakra initiations, I'm utterly unfamiliar with the ecclesiastical function of his office.

11 Mar 10, 07:23
My experience is with Kagyu and a little Nyingma, I'm not familiar with the Gelug school in general or with Sakya .

11 Mar 10, 08:33
Kevin http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/hands.gif The Dalai Lama is a leader who transcends traditions.
For example, he is widely accepted in and beyond the Buddhist world, for his loving kindness, He is a Nobel Laureate,His writings may be found in many western homes reguardless of religious affiliation.
A true practicing Buddhist would have developed a measure of loving kindness and this at least would be a touchstone of trancendence it seems.http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif...Lamphttp://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/grin.gif

11 Mar 10, 08:41
Hey Lamp ! Really good to see you. http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/images/smilies/lol.gif

11 Mar 10, 11:03
from post #8

I enjoy his commentaries. I find he is very ecumenical. Some of my favourites include:
Essence of the Heart Sutra (Heart of Wisdom Teachings)
For the Benefit of All Beings (A Commentary on the Way of the Bodhisattva)
Stages of Meditation (Training the Mind for Wisdom)
Universe in a Single Atom (Commentaries on Connections Between Science and Buddhism)
Both humourous at times and always humble, when he writes or speaks he shares his mind.
There must be some reason that in his public events you can often see Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis (Monks and Nuns) of Theravada, as well as Mahayana in attendance.

11 Mar 10, 11:19
There must be some reason that in his public events you can often see Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis (Monks and Nuns) of Theravada, as well as Mahayana in attendance

When I visited the UK Amaravati Theravada monastery last year there was a very complementary article in their newsletter about a recent talk HHDL did in the UK.

I also read somewhere that the late Bhikkhu Buddhadasa was very friendly with HHDL .

Additionally I recall hearing about a Tibetan Buddhist abbot going on a pilgrimage with a Theravada abbot to the Theravada holy places...so friendships across traditions aren't as uncommon as some people think.

(As well as the places associated with the historical Buddha, Tibetans have many additional holy places associated with past teachers ...Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa to name but two of them)

12 Mar 10, 12:44
I enjoy his commentaries. I find he is very ecumenical.

In this respect, His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama has shown himself to be an advocate of the emerging Dharma of North America as represented by the teachings of Joseph Goldstein and the idea of experiencing a variety of spiritual traditions both inside and outside of Buddhism. I think that took integrity, wisdom and some courage. In the Preface to Goldstein's book "One Dharma", which is specifically about combining Buddhist traditons, lineages or practices he wrote:

"Buddhism has evolved differently in different times and places and yet the essential Dharma remains. The Buddha's prime concern was that all beings should find peace and freedom from suffering. His advice was that we should try to help each other if we can and at least avoid doing one another harm remains relevant everywhere, reaching across the boundaries of nationality, language, religion and culture."

"Joseh Goldstein has been a Dharma student and teacher for much of his adult life and is a founding member of the Insight Meditation Society. He is an example of a new kind of Buddhist that we find in the West these days. Rather than holding tightly to a single tradition he has studied with an array of teachers, integrating aspects of several Buddhist lineages into his practice. There are historical precedents for such an approach. Buddhism has often been invigorated when a new synthesis has been created from existing traditions."

Yatha bhutam. As it is. Buddhism began this way. Every major school of Buddhism has evolved the same way; Theravada, Mahayana, and each of the varied traditions and lineages within those.

"One Dharma" is no different. I don't think it is a uniquely North American approach. It is representative of a demonstrated Buddhist historical method to transcend minor differences between existing schools and at the same time adapt it to a culture which is unique. As all emerging schools have done to greater or lesser extent, at one time or another. Causes and conditions dependently originated, each and every one.

The Dalai Lama seems to have applied his thoughts regarding experiencing other traditions, perhaps even mixing them, well beyond that of (for example) Christian-Buddhists. This is only one example.

12 Mar 10, 15:21
Stages of Meditation (Training the Mind for Wisdom)

This is an excelent book aside of meditation he puts in very clear concepts the root of any meditative practice. I also highly recomend Pacifier l'spirit. I don't know the title for the english translation because I have the spanish one.


12 Mar 10, 15:28
from post #1

I know him just from books. Also I have read some of the Tibetan history and he has a commitment with the issue about China and Tibbet. He is a Gelupa and there are other tibetan schools with which I feel much more attracted. But from the books and the folowing I have had made about him I can tell he has never had a sectarian attitude toward his and other traditions any time he speaks about the four noble truths and the eightfold noble path in a very briliant way.

As a Soto Zen student and folowing a particular aproach of this tradtition we have in high value himself and his teachings and his aproach to practice even when we found some differences about meditation between tibetan tradition and Soto Zen tradition.

We consider that he transcends traditions and is accepted in our own tradition.


12 Mar 10, 23:26
When the Dalai Lama visited here back in 2003 I remember a number of 'guest monks' being along for the teachings, but among them were about four Theravada monks, as well as other Mahayana folk. The Dalai Lama made some comment about what the difference in robe color was all about, and that was that.

no inherent i
15 Mar 10, 12:42
Personally I'm not for or against HHTDL. The tradition I belong to has some slight disagreements with him (All this can be found on the web so no need to go over it all.) As a Kadampa I find him a very facinating man who is very learned and who we all can learn from and aspire to be like whatever our religion, tradition or personal beliefs. Even though i disagree with him on some <u>MINOR </u>aspects of Buddhism he is far further along the path than me and I would readily bow to his superior knowledge and experience.

20 Mar 10, 01:03
He resonates with all faiths and traditions. Saw him in Long Beach Ca. and was very impressed. He also has a terrific sense of humor.