A long time has passed since I started to concern myself with tibetan buddhism. Out of interest and of certain circumstances in my past I bought the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. It was recommended by a friend back in the days – at Christmas – a Christmas all of you certainly have experienced during your lifes… Long time has passed and this year buddhism came back into my life when I met a guy at a party who told me of his encounters with Tenzin Gyatso, who is no one else but his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – a simple tibetan monk as he likes to introduce hisself. Nearly everyone knows him for his warm and sincere aura and his political commitment for his country Tibet.
He still resides in Austria in these days – In February I decided to get tickets for his teachings and his talk in Kärnten (Austria) and we attended Klagenfurt for the whole passed weekend. It was a sustainable meeting and – although a decent amount of people seemed to be a bit too crazy for my taste – e.g. about buddhism as savior for worlds sake – it was a memorable experience which will leave some marks. It is not for the cult about Tenzin Gyatso, it is not about right or wrong in regard to the conflict between Tibet and China and it is not about buddhism as a religion which impressed me – it was the simplicity about this philosophy which backups all this frame of publicly related topics. And I guess if you really want to do something about your own disaffection which might be part of your life, e.g. as someone who has to work hard for a living, or on the other hand, someone who already has everything but feels empty having everything – with the ability to buy everything – a gathering in this colorful mixture of all kinds of people might be the right thing for you to experience to find a way to deal with all the distraction of our hasty time we live in.
Long talk… Headline says differently. So I have to make some points:
1. The Dalai Lama is a great human beeing. He has this certain aura and really seems to be happy all the time. His sense for self-irony is unequaled and he really knows how to pass on happiness just by telling some stories of his life.
2. Be simple and you find your own happiness in the absence of distraction.
3. Practice true compassion to learn absolution for errors of people around you.
4. Understand that every creature just looks for his or her own happiness – sometimes with rude measure towards others (probably you) if it comes up to humans. If you internalize that point you are on a good way to achieve true composure.
5. Don’t care too much about yourself, about your ego in a way of facile matters. The way to true compassion will be blocked if you fail here.
6. Learn that nothing is independet and nothing can exist out of itself. Everything is connected and if you realize that deal with it in magnanimity.
7. Investigate everything (he meant buddhistic philosophy) before you become a follower or involved. Chose because of facts and information you gathered and not just because of an impression or (in case of the Dalai Lama) reverence.
8. Learn that true happiness is not guided by the increase of your bank account but of altruism based on your behaviour and the response of others. Well, TV suggests differently everyday. Maybe it’s time to drop it…
9. Try to avoid stimulus satiation due to television, night-life, superficial conversation and too much news. It will distract you from your own development towards an altruistic and composed life.
10. Use meditation as a tool to achieve the practice of the above mentioned points. They are not easy to achieve since they do not go along with the mainstream that demands egocentric behaviour and competition.
Those are my Top 10 take away messages the Dalai Lama offered for me. If it comes up to karma and rebirth I am still sceptical. Sure, karma is affected by your behaviour towards others. If you treat others good you will receive help. If you stop doing so others who have not received your help in this theoretical case might not care to help others either. That can be understood… The theory about rebirth is more complex and I have to investigate it further to judge it for myself. Fact is the meeting in Klagenfurt is unforgettable for me who has great interest in philosophy. I hope Tenzin Gyatso will continue for many years – that you will be eligible to meet him as well. Even as atheist it is helpful to engage in this philosophy – just do it and find out for yourself.