Independent Media Centre Ireland

Ever wondered about the Dalai Lama?

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | other press author Wednesday April 13, 2011 11:25author by Celia S

In the article below Michael Parenti deconstructs the body myths surrounding the question of the Dalai Lama/Tibet. Very relevant given the love-in going on today. What say you Andy Storey/Afri?

Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth

I. For Lords and Lamas

Along with the blood drenched landscape of religious conflict there is the experience of inner peace and solace that every religion promises, none more so than Buddhism. Standing in marked contrast to the intolerant savagery of other religions, Buddhism is neither fanatical nor dogmatic--so say its adherents. For many of them Buddhism is less a theology and more a meditative and investigative discipline intended to promote an inner harmony and enlightenment while directing us to a path of right living. Generally, the spiritual focus is not only on oneself but on the welfare of others. One tries to put aside egoistic pursuits and gain a deeper understanding of one’s connection to all people and things. “Socially engaged Buddhism” tries to blend individual liberation with responsible social action in order to build an enlightened society.

A glance at history, however, reveals that not all the many and widely varying forms of Buddhism have been free of doctrinal fanaticism, nor free of the violent and exploitative pursuits so characteristic of other religions....What of Tibetan Buddhism?

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Comments (14 of 14)

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author by Celia Spublication date Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:29author address author phone

Fawning, unctuous reportage of Dalai Lama/visit on Pat Kenny this morning.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:52author address author phone

..means well. He has to say something from his begabuck pulpit.

author by Celia Spublication date Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:08author address author phone

Sitting in hospital waiting on consultant (He is now one hour late. He's giving a lecture somewhere so I have been informed.)

But not to worry. Everything is all right. The news on the hour has just reported the Dalai Lama imploring us to 'let go of our anger over the economy'. What a €&@"

author by mepublication date Wed Apr 13, 2011 13:26author address author phone

it is a bit rich to tell the irish people to work hard while he meditates all day

author by Not Infallible.publication date Wed Apr 13, 2011 13:55author address author phone

Don't be hard on him.
He never murdered anybody.
People of average intelligence swallow all the bull the they were taught in childood.

The Pope claims to be infallible.

Many Irish believe that.

Tibetan Reincarnation is only the same codology as Papal Infallibility.

author by Atheistpublication date Wed Apr 13, 2011 16:46author address author phone

"A glance at history, however, reveals that not all the many and widely varying forms of Buddhism have been free of doctrinal fanaticism, nor free of the violent and exploitative pursuits so characteristic of other religions"

As the saying goes (more or less!)

make an idiot proof religion and they'll just make better idiots

author by Andy Storeypublication date Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:58author address author phone

I think there are real issues here - and not just in relation to the Dalai Lama. However, hundreds of people at the event, who had come to hear the DL and would not normally have been exposed to radical debates, also heard speakers on Rossport/Shell, deprived inner city comunities in Dublin, racism, and youth mental health. We don't know what the long-term impact, if any, of that will be.

author by Tibet Manpublication date Fri Apr 15, 2011 18:34author address author phone

The Regime that the Dalai Lama ran was backward, feudal, theocratic and close to British imperialism. The current Dalai Lama did run Tibet for a number of years. The country he ran was run on the basis of serfdom. He personally had thousands of serfs. Fuedal landlords held the poor and the peasants of Tibet in poverty and deprivation. Dalai Lama only gets hailed as some kind of spiritual well meaning man because it was China that ousted him. Dalai Lama has more in common with North African and Middle Eastern dictators than a man of peace. Dalai Lama had his chance, he never liberated the serfs and was client to imperialism. Not welcome.

author by DLpublication date Sat Apr 16, 2011 03:06author address author phone

He's not even a real Llaama.

author by Mad Jack McMadpublication date Mon Apr 18, 2011 01:15author address author phone

Right on!
Lets just keep hating each other because of religion, colour and politics.
And lets just keep marching through areas where we don't belong and sparking off riots.
Lets keep planting bombs and blowing up people,
Lets keep pouring petrol through peoples' letter boxes and hurling petrol bombs through their windows.
Lets keep beatng the shite out of young fellas in the street because of the school uniform they're wearing.
Who needs this boy preaching peace and love when the country we live in is so good already.

author by Criminalspublication date Mon Apr 18, 2011 06:36author address author phone

This fecking asshole reckons we should FORGIVE our bankers for what they did

Not on your nellie Dali

We'll be paying for their criminality for years while they live it up on their golden parachutes and huge pension funds.

No forgiveness here.

author by Brianpublication date Sat Apr 23, 2011 23:16author address author phone

The teachings of the Dalai Lama are too profound for a platform like this, but just a few points in the name of fair play and honesty. On our financial situation he said we should not forget (i.e. we should learn lessons from everything that happens to us - and not let them happen again!) but we must forgive - now, in our very basic understanding of the word "forgive" we take that to mean the slate is wiped clean, but in Buddhist terms he is saying that all negative thoughts actually burn us physically and mentally. Medical science will bear this one out - hold a grudge, worry, keep tension bottled up - and you will develop ulcers, heart disease, cancer and every other disease known to modern man. So, in meditation we learn to see the problem and do what we can to solve it - but having done so we let it go, in Buddhist terms we "forgive", but the forgiveness is a letting go for our own sakes, not for the one who has wronged us. When asked if he still hated the Chinese for what they had done to his people, the Dalai Lama looked surprised and said "Of course not". When pressed to explain, he simply said "If I hate them, they have won, they have taken all I have left - my inner peace". THAT is the Buddhist meaning of "forgive". As for the other comments about feudalism and serfdom in Tibet, the Dalai Lama had no serfs, he is the humblest of men - despite his "high office" - and he has no personal possessions. All of the money raised from sales of his books, and even his Nobel Peace Prize money, he gave directly to the various organisations he lends his name to - including the one in Norther Ireland for the assistance of children caught up in violence. As for elements of Buddhist followers getting involved in violent actions in previous times, this is contrary to the teachings of the Buddha and should not be used to defame the only religion praised by Einstein and other great thinkers. After all, we in Ireland have for generations had to struggle to convince the world that the violence in the North had nothing to do with being Catholic or Protestant. And finally, Buddhism is NOT a religion as such. The Buddha always insisted he was not a god, he was an enlightened human being who had found the recipe for peace and harmony among the peoples of the world and he spent his life teaching others how to achieve it, in perfect honesty and without superstition or recourse to any sort of "higher being" What won me over - after many years and the exploration of many religions - was his insistence that we examine his words "like a goldsmith scraping away at the metal" and if we didn't like what we found - discard it. NOT what we are told by the theists many of whom tell us "believe what I say - or I'll kill you". And the Dalai Lama is a living witness to this - at the end of his ninety minute talk in Limerick, he shrugged and said "Well, that's the way I see it - but...please yourselves!" Now THAT is honesty :-)

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Apr 24, 2011 14:12author address author phone

...just as long as you dont go defending Pat Kenny. Its HIS pontifications get my goat. And his self-serving presumptions. But then he's one of a posse of overpaid puppets.

But I still think this religious acceptance can overbalance into unquestioning tolerance of abuses, particularly of the major discrepancies in distribution of resources. Kenny gets the bread, and feeds us the circus acts for distraction.

But I agree we should have more awareness than to rise to the bait. Bit like the Mrs Windsor visit, decoy for the duck-shoot. Keeps our eyes off the local rats. And the bigger shit like Libya and the expanding role of NATO as globocop. I see our governors are sending a relief ship to Benghazi 'freedom fighters', but it took volunteers to send a ship to Gaza. Little fear of Shatter ploughing that furrow.

Its hard to 'forgive' them bondholders while they still have the grip on the tonsils. If there was a remote sign of reformation or recognition of the 'mistakes'(thats a Kennyism for white-collar crime)it would induce more absolution, to use the religious term. I cant help wondering is Kenny a bondholder. I mean what does he DO with all that spare bread, feed the ducks in the Green?

author by Atheist.publication date Sun Apr 24, 2011 15:01author address author phone

"The teachings of the Dalai Lama are too profound for a platform like this."
The teachings are superstitous bullshit.

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