Saturday, May 15, 2010

Enlightenment? And, I can have sympathy for the Dalai Lama

In looking at the variety of responses to Barbara O'Brien's question, "What would you ask the Dalai Lama?" I'm struck by the basic, uh, lack of familiarity with Buddhism of some of the responses.

That may or may not be due to the fact that like Deepak Chopra, the Dalai Lama does make for image media...

Anyway...some of the more interesting responses to Barbara's question asking for questions to ask the Dalai Lama...

Why some people reincarnate as homosexuals or transexuals?

Is he a Buddha?

What in his words is enlightenment ?

What the practices we should do if we want to meet and learn more from Dalai Lama in every single life?

It's clear to me that there's people out there that pretty darn near deify this man. There's others that think he's a good man (nothing wrong with that, my remarks about the two-hand clap of himself and the Chinese notwithstanding), but would benefit from more understanding of Buddhism.

That's OK.

I hope though that all those folks who may be hoping, consciously or not, to get a grasp of enlightenment from the Dalai Lama, or who might be a Buddha, or whether or not they're reincarnated, can at least live where they are, finding themselves where they are.  That's the main thing, to paraphrase Dogen, that Soto  and non-Rinzai guy.

I also feel for the Dalai Lama. I think he has to deal with many people confused about the whole situation about their existence here, and they're asking him to give them "the" answer. So he's in kind of a predicament; and it's not an easy one for him. He's got the political situation to deal with, a subset of the Tibetan population (maybe a large one) that is very opposed to the current political system in Tibet, and he's got the Tibetan Buddhist mandate as Avolokitesvara to maintain. They expect him to be the living, talking, joking, avuncular, happy Buddha and a "good" political leader. It's difficult. Especially the latter part, although he needs to improve on this very much, to say the least. But the followers do remind me of this (obligatory Monty Python reference):

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