|Open Letter to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
All honor to Getsul Ngawang Lobsang Tenzin Gyatso Sisunwangyal Tsungpa Mapai Dephel Sangpo, The Wish-fulfilling Jewel, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet:
The circle, from before the time of the Great Fifth, Sonam Gyatso, Dalai Lama of Tibet, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Chenrezi, continues.
Full circle. You are here again, as you were when the Venerable Geshe Wangyal first invited you to the United States many years ago. And thus, belatedly, on that occasion, the world began to pay attention to the plight of Tibet.
Some scholars refer to you as a God-King. But we know you better than that. To the world you are a person who is a shining example, higher than a mere king, an example of the human being, not a celestial magical creature. You are one with us in our sufferings, our struggles with self-centered wishes, the turmoil of the world. Yet, you do not yield to fear, anger or hatred. You know that we know that this is not easy, not to be arrived at by any magical snap of the fingers. This unwavering avoidance of impatience with, or hatred for, those who oppress, is a supreme example of what can be accomplished by a human being. This is done by following a path of empathy, sympathy, and compassion.
We are all sentient beings, and we all suffer. But so few of us undo this condition by realizing that its cause lies in our selfishness, our separative wish to believe in our independent existence from all other living beings. To properly focus on the non-duality of life, on ourselves, our friends, our enemies, takes the human work of love and compassion, the human struggle against favoring ourselves over others. Your example encourages us in this endeavor to lead everyone else to happiness, even before ourselves.
There is no happiness to be found in putting ourselves first. This is the path of the Bodhisattva, starting with compassion, engendering the necessary wisdom to accomplish good deeds. These are born simultaneously, and with energetic effort underlying it all.
As the Wish-fulfilling Jewel, O monk, your holiness consists of kindness and loving human endeavor, of an all-encompassing protection of the better aspects of ourselves, as a father would act for his children.
Whether we believe, as the Tibetans do, that you have been doing this for centuries, is beside the point. We know that you are performing that great activity now, and act as a mirror for all of us.
AUM MANI PADME HUM