The Dalai Lama is in the United States. He was in Denver over the weekend and at the PeaceJam Festival he told young people that war is outdated. He said, “destruction of your neighbor is actually destruction of yourself.” That sounds a bit like Jesus, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I got to thinking about how grateful I am for President Bush and his endless war, because it presents such a wonderful contrast with a truly holy man like the Dalai Lama. Without President Bush the beauty of the Dalai Lama is dimmed or not fully appreciated. I long for the day when we have leaders in this country who actually work for peace and not for war.
I was hoping to see the Dalai Lama when he was in Western New York, but alas I procrastinated too long. I believe that the holiness of his presence at the University at Buffalo will be palpable. He just exudes peace and holiness. There is no doubt that his visit will bring a renewed interest in Buddhism and Zen Buddhism in particular. Many Christian mystics including Thomas Merton appreciated the wisdom of the east. There is an oriental quality to what Jesus said that has been neatly excised by the dualism of the Greeks which has been handed down to present day Western Christianity. The prayer of Jesus, “that they all may be one.” speaks to oneness. Thich Nhat Hanh has written a lovely book that is worth your time, “Living Buddha, Living Christ” that speaks to the similarities in the message of Jesus and Buddha.