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Buddhism in the News


Friday, March 24, 2006

Dalai Lama Interview with CNN's Richard Quest

I just saw an interview on CNN with the Dalai Lama and reporter Richard Quest. The words from His Holyness were perfect for what I needed to hear as I have been too hard on myself lately (one of my biggest obstacles) :

Quest: Do you get angry?


Quest: (In a surprised tone) Really??

HH: OH YES!! If you ask some stupid question I may loose my anger (deep, genuine laughing).

Quest: People never think of the Dalai Lama as getting angry.

HH: That is non-sense. I am a human being. Of course, I think I, I spent a lot, a lot of time and/or energy try to shape my mind trying to lessen these negavite moods. Anger, hatred and jealousy. I am Buddhist. From the Buddhist view-point it may take eons, it make take several lifes. Year by year, decade by decade you can see some improvement. Now to this mind, [muffled part] compare, say, 30 years ago, 20 years ago, today, I tink (tink was how he pronouned "think" and I added his pronounciation as he said it because I think it is cute) hopefully, at least hopefully I think my mental state, much better. So, that's, I believe the result of my practice. But still I am human being, a normal human being!

Quest: No, no no [talking over H.H.] No no no. No.

HH: Therefore I think I should have angry of anger in order to show I am human being!! (laughing jovially).

[James: The taped interview with HH ends and then it the anchor Kiera Phillips (I think that's her name) connects up with Richard Quest for a live, satellite "debriefing" of sorts].

KP: Richard Quest joins be live from London now for more of his close encounter with enlightenment. Now Richard, tell as you were that close, eye to eye did he reach you??

Quest: (nods) Oh not only that (said in a light tone) he gave me a big hug!! (Kiera laughs) I was a big oncerned Kiera!! (all the while smiling). This is His Holiness the Dalai Lama!! Was I allowed to touch him?!! Would it have been a diplomatic faux pas to shake his hand?!! Not a bit of it. Walk into the room, the man with that infectuous laughter just goes, "Ha ha ha ha ha" Biiig hug from Dalai Lama! And I'm just sort of left thinking, "This is one of those career moments that you will, or I will remember."

KP: Everybody dreams of an interview like that and I'm extremely jealous but then again I'm not being very spiritually sound (laughing) if I'm being jealous so I have to be very thankful that you got this interview (smiling and chuckling). Tell me more of what he was like and what you really walked away from, Richard, with.

Quest: We were there to talk primarily about spirituality. And the key question, THE KEY QUESTION!! Do you have to have "God" to be spiritual? Now, in the same program that I was making an American pastor Rick Warren said, "YES YOU DO HAVE TO HAVE GOD!!" The Dalai Lama is very clear, you can have something called, "secular spirituality." It is about being good within and that's the one thing you feel when you meet this man.

He has striven for 50 YEARS, FIVE DECADES in exile Kiera!! And this man has striven to be at peace, to try and find tranquility and he says, YOU CAN DO IT without having any "God" if you like into the equation.

That was most surprising for me.

KP: Well did he, was he somehow saying that "God" is in all of us however you look at it? "God" is in all of us. It's just a matter of finding it and figuring out how to bring it out in the best way?

Quest: No, I think he was more suggesting that actually, in some cases, "God" can be a hinderance to finding that spirituality. [muffled] and I can hear the right, Christian movement, you know, frothing at the mouth, reaching for their lap tops and texting their [muffled] as we speak but the Dalai Lama is sayin is that it is about doing good. The, the, what they call the "golden rule." Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And if you can do THAT and train your mind to get rid of the anger, the jealousy, bad luck their you're going to have to work a bit harder one that (Kiera laughs) if you can get rid of all of those, then you stand a chance.

MEDITATION for instance!! Whether it be transcendental or otherwise.

KP: Well, I'm a deep believer in meditation. It's the discipline part, that's it.

[James's comment: And the interview ends. Well, the discussion was a bit simplistic, a Buddhism or "spirituality" 101 if you will but I am glad that discussion of Buddhism is spreading and being talked about especially in the "mainstream media." Maybe if more people understand meditation and the Dharma better then we have a chance of coming together as a people rather then as different "religions."]

Besides, simplicity is the best way that any of us learn anything, especially spirituality!!

If you get a chance, please send an email to CNN thanking them for covering the Dalai Lama and Buddhism in general. Go HERE to get to the CNN form email page for their TV programming.


I bow to you all.

-Peace to all beings-

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Dharmasattva said...

James, thanks for posting that. I went on the CNN website and watched the interview. What a fantastic piece of video! And such good PR for the Buddhist way :-) Truly, it is always magical to hear H.H.D.L. speak, and it was nice to see him speak so plainly to this western reporter.

Very, very cool.


laura said...

thank you so much for posting this!

"James" said...


Yeah the video is even better being able to see how jovial he is. I love how full his laughter seems to be. I never tire from seeing his jovial nature. His how face and mouth smiling and laughing out loud. It's contagious!!

And don't you love that cartoon?!! I thought it was great. Especially give how jovial and silly he was being in that interview. He is a good example to be fun loving and to laugh at oneself.


(bows deeply) You are very kind. I am happy to pass on such a wonderful message from such a great teacher.

peacefulheart said...

thanks for sending this to peaceful heart sangha james. i love the cartoon too! viviane

"James" said...


Thank-you kindly. I hope that others will get as much out of it as I did.

theycallmemac said...

Thanks for posting this, James. The cartoon definitely gave me a chuckle.

Dharmavidya said...

Thanks - yes, very nice. Thanks also for your visit to Dharmavidya Web - yes, do borrow anything you like - guess you don't mind my borrowing from you! Namo Buddhaya.

"James" said...


Isn't it a cute cartoon?? I love a good laugh and I think that laughter is a very important part of practicing the Dharma.


Thank you dear one. I have no problem with you borrowing anything from my blog. :)

Binh Zientek said...

I really enjoyed the interview as well. I think the Dalai Lama is right about the fact that being spiritual is not necessarily about being part of a religion with an all encompassing God.

The best example of faith is to be able to laugh at yourself and be kind to yourself and others. It is really is that simple, yet why do we lose our way so often?...

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