Saturday, 12 December 2009

His Holiness Dalai Lama calls for more monks & nuns!

His Holiness was given a formal Welcome to Country by a Wurunjeri Elder. (photos courtesy of Ray Messner)

Wow - what great fortune to have the opportunity to attend His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Melbourne Public Talk today.
His Holiness has been in Australia for 10 days, during which time he spoke to more than 20,000 people, including 1,000 Tibetans and Mongolians, 500 Chinese and 2,000 Vietnamese. Yesterday, he addressed a few thousand at the Parliament of World Religions, which included representatives of 228 religions (!). Today, was the last day of his tour, and is also the twenty year anniversary of His Holiness being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (And, it's the first time that I have seen His Holiness in my once hometown of Melbourne, since I was ordained nearly 8 years ago!)

A famous Australian comedian, Rove Mc Manus MC'd today's Public Talk. My heart chuckled, was warmed, stirred and opened by the combination of the sarcastic Australian wit, the open armed gesture of welcome and His Holiness's teachings on World Peace.

As we've often heard His Holiness say, he emphasized that the 21st Century must be a Century of Dialogue. He singled out the younger generation in the audience, and really called on them to reflect deeply, and to seize the coming 91 years to affect change in the world. Although I've heard His Holiness' speak on his strategy for promoting world peace before (through inner disarmament; through showing kindness and care to those immediately around us; through opening up dialogue to resolve conflict in our families and in our local communities...), today his tremendous compassionate reasoning clicked for me. "This is a long term strategy" he pointed out. "If our future leaders can come from such community basis, then there is real hope".
So that was the juice for me! But there were a couple more minor highlights:

- A question was asked to His Holiness about how to resolve the dilemma of a cockroach problem in ones home - which I'm glad my Mum heard, as she has not resolved for herself how she should deal with the ants in her kitchen, (despite my petitions).
- And in response to the threatening issue of the world's population boom, His Holiness said we should have many more monks and nuns (which is the best non-violent method of exercising birth control!).

More monks and nuns, hey? That brings me to some great news to share:
Two of our monastic aspirants, who have recently completed the Three Year Retreat at Lerab Ling, have been accepted by His Holiness' Private Office for consideration for ordination with His Holiness the Dalai Lama next year in Dharamsala! And, one of our monks, Tenpa, has been accepted for consideration for gelong ordination from His Holiness. This news will be wonderful to follow in the coming months!

From the road, with much love,

Ané Damchö

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