His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Final Day in Pomaia
Pomaia, Tuscany, Italy, 13 June 2014 – This morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessed the five meter tall four-arm Chenrezig statue at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa. He praised the craftsmen who built the statue offering scarves in appreciation. Speaking to a gathering of around 1000 people, he said that it was more important to study the actual teachings rather than to just worship statues. Buddhists, he said, should take actual refuge in Buddha’s teachings rather than statues.
His Holiness said that there are three aspects to all major religious traditions – the aspect of religion, the aspect of philosophy and the aspect of culture. He also said that the basic teachings of the practice of love and compassion is the same for all major religious traditions. He said that there are differences in philosophies of various religious traditions, but the existence of these different philosophies was necessary, as they can satisfy the different mental dispositions of different people.
In the afternoon, His Holiness visited the future site of Lhungtok Choekhorling Monastery where he blessed the grounds and took part in a formal program.
When it was his turn to speak His Holiness thanked the previous speakers and expressed his appreciation to the people of Italy for their warm welcome. He praised the efforts of Zopa Rinpoche, for his foresightedness in keeping the Nalanda tradition alive in his institutes.
Speaking about environmental protection, His Holiness said that unlike the effects of violent action that is visible for all to see, the effects of damage to our environment is gradual and not noticed until it’s quite late to repair. He advised everyone to make environmental protection and caring for the environment a part of one’s everyday life.
To beat the summer heat, His Holiness placed a wet towel over his head and jokingly mentioned that this was the white-hat sect, a reference to the Yellow-hat and Black-hat traditions in Tibet.
He called on the people of Italy, who had suffered under a colonial past and who have now become industrialized and rich, to do their best to help poor nations. He asked Italy to contribute significantly towards creating a better world especially being a very important member of the European Union.
His Holiness urged everyone to look at problems in life from a wider perspective, and to approach difficulties from a holistic viewpoint.
He then spoke about his hopes for the youth of the 21st century. He urged them to make efforts and with a clear vision to shape the present century into a more peaceful one. He said three things – self-confidence, vision and expertise – were very important for young people to make the world and the current century more peaceful. He and others who are aged and elderly might not be able to witness and experience a peaceful 21st century but the youth through their efforts, will surely experience a more peaceful and compassionate century during their lifetime.
Speaking on the importance of transparency and moral ethics in daily life, His Holiness said that these are important to create trust that brings about genuine friendship. He said that as social animals we all need good friends, not friends who look at money or power, but friendships based on trust and respect.
To see more pictures and a transcript of His Holiness’ talk, please check the Gallery and Downloads area.