Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pico Iyer on the Dalai Lama

Pico Iyer has known the Dalai Lama for over 30 years. Iyer was recently on CBC's Tapestry with Mary Hynes [Listen to the show here] in connection with the launch of his new book The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

In this program segment, Hynes attempts to tease out the pop-culture phenomenon the Dalai Lama appears to have become (in the west) from the complex intellectual, spiritual and political person that (I believe) he truly is. For me, the Hynes-Iyer conversation was more than just an intellectual experience. I actually came away with little snippets of information that ought to be put to use into my own everyday existence. Here, for instance, are some of those interesting tidbits:

--That the Dalai Lama considers it silly to hope for a magic wand that would help him resolve the situation in the middle-east.

--That the Dalai Lama practices a type of meditation during which he eats his breakfast, exercises on his bike, listens to the BBC World News. In short, he is constantly in motion while he meditates. This way, he gets to meditate for up to 8 hours a day.

--That the spiritual Dalai Lama is not averse to making a critical assessment of the political Dalai Lama and vice versa.

Listen for more such almost-obvious practical approaches to carrying on with our human existences. [Link]

Manish at Ultrabrown has a somewhat related post here after attending one of Pico Iyer's reading.

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