The Dalai Lama in Matsuyama, Ehime!
This past Sunday, I visited Matsuyama in Ehime Japan to attend an event to see the Dalai Lama. Ehime is located on Shikoku island, one of four prefectures on Shikoku and is 2.5 hours from Tokushima. The Dalai Lama is in Japan for a nine-day visit at the invitation of the Shikoku Buddhist Association and Okinawa Mahabodhi Association. This is now my seventh time to see the Dalai Lama in my life and second time in Japan, the first visit being in Hiroshima in 2006. With a capacity crowd of over 5000 people at the Ehime Budokan stadium, the Dalai spoke on ‘The ways of leading a happy life,’ through compassion. “When you have compassion, your basic mental state becomes strong and stable. Just like a strong immune system which fights away disease, with a stable mind you can confidently face problems and dangers,” said His Holiness. The Nobel Peace laureate stressed on the need for compassion in developing a ‘sense of global responsibility and a wholistic point of view’ to confront the challenges of war and conflict. “The entire world is a part of ‘we’. Economically, environmentally we are interdependent. Looking only after the interest of yourself, your family and your nation creates problems,” said the 74 years old Tibetan leader. His Holiness encouraged the audience to cultivate ‘infinite compassion’ through practice and advocated new means of fostering moral ethics by adopting ‘secular means.’ “These days people spend lots of money on cosmetics. Put some effort in bringing inner beauty. There is no expenditure in making your inner beautiful,” advised the exiled Tibetan leader. After the event, unexpectedly the Dalai Lama’s motorcade past right by me, and I just missed a perfect picture with my camera! A nice capping moment to another great experience!