The Place of Religion in the Modern World

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Your Holiness, how important is religion in the modern world? Do we really need it?

HH: Religious influence is mainly at the individual level. Irrespective of one’s faith or philosophy, transformation takes place within. In a way, that should give us hope. Materially, many have lost hope. However, at a deeper level, faith will sustain hope.

Hope is a contributing factor for religion today. Once hope is lost, one becomes mad, commits acts of violence, participates in destructive behavior, or ultimately commits suicide.

Society is made up of individuals. Because of individuals who have lost hope and behave negatively, there is more and more madness in society today. If their numbers increase, all of society will suffer. If we utilize and understand religious traditions properly, individuals benefit, and so can society as a whole.

Everything Begins With A Wish

Monday, September 29th, 2008

I remember wondering many times, as I grew up, what life was about. Why do we exist, is there a meaning to life, why do some people suffer so much? Especially as a teenager I remember spending many hours talking with close friends about these subjects. We had the questions and the curiosity but we had no one to turn to for answers, so we grew up, entered the adult world and began to loose our yearning for understanding.

This must happen to so many people, but without a wish to find some meaning and understanding we will not discover anything or grow in any way. So this should be our starting point we need to recapture some of our wonder and curiosity about life. We need a strong wish to find a way to overcome our problems and find meaning in life otherwise nothing will change..

Bhutan Expands Focus on Gross National Happiness

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Every year women ranging from professionals to housewives get together as volunteers in Thimphu, Bhutan, to raise funds for a nunnery in a valley far from the city. They collect donations, organize monsoon balls, sell lottery tickets, and write about the life and hardships faced by the nuns who reside there. Thanks to their diligent efforts, conditions in the nunnery have improved in recent years: A new housing facility has been built, and the nuns are provided with warm clothes and proper food.

Viewed through different lenses, the women’s work appears either as a Buddhist act known as jimba or a secular act of public service. Reflecting on these alternate names for a common work inspires hope for a new approach to mobilizing human resources to meet the needs of a suffering humanity, not only in Bhutan but throughout the world.

Milarepa – The Mystic Saint of Tibet Now on Screen

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Milarepa depicts the humble beginnings of the man who was to become Tibet’s greatest saint. A true story based on centuries-old oral traditions, a youthful Milarepa is propelled into a world of sorrow and betrayal after his father’s sudden death. Destitute and hopeless, he sets out to learn black magic – and exact revenge on his enemies – encountering magicians, demons, an enigmatic teacher and unexpected mystical power along the way. But it is in confrontation with the consequences of his anger that he learns the most.

Photographed in the stunning Lahaul-Spiti region of Northern India, Milarepa offers a provocative parallel to the cycle of violence and retribution we see consuming today’s world.