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The Dalai Lama engages a talk on secular ethics with entrepreneurs

The Dalai Lama engages a talk on secular ethics with entrepreneurs

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McleodGanj : A group of Indians, many of whom graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, in 1979, who is attending a conference in Dharamshala on secular ethics, came to visit His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They were joined by business leaders from the Zuckerberg Institute who are here to learn about Tibet in the context of their global ethics in the business agenda. The Dalai Lama greeted them as brothers and sisters and told them how important it is to emphasize that as human beings, we are all the same.

“In the 21st century, the world belongs to us 7 billion human beings and each country belong to the people who live there, not their rulers. Basic human nature is compassionate because we are social animals. Community is the basis of our survival and nowadays technology has helped humanity become one community.”

He commended the longstanding Indian traditions of ‘ahimsa’—non-violence and ‘Karuna’—compassion, which he stressed remain relevant. He also noted that the general Indian practices for developing a calmly abiding mind and insight into reality have given rise to a profound understanding of the mind and ways to tackle destructive emotions. In the past, he observed, centers of learning were mostly associated with religious institutions. Modern education with its materialistic goals pays little attention to inner values and the mind. Religions teach how to achieve peace of mind, but in many places, the influence of religion is in decline.

In answering several questions from the audience, The Dalai Lama pointed out that since dealing with hostile people can teach us patience, we can view our enemies as teachers. He distinguished two levels of compassion—compassion for our friends and relatives that are influenced by attachment and compassion even for our enemy that is genuine compassion. He repeated his conviction that peace in the world depends on individuals finding a secular approach to peace of mind. Invited to comment on ‘desire’, His Holiness remarked that it’s useful to differentiate realistic from unrealistic desire adding that the desire to be a good human being is a positive desire.


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