In a speech at the Global Buddhist Summit on April 21, the Dalai Lama spoke about the importance of compassion and wisdom, and stressed the importance of Buddhist philosophy and values.
“I can also share with you that by engaging in this kind of inner development and particularly focusing on wisdom and compassion, it can really help increase our courage as well,” the 87-year-old Tibetan Buddhism spiritual leader said through an interpreter.
Dozens of monks in yellow, orange and saffron robes turned out for the two-day conference in New Delhi, India, which drew 500 participants from nearly 30 countries and regions, including Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India and Myanmar. It was hosted by India’s Ministry of Culture and the International Buddhist Confederation
It was the Dalai Lama’s first public appearance since a video of him kissing a boy on the mouth and asking him to “suck” his tongue at a student event in northern India on Feb. 28 went viral on social media.
The incident disgusted many viewers. However, sticking out one’s tongue is a greeting or a sign of respect or agreement in Tibetan culture, and supporters of the Dalai Lama held demonstrations this week protesting the media’s coverage of the event.
Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama later apologized to the boy and his family for any misunderstanding.
The summit was a “good example for the world of people coming from different traditions, cultural backgrounds all meeting together in harmony,” said Jetsun Tenzin Palmo, president of International Buddhist Confederation.
And though the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in Dharamsala, India, did not discuss the recent controversy surrounding the video, he did broach the topic of Tibet’s struggle with China.
“For example: In the case of my dealing with the current struggle and situation of Tibet, if you think just only about it from a narrow angle, you can lose your hope,” he said. “But if you look at this crisis and look at this current situation from the broader perspective of the courage that cultivation and compassion give you, then you can have a much more resilient mind.”
“So, even in your daily life, there might be problems which may seem enormous and unbearable,” the Dalai Lama said. “Still, if you have the courage, you will be in a much stronger position to turn adversities into opportunities.”
The Dalai Lama has long advocated a Middle Way approach to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet and to bring about stability and co-existence based on equality and mutual cooperation with China and without discrimination based on one nationality being superior or better than the other.
Beijing views any sign of Tibetan disobedience, including peaceful protests and self-immolations, as acts of separatism, threatening China’s national security.
There have been no formal talks between the Dalai Lama and Beijing since 2010, and Chinese officials have made unreasonable demands of the Dalai Lama as a condition for further dialogue.