Dharamshala: - During a conference in Trento, Italy on April 11, the spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke to the press, asking them to spread the message that happiness in within ourselves.
President of the Trentino province, Alberto Pacher, made the introductive speech for His Holiness, "thank you to your Holiness for coming to Trentino, to our province and to our land; you have come three times to Trentino with your message of Universal Responsibility and we like very much that you can find in our land something similar and positive..... we would be so happy here in the province if we could be of help to inspire the Tibetan community."
He summed up his short speech by reiterating the strong ties between the people from Trentino and the Tibetans, "in Trentino we have a very strong network of collaboration and cooperation with Tibetan people and the Tibetan land. We have so many initiative, associations and groups.
The message of equality of human beings is the centre and we think the idea of happiness is something that we share with everyone. We think that His Holiness is the friend of Trentino; defiantly we think of His Holiness as a friend, and that Tibet is a friend, and we look at them with great affection, thank you."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama then made a speech, thanking the president before addressing the press "thank you for your warm words, I think [I met] some of you already in the Parliament house, as I mentioned there, when I meet you, I always have the feeling; we are the same, I am one of you."
His Holiness spoke of the connection between people, and how this relates to our happiness, "native people have a saying, your blood is my blood, and your warmth is my warmth. Therefore, your happiness is my happiness, your sadness or sorrow is my sadness or sorrow, I think that this has deep meaning.
"As we enter 7 billion people worldwide, we are essentially brothers and sisters. If you can help serve them you do, if you not, at least listen, that is the basis of happy future, even global level, national level, community level, family level. If you have concern that brings inner strength, that reduces fear, reduces loneliness, individual much happier with that kind of mental attitude.
"[if an] individual thinks "I am something different from these people" the result [is that] I feel little uncomfortable, there is a distance and it make isolation, what benefit is there with that?
"One's own mental creation, of distance and isolation creates bad feeling, suspicion, isolation, hate and jealousy. So once that is realised, you yourself become a much happier person. In the meantime, if your attitude is something that has suspicion, then I have freedom, to act accordingly to that."
His Holiness said that his point is that we must firstly extend our own hand of friendship, that we cannot expect others to do this for us and that this kind of friendship is a trust friendship. He furthered this idea with the example of his pet cat.
"I have one small cat, when I show my sincereness my cat, he very much understand that and very much appreciate this. If I make distance then that cat never bothers me, if I show affection then this animal does so too. This small animal, this simple minded animal- we must look to as our guru, we have too much of a sophisticated mind, these are quite a simple mind and we can learn from them."
Telling his audience that has spoken of this to them specifically as they are media people and therefore they have an important role, His Holinee said that they must use their expertise to explain to the public that the ultimate source of happiness is within ourselves. "We cannot buy piece of mind from supermarket, we ourselves must create it."
After this speech, His Holiness opened up the floor to some questions.
To a complicated question about interdependence His Holiness gave a simple explanation: "that's quite a complicated subject, I think very simple thing to say with three fingers, (His Holiness held up three fingers) one tallest, one middle, one shortest. Compared to the tallest, the middle is short, when compared to the smallest is that it is short. One of the qualities of the middle finger is short, but the shortness depends entirely on the other fingers. [There is] no absolute short; so long and short and subject object, all these things are good and bad, all these things are interdependent."
In response to a question about how to create awareness of secular ethics, His Holiness said that the education system is orientated around material value, and that this is an inadequacy. The solution is not to give an occasional lecture, but to integrate ethics into the educational curriculum. To do this effectively requires a secular ethics, free of religious influence, based on common sense, a realistic view and scientific findings.
When confronted with a question on the self immolations taking place in Tibet, His Holiness was hesitant to comment on such a sensitive issue. However he spoke about the desperate situation that Tibetans have found themselves are in and that the Chinese authorities must investigate into this.
"When this sad event happened for the first time, I immediately responded that this is a syndrome, of some causes. Now the Chinese government must carry through investigation into the causes of this cause. I always consider the six million Tibetans inside Tibet as my boss; I am a free spokesman for them.
"These sad events are not people that are not drunk, they do not have some family problem, but yet they carry out this decision. So they are really facing a desperate situation, and they would prefer to shorten their life rather than passing through fear, and once they arrest them human destruction, in many cases. So I have nothing to say, mainly as I have nothing to offer them."
His Holiness reiterated that this is a problem that cannot be solved by force, that this has been proved by the use of it in the last 50-60 years.
"We need to adopt a policy of 'seeking truth from facts', this realistic method will solve the problem. Just wishful thinking, to suppress and eliminate these things is impossible. Therefore, we hope and pray that the new leadership use their common sense, realism and wisdom and follow a more realistic policy."
Towards the end of the conference His Holiness spoke of the importance of a healthy mind and body.
"From both a spiritual point of view, and a scientific one a healthy mind is very important for a healthy body. Some medical scientists, after conducting some research are convinced that too much anger, hatred and fear eats our immune system. So that means that for your own health it is worthwhile to pay more attention to your piece of mind."
Following this conference, His Holiness went on to address the Italia-Tibet Association who are enjoying their 25th anniversary this year.