Paris — Speaking to media representatives in Paris, on Tuesday, the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama confirmed that the Middle Way Approach envisages a mutually beneficial solution to both China and Tibet.
Representatives of several news agencies including Agence France-Presse, Le Croix (Christian Daily News), and Le Point (a weekly news magazine) conducted an interview together with His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning.
The reporters began by asking how to talk about happiness in France and he replied that this was a question asked in many developed countries.
Material goals and material development can be very helpful, but of limited benefit. They provide physical comfort without affecting our mental unease. "We tend to think that if we fulfil our material needs," he said, "all our problems will be solved, but that's not so."
Asked if he would like to meet Pope Francis, he told them that he had tried to meet each new Pope since 1973, but in the present case it had not yet happened. He was similarly asked if he regretted not being able to shake President Francois Hollande's hand and replied that meeting members of the public was more important.
He explained that since retiring from political responsibility 5 years ago he has been more concerned about preserving Tibet's culture, language and natural environment. He confirmed that the Middle Way Approach he advocated with regard to Tibet in relation to China remains viable because it envisages a mutually beneficial solution.
"The days of victory for one side and complete defeat of the other are over. What we need is reconciliation, otherwise we'll not succeed," His Holiness added.
His Holiness told the journalists it was not especially important to preserve the institution of the Dalai Lama because everything does not depend on one person. The most important advice he would like people to heed is that the well-being of all 7 billion human beings alive today is everyone's concern.
Tibetan spiritual leader compared adopting a sense of universal responsibility to the spirit of the EU according to which it is better to support the greater good than just local or national interest.
"We Tibetans took refuge in India and other countries," he said, describing the issue of migrants as complicated, "but our long-term goal is to return to Tibet. People from Africa and the Middle East deserve to be given opportunity. The innocent and vulnerable, especially children need temporary shelter. Children need education and youth need training so that when they eventually return they can help rebuild their countries."
In a separate interview with Yann Barthes focussing more on youth for TF1, His Holiness told him that he understood that young people feel anxious about the future, but that they could take strength from the fact that more and more people are fed-up with violence and are genuinely concerned to protect the environment.
In the early 20th century no one gave a thought to the environment—now it's a common theme. The important thing, he said, was not to let your confidence flag and lose hope. He described himself as optimistic.
When Barthes also asked about migrants His Holiness spoke of his sadness seeing reports and images of forlorn women, starving children and old people. He couldn't help asking himself what fault they had committed.
In response to another question about the future Dalai Lama, His Holiness clarified that the Tibetan Buddhist tradition as a whole is much older than the institution of one lama. He observed that what will happen is not yet clear. If the Tibetan people want another Dalai Lama, one option may be for a good candidate to be chosen while the present incumbent is still alive.