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img_3571The Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Yesterday spoke to a group of three hundred monks and nuns at the Marunochi Hotel in Nagano.  At the center of Japan, Nagano was developed around the historic Zenkoji Temple, and has a rich Buddhist tradition.

Speaking through a headset microphone and donning his now signature maroon visor, His Holiness spoke about the connections between moral ethics and a calm mind, and the various ways to promote them.  He first acknowledged the role religion plays in this capacity.  In western religions, belief in God has always helped to instill values in followers.  In eastern faiths, an emphasis on the law of causality and karma has traditionally served this purpose.

The thrust of his talk, however, revolved around the growing need to develop a modern, universal means for promoting moral ethics and a quiet mind.  "We must find a secular way, not including religion...to promote the values of moral ethics." He emphasized using a combination of tested concepts and shared experience coupled with the latest scientific research to help achieve this.  In the US, he noted, there are currently three universities funding such research.  Stanford, Emory, and the University of Wisconsin all have programs looking into how to develop peace of mind "not through prayer, but through meditation."

His Holiness touched on the social and health benefits of cultivating values in conjunction with a calm mind.  "Warm-heartedness," he mentioned, leads to a healthy society with healthy families.  "Fear, anger, and hatred are actually eating our immune systems," he said, while noting that "a calm mind reduces stress and blood pressure.  Result:  your body becomes healthier."

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