This week

Picking on the Dalai Lama



Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 



The Wednesday Whisper 



How dark shall we get?

So a film of the Dalai Lama asking a boy to ‘suck’ his tongue appears in the media and immediately the judgements begin. People who are acutely aware of child sexual abuse and support children’s right to protection, along with every parent who shudders at the thought of sexual harm to children are immediately triggered by their lizard brain and have a sewage outlet in Social Media to pass judgement.

Tibetan people get in on the act by explaining the cultural meaning of the act and the mis-translation, denouncing the video editing and the timing of its launch.

Sides are taken and opinions abound. The more ‘reasonable’ people try to point others to get educated and the more entrenched point others to confirm their unconscious bias.

This just happens to be about the Dalai Lama but it could be anyone or anything. This example just highlights society’s inability to take a step back, consider the bigger picture and ask better quality questions before jumping in.

On one side a Tibetan man explains on FB that what happened is to do with a Tibetan Custom that we, in the west, don’t understand. In response someone writes that there are customs where FGM is cultural but it doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Touché!

In another exchange a person who is Buddhist writes that before we point at the DL, we might look at the questionable sexualisation of little girls in American Child Pageants. Bullseye!

What seems to be important here is the way we handle such news/information. If we take a topic like how we ensure children have safety, then a few sensationalised outbursts are never going to attend to what really matters. Dark and shadow are always at play. If we truly want to bring light to shadows we need a quality of dialogue that allows everyone to join in. We need a way of engaging all parties in the conversation that we might talk of change.

Change can not be enforced. Force can bring temporary compliance. Exposure to shame and humiliation will drive a topic further into the dark where more damage can be done.

I have no idea whether the Tibetan custom is harmless or harmful. I couldn’t say whether the DL’s apology is a sincere expression of regret or a media job to calm the noise. I have no idea whether this custom is harmful and conditioning children or whether such contact is healthy. Having an opinion in this matter is neither helpful or appropriate since any chance of working on the topic with the right people is far beyond my reach and I am unlikely to change the course of my calling which lies elsewhere.

What I can do is be conscious about bringing light to the places where I do have influence and remind myself that I don’t want to feed the dark.



Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 

Life is full of unexpected disturbances in various shades of shocking. The DRM teaches us to use our powers of discernment to choose our reactions and responses. For example, in the protective use of force we would not expect to stand by and conduct a dialogue while violence is being visited on us. And, we also learn how to step back and become the light we want to shine before we take action.



The Wednesday Whisper

How do you react when you are in shock? How do you recognise you are in shock? What is your practice for transforming shock into love?



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