Filed in Tibetan

The Experience of Change

Interview with H.H. the Dalai Lama

Daniel Goleman

Wisdom Collection

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This interview was conducted by Daniel Goleman, a psychologist who writes for The New York Times and the author of Emotional Intelligence (Bantam).


Daniel Goleman: What is the Buddhist understanding of Time? How can we relate our sense of the process of time to our experience of the present moment?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: In Buddhism, the concept of linear time, of time as a kind of container, is not accepted. Time itself, I think, is something quite weak—it depends on some physical basis, some specific thing. Apart from that thing it is difficult to pinpoint—to see time. Time is understood or conceived only in relation to a phenomenon or a process.

DG: Yet the passage of time seems very concrete—the past, the present, aging. The process of time seems very real.

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