November 19, 2009

Obama and Dalai Lama Not to Meet (Again)

The US government's decision to delay a meeting with the Dalai Lama during the latter's visit to Washington in October angered—or at least disappointed—many activists.

Now that Obama has actually visited China, the news reports, and opinions masquerading as news reports, are coming thick and fast. Some think Obama has served Tibet well, others wonder when he's actually going to meet with the LD.

Financial Times: Obama visit yields few concrete results

AFP: Obama's China visit leaves dissidents disappointed

Hindustan Times: Obama for talks between China, Dalai Lama

Times of India: Obama Urges China to talk to Dalai

And in related news, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key will be emulating Obama and snubbing the DL, and China is annoyed the DL was well-received in Italy:

New Zealand Herald: Key: No reason to meet Dalai Lama this time

Global Times: China dissatisfied with Dalai Lama's India visit

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dress's picture

toenail is large enough to easily accommodate a seated person. There is a local saying: “The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain”. This is partially because the mountain range in which the Leshan Giant Buddha is located is thought to be shaped like a slumbering Buddha when seen from the river, with the Leshan Giant Buddha as its heart.

UPDATE: Brady MacDonald alerted us via Twitter that this is in fact not the biggest Buddha! He points us to the Spring Temple Buddha (also in China), which stands at 420 feet (128 meters). With its 82-foot (25-meter) pedestal (which doubles as a building), it is a towering 502 feet (153 meters). Even without itsFormal Gowns 66-foot (20-meter) lotus throne, it’s still taller than the Leshan Buddha. In fact, it’s the tallest statue in the world!

Thanks, Brady. We’ll send you your copy of Sharon Salzberg’s Uplug!

lpross's picture

Gyalpo, I'll take your opening remark as a compliment and leave the rest out there to dangle in the rarified political air......thank you.

Gyalpo's picture

Although it is true that the wisest practitioners try to eschew politics, traditionally the King, in the sense of chakravartin, the Queen, the Minister, the General all are important conditions for dharmic civilizations to thrive. This idea comes from the sutras, not some protestant reticence about separation of church and state. I'm not advocating theocracy or feudalism, patronage was, however. the way it worked in Asian history. All the more reason to be socially engaged, try to be informed and when one is in a country where you are not shot or tortured for involvement in 'politics', so do get involved!

lpross's picture

Am trying to say this without sounding indignant. I believe your approach to this "situation" is useless. Who cares what Obama does or does not do? He has not asked for input from Buddhism. Certainly, Buddhism has no requirement of input from the king, or any other secular leader. Great buddhists seemed to have an aversion for the political and I believe with good reason. It is my opinion that Buddhism has already, in America, become entirely too politicized.

Howie's picture

When President Obama recieves H.H. he will see that he should not have put the meeting off. H.H. is a very wise man and has wonderful insite to share with Obama. It will be a great day for all involved.


Gyalpo's picture

Politics is a human reality, Buddhism is not Disneyland: it is neither anti-intellectual nor anti-science, although many westerners do not seem to want progress away from the primitive archaic theism and spirit worship their "pure" gurus imposed on them. This is perhaps more apparent to those of us were brought up in a buddhist culture, who have a multi-generational experience of it– there is different baggage for us but we know it we need to live and work in the world.

Sarah's picture

More politics from Tricycle.

I thought Tricycle was a Buddhist review? Buddhism and politics are opposites.

Red's picture

Julian P: This man donated 2,000,000 Rupees to a hospital in Arrunachal Pradesh this month, just one example of countless quiet actions he does. You only betray your own ignorance, sad for you.

Julian P.'s picture

I am saddened that so many would pin any hope on a man who has done nothing but talk. He has yet to put anything into action. Those who choose to blame everyone but the man himself are destined for disappointment.

Jeanie Bustos's picture

Pachenza--I am not sure of the spelling, but I once met an "elderly" woman who counseled me, "Pachenza, Jeanie, pachenza," when I was a young mother. It meant patience. No one more than I, for a plethora of reasons, would love to see the hands of the Dalai Lama clasp those of our president. But time are tense. We are fighting a war on at least two fronts; the Republicans at home throw roadblocks at him at every turn and he held his head high when bigots and birthers accused him virtually of behing a foreign-born jihadist. This man is a statesman and I believe when the time is right he will clasp the hand of His Holiness for all the world to see and, if the tiniest dewdrop of compassion is allowed to fall from the Tushita heaven, he will be allowed, behind closed doors, to fall into our Most Holy Lama's gentle arms and receive counsel.
I remind all good people that when the His Holiness Dalai Lama first met George W. Bush, it was not in Dharmsala, nor at the Washington Capitol nor the White House but rather at some undistinguished location and Bush's cronies made as little of it as possible. Only after seeing how well the meeting "played" did Bush receive His Holiness with proper dignity. The Red Dragon is more dangerous today than it was then, I am sorry to say, partly because Tibetan protestors have brought their nation's plight to the world stage. It was not a question Mr. Bush had to answer in his day, but it will be put before Mr. Obama. As we all know, His Holiness has asked the dissidents to halt violence, but his position on speaking out, as far as I know, is less clear--leaving our president (who knows right from wrong) with one more burden to shoulder as the leader of the Free World. His meeting with His Holiness will come if and when the time is right. In the meantime, he needs our prayers as does His Holiness the Dalai Lama and as do the people of the United States, China and Tibet. I apologize for my clumsy wordiness.

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