Beyond Tolerance

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beyond Tolerance

Rev. Julia Hamilton

The Dalai Lama once famously said, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

Far be it from me to disagree with his holiness the Dalai Lama, for whom I have a great deal of respect, but I think I am going to have to call him out on this one. His religion is most certainly Buddhism. Specifically, he is a Tibetan Buddhist. His life is defined and circumscribed by his Buddhist practice. I looked up his regular daily schedule and it is grounded in the particular practices of a Tibetan Buddhist monk. This is what his average morning looks like:

“When His Holiness is at home in Dharamsala, he wakes up at 3 am. After his morning shower, His Holiness begins the day with prayers, meditations and prostrations until 5 am. From 5 am His Holiness takes a short morning walk around the residential premises. Breakfast is served at 5.30 am. For breakfast, His Holiness typically has hot porridge, tsampa (barley powder), bread with preserves, and tea. Regularly during breakfast, His Holiness tunes his radio to the BBC World News in English. From 6 am to 9 am His Holiness continues his morning meditation and prayers. From around 9 am he usually spends time studying various Buddhist texts and commentaries written by great Buddhist masters. Lunch is served from 11.30 am.”1

So far, the only thing I have in common with the Dalai Lama is that we both like to read the news while eating breakfast. He mediates and prays for six to eight hours a day.

So what did he mean when he said that his religion is kindness?

To read the entire sermon, please click here.