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Milan, Italy, 20 October 2016 - Day was just breaking as His Holiness the Dalai Lama walked down the steps of his hotel in Prague this morning. Friends, organizers of his visit and other well-wishers gathered to see him off to the airport. Arriving in Milan, he was welcomed by the Mayor Guiseppe Sala and Tromdho Rinpoche.

Driving into the still mist covered city from the airport His Holiness’s first stop was the residence of the Cardinal of Milan, Angelo Scola, who was in the yard to receive him as stepped out of his car. The Cardinal introduced him to other members of the clergy and escorted him into the house. Reading an eloquent speech in English, the Cardinal expressed his admiration for His Holiness and his pleasure at receiving him in Milan. His Holiness replied:

“Respected spiritual leaders, my spiritual brothers, I’m extremely happy to be here with you. On my first visit to Europe in 1973, during the time of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, who I think of as the Italian Pope, my first stop was in Italy. Now on this visit to Italy, my first engagement is to meet here with you.

“All our religious traditions convey a message of love and compassion. For more than 2000 years they have served humanity and now more than ever we need to heed their message. Sadly, we are still seeing conflict in the name of religion, so we must keep up a constant effort to promote religious harmony, reminding ourselves again and again that despite differences of philosophical approach we are all focussed on the same goal—the importance of love and compassion for our fellow human beings.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Cardinal of Milan Angelo Scola's residence in Milan, Italy on October 20, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
“I was a guest of Pope John Paul II for the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in 1986, which was a significant step towards promoting inter-religious harmony. In expressing my admiration and appreciation to him I also urged that it should not be a one-off event, but the first of an ongoing series of meetings.”

His Holiness answered several questions from priests in the room telling them that he always seeks to promote a sense of the oneness of humanity.

“We are all born from our mothers, grow up in the shelter of her affection and so have within us the seed of compassion.”

The Cardinal invited members of the media into the room, who had questions about the prospect of His Holiness meeting Pope Francis and whether or not there will be fifteenth Dalai Lama. He explained that he understands the Vatican has concerns about Christians in China and that he has no wish for his presence to cause any inconvenience. He remarked that of all the Buddhist countries in the world, he is presently only able to visit Japan. As for the recognition of a 15th Dalai Lama, His Holiness repeated what he often says that when the time comes the matter will be for the Tibetan people to decide.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to members of Ghe Pel Ling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies in Milan, Italy on October 20, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
His Holiness’s next stop was Ghe Pel Ling Institute for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, which is organizing his teachings in Milan. Tibetans and Italians thronged the street outside to meet him and His Holiness acknowledged their greetings as he made his way into the institute’s meditation hall, where the congregation also included Vietnamese followers. A formal threefold mandala offering was made to him and the President of Ghe Pel Ling made a brief report, welcomed His Holiness and thanked him for his contribution to preserving the teachings of the Buddha.

In his reply His Holiness declared that he is an upholder of the knowledge and traditions of Nalanda, and paid tribute to the masters illustrated in paintings on the wall. He said that one of the unique features of the Nalanda tradition is that it uses human intelligence to the full, that reason, logic and study are emphasised. He spoke of encouraging temples and monasteries in India to focus more on being places of learning and expressed appreciation that at Ghe Pel Ling they are already heeding this advice. He was offered lunch at the Institute.

Chairman of the Council of Milan, Lamberto Bertolè presenting the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Milan to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the University of Milan-Bicocca in Milan, Italy on October 20, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
In the afternoon, His Holiness was welcomed onto the stage of the University of Milan-Bicocca by members of the faculty who introduced him to the audience of 2400 staff and students. Chairman of the Council of Milan, Lamberto Bertolè presented the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Milan to His Holiness, who accepted and teasingly enquired what his rights and duties would be.

Beginning his public talk he said:

“I’m very happy to meet particularly with young people like you. I belong to the generation of the 20th century—our time is over. But you, who belong to the generation of the 21st century, have both the opportunity and responsibility to create a better world for the future.”

He outlined his three commitments telling the audience that he considers himself to be just one of the 7 billion human beings alive today. He said that in coping with the global challenges that face us, such as climate change and upheavals in the global economy, it is essential to overcome divisions into ‘us’ and ‘them’ and to focus instead on the oneness of humanity.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to over 2400 students at the University of Milan-Bicocca in Milan, Italy on October 20, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
He mentioned his commitment to encouraging inter-religious harmony, reiterating that despite differences of philosophical approach, all religious traditions stress a common message of love and compassion. His Holiness drew attention to the mutually beneficial discussions he has pursued for more than 30 years with scientists.

Recommending that by developing warm-heartedness we can all ensure we become happier individuals, living in happier families and happier communities, His Holiness concluded his talk and invited questions from the floor. He answered a series of prepared, written questions before inviting members of the audience to come forward with anything they wanted to ask.

Tomorrow, His Holiness will explain Je Tsongkhapa’s ‘Three Principal Aspects of the Path’ and ‘In Praise of Dependent Arising’ at the Rho Fiera Milano hall.

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Non-violence has been preached over and over again, politically, religiously, by various leaders that you have had. Non-violence is not a fact; it is just an idea, a theory, a set of words; the actual fact is that you are violent. That is the fact. That is “what is”. But we are not capable of understanding “what is”, and that is why we create this nonsense called non-violence. And that gives rise to the conflict between “what is” and “what should be”. All the while you are pursuing non-violence you are sowing the seeds of violence. This is so obvious. So, can we together look at “what is” without any escape, without any ideals, without suppressing or escaping from “what is”?
The Flame of Attention, p 74    
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Black panther lying on a branch

In our weekly Mindful Dreams column, Aneta Baranek of the School of Metaphysics is offering free dream interpretations to The Mindful Word readers, as well as articles on dreams in general.

If you’ve ever been curious about deciphering the cryptic contents of your subconscious mind, here’s your chance! If you would like Aneta to interpret your dream, fill out this form. She will respond with your dream interpretation through this column, published every Thursday. Aneta would love to receive more comments for the dreams interpreted. If you can relate to a dream posted here or have any insights to add, you can post them as comments to the interpretation, or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Hi Aneta,

I was dreaming about a black panther. The black panther was listening to my commands like a well-trained dog. In the dream I would tell it to sit down and it would sit and so forth. It was very docile towards me and I felt very accomplished. Can you tell me what this means?


DREAMER: Female, 41, US


Panther – habit



Hello Anna,

Thank you for submitting your dream.

Animals in a dream with few exceptions symbolize habits; habitual ways of being, ways of being without much mindfulness or intention. Habits are not necessarily bad; however, they do signify actions that we perform on an auto-pilot.

In your dream the habit that the panther represents is subdued and well-disciplined. This is a magnificent message from your inner self (your subconscious mind) telling you that you tamed a habitual way of being and are now in full control of it.


Your dream reflects that in a day or two prior you made a breakthrough with a very significant habit. A habit that might be perceived as dangerous (a panther). Overcoming our habits is a very significant accomplishment. I would suggest you review your experience and see what habit the panther actually signifies in your waking life. Whichever way you used your mind to tame this habitual way of being, you could replicate these same steps to do so with other habitual ways of being. This ability to redefine how we act, inwardly and outwardly, is what differentiates a human being from an animal. It is very beneficial for us to re-examine our ways of being and seize opportunities to act intentionally in every moment.

May your dreams illuminate the inner you…

While pursuing her Doctorate of Divinity degree Aneta continues her research and study of dreams. She also holds Master’s Degree from DePaul University in Computer Science. She has been serving as a spiritual teacher through the School of Metaphysics for the last 6 years. She currently resides in Kansas City where she directs one of the branches of the School of Metaphysics. Learn more about Aneta and the School of Metaphysics.
Image panthere noire via Flickr CC
Original author: editor
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What is the main difference between a successful writer and an unsuccessful writer?

It’s not the quality of the work. A lot of very good writers are not successful. It’s a matter of how much the writer understands how the publishing industry works, and how they can best present their work and find their audience.

The first thing I tell beginning writers is this: Study the industry. Get to know how it works. Read things about it. Ideally, go to the big annual publishing convention, Book Expo America. It’s not for everybody, and it can be overwhelming for some people, but the entire book industry is spread out in one huge room, and you can learn a tremendous amount about how it all works. It’s in late May and early June in 2017 in New York City. Or go to local writing and publishing events. And get this book: Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents

The book gives you a grand tour of the publishing industry and presents you with a great many different possibilities to consider. It begins with “Part 1: Advice for Writers.” This is filled with invaluable information, including how to write a good query letter to get an agent’s attention and how to write a proposal that will get your book published.

I’m always surprised at the number of writers who ask me what we want in the way of a proposal. I just say, “Pick up Jeff Herman’s Guide and go to page 32.” He concisely spells out exactly what we want: 

• Title page • Overview (keep it brief — ideally just a page or two) • Biographical section (tell us about you and why you’re qualified to write your book) • Marketing section (tell us what your “platform” is, and what you’ll do to help promote the book) • Competition section (briefly list the main competing titles) • Chapter outline (keep it brief as well) • Sample chapters (I always like to see at least the first 25 or 30 pages of the book, including the Introduction [if any] and the first chapter or two. Don’t send us chapter 5 unless you also send chapters 1–4.) That’s all we want. You can approach a publisher or agent once you’ve written just the proposal and the first 25 or so pages of the proposed nonfiction book, and if they take you on, you may be able to sign a contract and get a portion of an advance right away.

“Part 2: Publishing Conglomerates” is a broad and yet detailed explanation of the world of big publishing, complete with editors’ names and contact information. “Part 3: Independent Presses” gives you a tour of the publishers who are not part of the conglomerates: the independent publishers (like New World Library, for example). “Part 4: University Presses” gives you all the information you need if you’re writing something appropriate for the academic world (and, quite often, a more general audience as well). “Part 5: Canadian Book Publishers” gives you some great options north of the U.S. border.

“Part 6: Literary Agents” gives you names, contact information, and a whole lot more about 170+ literary agents. It includes their areas of special interest, previous books they’ve represented, and a lot of other really valuable information if you decide you want an agent. (In general, you need an agent to approach the big conglomerate publishers, but you can send proposals to a lot of the independent publishers — including us — directly, without having an agent.)

Finally, “Part 7: Independent Editors” gives you profiles and contact information of freelance editors, in case you want to work with a professional editor before you approach a publisher or self-publish. (Please, if you self-publish, have someone edit your work! Virtually every writer can use a good editor to help them make their work clearer, cleaner, more beautiful, more effective.)

Every publisher knows that authors are the lifeblood of the industry. Every one of us in the publishing industry is constantly looking for new books to publish. 

We get a ton of books submitted to us, but just a tiny percentage of them get considered seriously, because the vast majority of them are either totally inappropriate for us to publish or badly written and badly presented.

Do your homework. Go to your local independent bookstores and browse their shelves and find out who publishes the kind of book you’re writing. Research those publishers a bit first; get familiar with their list before you approach them.

I got a call from someone a while ago. This was the entire conversation:

“Marc, you don’t know me, but I’ve got a great book for you.”

“What’s it called?”

“The World’s Greatest Dirty Jokes.”

“Uh . . . we don’t publish those kind of books.”

“Oh. What do you publish?”

“Look, if you don’t know what kinds of books we publish, why are you wasting your time and my time calling me? Go call someone who publishes dirty jokes.”

“Oh . . . okay. Good-bye.”

End of conversation. That’s an example of a lame way to contact a publisher. Now here’s an excellent way. Years ago, I got a very brief query letter that started with something like this: “First you published Creative Visualization. Then you published Prospering Woman. Now here’s the third book in that trilogy: Work with Passion.”

I immediately knew that the author was familiar with the kind of publishing we do, and I was intrigued by the title. We ended up publishing it, and it became a bestseller.

Keep trying not only to be the best writer you can be but also to understand and work smoothly with the publishing industry. It’s a great industry to get involved in — there’s a lot of integrity in it and a lot of passion for well-written books. There are good people in publishing companies who are always looking for their next book to publish and promote successfully. 

I challenge you and encourage you to write the very best book you can write, and then to find a great partner to work with in getting your book out to the world.  

# # #

Marc Allen is the author of several books, including Visionary Business, The Magical Path, The Greatest Secret of All, and Tantra for the West. He is an internationally renowned seminar leader, entrepreneur, author, and composer. 

He cofounded New World Library (with Shakti Gawain) and has guided the company, as president and publisher, from a small start-up to its current position as a major player in the independent publishing world. He leads seminars in Northern California and gives teleseminars that reach people all over the world. Visit him online at www.MarcAllen.com.

Original author: Publicity Admin
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There are so many different kinds of violence. Shall we go into each kind of violence or shall we take the whole structure of violence? Can we look at the whole spectrum of violence, not just at one part of it?…The source of violence is the “me”, the ego, the self, which expresses itself in so many ways—in division, in trying to become or be somebody—which divides itself as the “me” and the “not me”, as the unconscious and the conscious; the “me” that identifies with the family or not with the family, with the community or not with the community and so on. It is like a stone dropped in a lake; the waves spread and spread, at the centre is the “me”. As long as the “me” survives in any form, very subtly or grossly, there must be violence.
Beyond Violence, p 74    
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Prague, Czech Republic, 20 October 2016 - It was raining this morning as His Holiness the Dalai Lama left his hotel and drove across Prague to the Senate Hall of the Czech Parliament. He was welcomed on arrival by Miluse Horska, Vice-Chair of the Senate, who escorted him into a meeting with 14 Senators and 34 Deputies. They all sat at a table together while His Holiness told them:

“It’s a great honour for me to be here with you, representatives of the people. Since my childhood I’ve had an interest in and a respect for democracy. While I was still in Tibet I tried to introduce reforms, but the Chinese put a stop to them because they wanted things done their way. After reaching India in 1959 I was able to introduce change. We set up a Parliament in Exile and in 1963 released a charter for Tibetans that declared that the Dalai Lama’s power could be abolished by a 2/3 majority of Deputies.

“In 2001, I semi-retired in favour of an elected leadership and in 2011, I fully retired myself and put an end to the Dalai Lamas’ political role.”

Mrs Horska asked what advice His Holiness might have for them as legislators and he replied that they needed to stand by their principles, but otherwise how they conducted themselves was for them to decide.

“After the collapse of communism, this country was among the first to institute democracy under President Havel’s leadership. What I always tell people is that we are all the same as human beings, physically, mentally and emotionally. We all have the potential to do damage, just as we all have the potential to do good. Irrespective of whether we have any religious faith or not, we are all human beings. Using our intelligence we can assess the extent to which anger, jealousy and self-centredness detract from our interests, while compassion and concern for others serve them. This is something I always talk about when I meet with other people and I’m not talking as a Buddhist or as the Dalai Lama, I’m talking about our common experience as human beings.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with Czech parliamentarians at the Senate Hall of the Czech Parliament in Prague, Czech Republic on October 19, 2016
Photo/Ondrej Besperat

“If you stand by your principles, you’ll naturally be honest and truthful, qualities that are important in elected politicians.”

His Holiness mentioned that when he first came to newly liberated Czechoslovakia he suggested that it could be useful to come up with a combined approach to the economy that preserved socialist concerns for the poor while harnessing the dynamic qualities of capitalism. He reported that when he recently met a group of Russian intellectuals they told him how restricted and controlled things are for them these days. His Holiness suggested that Czechs take whatever opportunity presents itself, whether it involves visiting Russian tourists or students, to show them the value of freedom and democracy.

“A few days ago I met the President of Slovakia, Andrej Kiska,” His Holiness told the Czech politicians, “who struck me as a true follower of President Havel. I was impressed.”

His Holiness declared himself similarly impressed by delegates from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel he met yesterday, only regretting the shortage of time to talk to them. In connection with Forum 2000, he reported his suggestion that groups of students, particularly from areas of conflict, be invited to attend workshops in connection with the wider discussions. He described a group of such students that the United States Institute of Peace had brought to see him in Dharamsala.

As the meeting, which had run well over time, came to an end, participants clustered around His Holiness to exchange a few personal words, shake his hand, request his signature, or simply take a photograph with him.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Lucerna Palace in Prague, Czech Republic on October 19, 2016.
Photo/Olivier Adam

After lunch, His Holiness drove to Lucerna Palace where a capacity crowd of 2800 awaited him.

“Dear brothers and sisters,” he began, “this is how I always start. Under the leadership of the late President Havel, your country stood by its principles. The other day too in Hradcanske Square I witnessed your ongoing support for Tibet, which is a just cause and your support for our non-violent approach. On behalf of the Tibetan people and all who love non-violence, I’d like to offer you heartfelt thanks.

“The other day too, I briefly mentioned my three commitments. I am committed to promoting human happiness, the most important contributing factor to which is peace of mind. And the best way to achieve that is to cultivate compassion. All the major religious traditions advocate love and compassion. Meanwhile, scientists have revealed evidence that basic human nature is compassionate—so there is real hope.

“My second commitment is to fostering inter-religious harmony and the third is to do with Tibet. As far as political responsibility goes, I’ve totally retired, but I remain deeply concerned about keeping Tibetan language and culture alive and protecting Tibet’s fragile natural environment.

“I don’t want just to repeat what I told you the other day, so this time I’d like to answer your questions. Please, ask me whatever you like.”

A view of the hall in Lucerna Palace during His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk in Prague, Czech Republic on October 19, 2016. Photo/Ondrej Besperat
The first questioner wanted to know not only how to develop compassion, but how encourage angry people to do so. His Holiness pointed out that even those who seem angry now weren’t like that when they were born. Even they share in the basic human nature of compassion that scientists are talking about. He pointed out that too much nationalism, self-centredness and focus on people in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’ runs counter to compassion. He described existing education systems as inadequate, because they focus on materialistic goals while paying little attention to universal inner values. He said that what he calls secular ethics remain of great relevance in the interdependent world we live in today. These values can be approached on the basis of scientific findings, common experience and common sense.

Talking more about the basic positive nature of human beings, His Holiness pointed out that children don’t care about differences of nationality, race or faith, they accept each other as they are and play. He also asked his listeners to imagine they were lost alone on an empty island or crossing a desert and suddenly saw someone in the distance. The natural response would be to be filled with joy at meeting another human being with no care about where they came from or what they believed. The example shows how deeply we cherish a sense of the oneness of humanity.

Several questioners expressed their unease at the direction of developments in the Czech Republic and even in the USA. His Holiness repeated that it’s easy to complain if you don’t look at things from a wider perspective.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during his talk at Lucerna Palace in Prague, Czech Republic on October 19, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam
“Compared to life in Iraq or Syria just now,” he said, “things are still pretty good where we are. If, instead of worrying about the wider world, we learn to tackle our destructive emotions we’ll develop an inner strength that will ensure the sense of hope and optimism that are crucial for success. Friendship is important and we make friends not by accumulating power and money, but by showing compassion and concern for others.

“I’m happy to come here and although I naturally miss President Havel, I’m glad to see his friends carrying his wisdom forward and working to fulfil his vision. Of course, it’s routine that wherever I go the Chinese Embassy is busy, but at least they give me publicity. If you were able to speak privately to those who criticize me in public, they might express a different view. Under a totalitarian system there is no freedom of speech or expression, but you Czech people know all about that.”

When someone asked about how it’s possible to have a good motivation, to feel compassion, without getting anything done, His Holiness talked about an occasion in Japan. He was attending a meeting of Nobel Peace Laureates in Hiroshima at which his colleagues, one by one, repeated, ‘Let’s pray for peace’. When it came to his turn he said, “It’s all very well to pray for peace, but peace will only come if we take some action. We must be practical, realistic and determined.”

Asked quietly, “Are you planning to reincarnate again?” His Holiness answered by repeating his favourite prayer:

For as long as space endures
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I too abide
To dispel the misery of the world.

And when someone else asked him what he believed in he replied:

“That basic human nature is positive and compassionate and that we can, if we try, work together to build a happier more peaceful world.”

In connection with a request that he come again in the future, His Holiness declared that he feels a responsibility to do so, because of his close friendship with President Havel. He said,
“Certainly I’ll come, but you’ll have to send me an invitation. Tomorrow, I’ll be going to Italy, while you remain here. Look at your problems from a wider perspective and tackle them with self-confidence. As the Buddha said, ‘You are your own master’. Success depends on your being confident and optimistic. Goodbye.”

The hall erupted in cheers and applause that were loud and long.

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Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence. When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you know why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
Freedom from the Known, pp 51-52    
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Prague, Czech Republic, 18 October 2016 - The overcast skies and cold weather did not detract from the warmth of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s reception by the Minister of Culture, Mr Daniel Herman, and a group of parliamentarians of the Christian and Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party. The Minister and His Holiness first visited a chapel within the Ministry before sitting round a table to exchange views.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with Parliamentarians of the Christian and Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party at the Ministry of Culture in Prague, Czech Republic on October 18, 2016. Photo/Ondrej Besperat
His Holiness remarked that human beings have a unique ability to extend their concern to all other beings. Scientists report findings that indicate that human nature is basically compassionate. He suggested that this accords with the idea of being creatures of a creator who embodies infinite compassion.

“Among 7 billion human beings none are free from problems,” he said, “but the best way to keep calm under such circumstances is to cultivate compassion for others. Religion should have a role in reducing violence by fostering a calm mind. Violence springs from anger, hatred and fear. However, in the world today, in addition to those who have no faith, there are those who only pay lip-service to religious belief and practice. If religion is to mean anything to us, we need to be serious about it.”

The Minister thanked His Holiness for his advice and told him he and his colleagues were interested in practical ways to move forward.

“In today’s world we have a quite materialistic culture,” His Holiness remarked, “but material goods only provide us with physical comfort. Compassion, on the other hand, brings inner strength and inner peace. No matter how prosperous or poor you may be, if you have compassion for others you can be a peaceful happy person. However, it seems there are those who attend their places of worship, but whose lives are relatively untouched by the religious teachings involved.”

His Holiness mentioned his admiration for Pope John Paul II and the inter-religious Assisi meeting he organised in 1986. He reported his telling the Pope it should be the beginning of a movement for religious groups to get to know each other and exchange their different experiences with each other. As the gathering broke up, members of the parliamentary group clustered round His Holiness, requesting him to sign books or take selfies with them.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at a Forum 2000 panel on The Paradox of Religion in Prague, Czech Republic on October 18, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam
Minister Herman accompanied His Holiness on the short drive to Manes Hall where they were both due to be panellists in a discussion of the Paradox of Religion as part of Forum 2000. Moderator of that meeting, Shlomo Avineri welcomed them on arrival. He introduced the panellists, who also included Egyptian author and journalist, Tarek Osman to the audience of 150 and invited the Minister to begin. He spoke of being a Roman Catholic with Jewish roots who found, as he grew up in Czechoslovakia, that religion gave him a freedom of heart that remains an inspiration in his work as an active politician.

His Holiness spoke of his own three commitments.

“As a human being I am concerned with encouraging people to be happy, to understand that if their minds are upset mere physical comfort won’t bring them peace. Whereas if their minds are at peace even physical pain won’t disturb their calm. Over the last 30 years I’ve had serious discussions with scientists. I take their finding evidence that basic human nature is compassionate as a source of hope.

“On the one hand, all major religious traditions convey the same message of love and compassion. On the other, more than 1 billion people today have little interest in religion. Therefore, we also need to find other ways to educate people about the importance of inner values, such as compassion.

“In seeking to promote harmony among our religious traditions, it is useful to realise that the once prevalent notion that there can only be one truth and one religion best applies to personal practice. In terms of community and the world at large, there are evidently several truths and a multiplicity religions. When I was still in Tibet, I considered Buddhism was best. But once I reached India and came into contact with people like Thomas Merton and Mother Teresa, as well as wonderful Hindu, Jewish and Muslim friends, I developed a real appreciation and respect for other traditions.”

Members of the audience applauding at the conclusion at the Forum 2000 closing panel on the World and Its Current Challenges in Prague, Czech Republic on October 18, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam
In discussing a secular approach to ethics, His Holiness remarked that there are different ways to understand the word secular. He prefers to use it as it is understood in India to mean an unbiased respect for all religions and even the views of those who have no faith. He suggested that when Bolshevik and French revolutionaries historically advocate secularism, they were less opposed to religious teachings than to religious institutions.

In his contribution, referring particularly to the Middle or Near East, Tarek Osman spoke of its recent turbulent history. He suggested that in a climate of turbulence, religion has the appeal of providing order. Difficulties arise however when that sense of order becomes control.

Daniel Herman mentioned parallels he has drawn between experience of the collapse of communism and the biblical account of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt and their 40 years in the desert on the way to the Promised Land. A real change in mentality takes more than one generation to achieve.

His Holiness returned to his emphasis that too many problems facing humanity revolve around too great a focus on secondary differences of faith, race, nationality, economic status and so forth. The important thing to remember is that fundamentally we are all the same—we are all equally human beings. Challenges like climate change and upheavals of the global economy require us to acknowledge the oneness of humanity. Because we have to live together, we have to be more realistic.

Shlomo Avineri wound up the meeting by recalling what his friend Edward Said had said about the responsibility of intellectuals to speak truth to power, but added that power has to be open to dialogue.

A view of the Zorfin Palace Hall, venue for the Forum 2000 closing panel with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Prague, Czech Republic on October 18, 2016. Photo/Ondrej Besperat
After lunch at the Zofin Palace, His Holiness walked to the Forum Hall to attend a closing panel on The World and Its Current Challenges. He was joined on the panel by Prof Tomas Halik, President of the Czech Christian Academy and Manal al-Sharif, a Writer and Women’s Rights Activist from Saudi Arabia. She is a recipient of the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent.

Moderator, Sociologist Surendra Munshi, took some time to give an overview of the conference so far that touched on issues of leadership, the role of intellectuals, and a sense of truth. He invited His Holiness to speak first.

“I feel that if looked at from a close and narrow perspective our problems can seem intractable. However, if we can step back and view them from a wider perspective and in the longer term, they don’t seem so grave and often reveal positive aspects.

“Since common sense and scientific findings indicate that anger, hatred and fear disturb our peace of mind, our education systems need to pay more attention to inner values like compassion and warm-heartedness. The need is to be more concerned about the whole of humanity, as well as concerned about our planet. I admire the spirit of the European Union in according greater concern to the larger community than to narrow national interests.

“If we can develop inner peace, we can build on it to create world peace. Many experts agree that current education systems are. What we require is a more universal approach to human values that can appeal to everyone. There are grounds for optimism.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Forum 2000 closing panel in Prague, Czech Republic on October 18, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam
He concluded: “I admired President Havel and is struggle for truth. And although he is no longer physically with us, we have a responsibility to carry his spirit forward and to fulfil his vision.”

In his remarks Prof Halik referred to the effects of globalisation and the need for confidence. He expressed the view that globalisation defeated communism, which as a monopoly could not withstand an open society. Today however, we are experiencing a less positive response to globalisation. The world is fragmenting and globalisation may have contributed to the outbreak of religious extremism. Halik added wryly that the invisible hand of the market has given rise to the hidden hand of corruption.

Manal al-Sharif mentioned that realisation has dawned that her country, Saudi Arabia, exports oil, but has also exported a brand of fundamentalist Islam. She reported that despite being informed that God had appointed guardians for them, women were now saying, “I am my own guardian.” She said it takes courage to take responsibility for your situation and it takes courage to take action.

His Holiness added that there are three aspects to religious traditions: basic religious practice of love and forgiveness; philosophical views such as whether or not to believe in a creator and cultural aspects. Cultural aspects relate to customs and ways of life from the past. Many of them are now out of date and so should change.

A member of the audience asking His Holiness the Dalai Lama a question during the Forum 2000 closing panel in Prague, Czech Republic on October 18, 2016. Photo/Ondrej Besperat
In answering one or two questions from the floor, Manal al-Sharif observed that there are 1.7 billion Muslims in the world, while ISIS comprises perhaps 4000 fighters. This is an example of the loud minority and quiet majority. In connection with resolving the growing gap between rich and poor, His Holiness stressed the importance of self-confidence in people’s ability to improve their lot. His final remark was that while killing in the name of religion is wrong, to remain indifferent to it is wrong too.

Surendra Munshi brought the meeting to a close with thanks to the panellists for sharing their thoughts. Once again members of the audience converged on the stage clamouring for His Holiness’s attention as they sought his signature, a handshake or the opportunity to take a photograph with him. He steadily met all requests before going into his final meeting of the day with the Forum 2000 International Advisory Board.

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In the eleven years that I have been a part of New World Library’s publishing team, my life has been deeply affected by the relationships and conversations I have been fortunate enough to have with our authors. They are truly at the forefront of helping to create a new paradigm in this world. 
The awareness and practical tools I have gained inspired me to want to create and host a New World Library podcast, to provide an outlet where I can dive deeper with our authors, in a more intentional way, while sharing their wisdom with others.

I declared my “I want to create a podcast” intention in one of our marketing meetings and began researching how we might make that happen. Soon after that, out of the blue, Jeremiah Samborski from the Unity Online Radio Network contacted us. He wanted to explore the possibility of our having a show on their network — and my podcast vision was well on its way to becoming a reality. 

I am thrilled to announce that the first episode of the New World Now podcast is now available, and the second episode will go live on Thursday, October 20th.  In our debut episode, New World Library publisher and president Marc Allen tells the story of how he went from living in poverty to becoming a multimillionaire — and explains how we, too, can live the life of our dreams. He puts it so simply: our dreams will manifest as soon as they become stronger than our doubts and fears — and he offers simple, concrete practices for moving beyond our limiting beliefs in an easy and relaxed, healthy and positive way.

A new interview will air every other Thursday on the Unity Online Radio Network. The podcast will also be available via iTunes and Stitcher and will be posted on the New World Library YouTube channel and here on our blog as well.   

I haven’t been this excited about a creative project in a long time! My intention with every episode of New World Now is to bring forward practical tools and exercises we can all use to be more aware, mindful, and present in our daily lives now. I also just created a special New World Now Facebook group, where those of us who want to live more awakened lives can gather and discuss recent episodes in real time. Please join us if you are so inspired, and I’ll hope to see you there!

# # # 

Kim Corbin is the host of the New World Now podcast.  She joined New World Library’s marketing team in 2006, where she joyfully serves as Senior Publicist/Social Media Manager. 
Original author: Publicity Admin
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Prague, Czech Republic, 17 October 2016 - The weather was cold and foggy as His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Bratislava this morning. He was delayed briefly at the airport because of fog at Prague, but was then able to complete the flight. He was received on arrival at Prague Airport by old friends: Jakub Klepal, Karel Schwarzenberg and Sasa Neumann before driving into the city. Immediately on reaching his hotel he gave an interview to Czech TV 24.

Asked what he thought was late President Vaclav Havel’s best idea he replied, “His sense of truth, his honesty and transparency—that he stood firm in difficult circumstances.”

He said he remembered him as a dear and respected friend.

“When we talked he was very gentle. The last time I saw him I suggested that Forum 2000 should consider sending someone with a sound reputation, but not representative of any faction or interest, to places of potential conflict to attempt to avert violence.”

To a question about whether he thought Havel had departed in peace, His Holiness replied, “Certainly, he lived a good and compassionate life. From a Christian point of view he ought to be in heaven, but from another point of view he may have returned to continue to do good for humanity.”

It was pointed out that President Havel was distinguished by always putting human rights first, but governments today tend to put economic concerns ahead of human rights. His Holiness remarked that that was quite normal and what set Havel apart was that he firmly stood by truth.

Challenged to suggest a solution to the crises in the Middle East, His Holiness simply answered, “Dialogue”. He reiterated this in an interview with Czech radio and the Czech News Agency, stating that it should be our aim to make the 21st century a century of dialogue. One and a half decades may have past, but there is still a long time to go to realise this dream. He was clear it would require a greater commitment to the oneness of humanity, the sense that we are all equally human beings.

Earlier this month, 5th October, the late President Vaclav Havel would have been 80 years old, something already widely celebrated in the Czech Republic. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of Forum 2000 and 26 years since His Holiness the Dalai Lama first came to Prague at President Havel’s invitation. A special effort was made today by Czechs Support Tibet, People in Need, and the Potala Foundation to extend a warm welcome to His Holiness, who has come to attend the annual Forum 2000 conference.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama waving to the gathered crowd on his arrival at Hradcanske Square in Prague, Czech Republic on October 17, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam
More than 2500 people braved the cold and packed into the Hradcanske Square adjacent to Prague Castle, on the far side of which His Holiness first addressed the Czech public from a balcony of the Archbishop’s Palace in 1990. To reach the temporary stage erected under the gate, His Holiness passed through the National Gallery. When he walked out onto it a cheer went up from the crowd, many waving Tibetan flags, holding signs in support of Tibet or simply photographs of His Holiness.

Having saluted the crowd His Holiness turned to drape a large photograph of Vaclav Havel and himself with a ‘kata’, a white silk scarf, in honour of his old friend. He took a seat as representatives of the various organizations who had cooperated to arrange the event stepped forward to pay tribute to President Havel and welcome His Holiness. They included: Czechs Support Tibet, Post Bellum, Potala, Lungta, Politics and Conscience and the International Community Dzogchen Kunkyabling.

Among the speakers were Dana Nemcova, an original signatory of Charter 77, Jiri Fajt, director of the National Gallery, Ladislav Heryan, priest and musician, Martin Bursik, former Minister for the Environment, Simon Panek, former activist and now director of People in Need and Zuzana Ondomisiova, of Potala Foundation. Everyone enjoyed Aneta Langerova’s and Lenka Dusilova’s spirited singing.

When it came to His Holiness’s turn to speak, he stood to address the gathering.

“Brothers and sisters, I’m extremely happy to be here with you. I very much appreciate your warm feelings and your support for justice and truth.

Some of the more than 2500 people gathered at Hradcanske Square to welcome and show their support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Prague, Czech Republic on October 17, 2016. Photo/Olivier Adam
“I’m an admirer of President Vaclav Havel and although, as happens to us human beings, he has physically passed away, his spirit lives on. Many of you, like me, will be determined to continue what he started, to carry his vision forward, not only in this country but in other parts of the world.

“I am fully committed to promoting human values such as compassion. Irrespective of whether we are religious or not, we all need compassion because we all want to be happy. Scientists have observed that constant anger, fear and suspicion undermine our immune system, so warm-heartedness is in our own interest for our physical and mental well-being.

“According to further scientific research basic human nature is compassionate. We are all born from a mother and grow up in the protection of her affection. Without that we would not survive. I’m quite sure too that being surrounded by people with love and affection helps us die in peace.

“A calm mind brings physical well-being. Many of you young women spend money on cosmetics to make yourselves look beautiful, but since no one likes an angry face, it’s clear that the real beauty is inner beauty. The ultimate source of happiness is love and compassion—warm-heartedness.

“Since we are all part of humanity, our interest depends on our human brothers and sisters. If the rest of humanity is happy, we all benefit. I admire the spirit of the European Union, which, after decades and centuries of war, was formed to place the common interest above that of this or that nation. I look forward to seeing similar unions in Africa, Asia and Latin America and eventually a Union of the Whole World.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at Hradcanske Square in Prague, Czech Republic on October 17, 2016.
Photo/Olivier Adam

His Holiness explained that his second commitment is to encouraging inter-religious harmony on the basis that all major religious traditions convey a common message of love, compassion, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. He said we live at a time when harmony among our religious traditions has never been more essential.

“Thirdly,” he declared, “I’m a Tibetan, and someone in whom the majority of the Tibetan people have placed their trust and hope. Although since 2011 I have completely retired from political responsibility, because of that trust and hope I retain a moral responsibility. So, I’d like to thank all of you, on behalf of the 6 million Tibetan people, for your support.

“I am deeply concerned about protecting Tibet’s natural environment and for the preservation of our rich Buddhist knowledge. Conversation with other Buddhists has convinced me that the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, derived from the Nalanda tradition, is the most comprehensive presentation of the teachings of the Buddha. Keeping it alive is really worthwhile and of interest not only to Tibetans, but also to many among the 400 million Buddhists in China. Since Tibet’s is a culture of peace and compassion, it is well worth preserving.

“In general I believe it’s better to stick with the religion you are born with and Europe is by and large a Judeo-Christian region, so I am a little reluctant to give strictly Buddhist teachings here. However, there are also aspects of Buddhist science focussed on the workings of the mind and emotions and aspects of Buddhist philosophy that correspond to the thinking of quantum physics that can be profitably studied in an academic way. We can all benefit from learning how to tackle our destructive emotions. From that point of view I’d like to accept the request Zuzana Ondomisiova has made to teach, perhaps on a visit next year. What do you feel?”

The audience responded with cheers.

A view of Hradcanske Square during welcoming ceremonies for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Prague, Czech Republic on October 17, 2016. Photo/Ondrej Besperat
His Holiness went on to explain how Chinese documents reveal that historically, in the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries Tibet was a separated, powerful nation. However, in a similar spirit to that of the European Union Tibetans don’t now seek separation from China so long as they are free to preserve their language and culture. They seek a mutually agreeable solution.

“By the way, many of you here are carrying the Tibetan national flag. Nowadays, of course, hardliners in China regard it as a separatist symbol. However, I’d like you to know that in 1954-55 I met Chairman Mao on several occasions in China. On one of them he asked me if we had a national flag. I hesitated and answered that we did. He said it was important to keep it and fly it alongside the red flag. So, you can tell any Chinese who complain that I received permission from Chairman Mao himself to fly our flag.

“Finally, let us keep the late President Havel’s vision alive across the world to ensure equality, freedom and compassion for all. Thank you.”

The crowd responded with warm applause and to bring the event to an end everyone joined the band Zrni in singing John Lennon’s anthem ‘Imagine’, ending:

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.

From Hradcanske Square His Holiness drove to President Havel’s office where he met his widow Mrs Dagmar Havlova. In tribute to his old friend he draped a white silk ‘kata’ across the President’s chair and bowed his head in respect. After signing a large red heart that will part of a memorial to President Havel he returned to his hotel and retired for the night.

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Man pleasantly surprised looking at smartphone -

The following has been excerpted from Let Me Out: Unlock Your Creative Mind and Bring Your Ideas to Life, through which rock-musician-turned-creativity-consultant Peter Himmelman aims to teach others how to stop making excuses and unlock their own creative potential. 

Front cover of book -

The smartphone controversy

Hardly a day goes by without hearing that the iPhone (and all the other smartphones in the world) are destroying our humanity, our ability to communicate, to bond with others, and even our ability to think. I may be a lone voice out there but I beg to differ. I offer this: The smartphone is the most connective and most humanizing device ever created. Like every piece of technology from the knife to the violin, the way we use it determines whether it delivers pleasure or pain.

Do you have three spare minutes?

I want you to take THREE MINUTES to write a text or an email on your smartphone to someone you love. Someone who’s been a mentor, a guide, a positive force in your life. Do it right now. Tell them everything you’d want them to know, as if their survival into the next day were an uncertainty…


That’s right: Take your index finger and hit send.

Writing the smartphone letter and hitting send are actions of course, but they are also powerful metaphors. You took a nascent idea (your love for the person you wrote to) and brought it through “the pin-hole” as my friend and filmmaker Jim Hershleder likes to say.

In that special moment while you were writing, your thoughts became transmuted into reality. They became a written depiction of your feelings and took on a new, more genuine dimension. By hitting send you drew that idea one step further into reality through the act of sharing.

It actually works—a real-life example

I recently received an email from a participant in one of my Big Muse workshops, Brad G., a successful Chicago businessman, in which he described how this particular BBO [Brain Bottle Opener] changed his life. Brad told me that he and his 88-year-old father always had a somewhat distant relationship, that he’d never once heard his father say, “I’m proud of you” or “I love you.” Then he went on to tell me that he sent his father a text during one of my seminars that said simply:

“Dad, I don’t think I’ve ever told you this, but I really love you.”

Within minutes he received two text messages, each from a different sister.

“OMG, Brad are you going down in a plane crash?”

“Brad, are you OK, did you just get a terminal diagnosis?”

Then came the response that Brad had been waiting all his life to hear:

“Brad, I love you too, and I’ve always been so proud of you. I’m so sorry this has always been so difficult for me to say.”

The post-script to this story is that since the Smartphone Letter Brad sent to his dad, his whole family has been communicating on a deeper level, with more frequent calls and more exchanges of real affection.

Like a “Swiss Army Knife”: More real-world applications

In many ways this BBO is like the Swiss Army Knife of Brain Bottle Openers. It is a powerful, all-purpose technique of reducing anxiety. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve been tasked with writing a long and complicated legal brief. The weight of the effort is looming over you. The due date is causing you tremendous anxiety and you feel like you’d do anything to stave it off for later. Know that this is a perfect time for the Smartphone Letter. There is a fear-reducing aspect to this BBO that often makes mountains shrink immediately into molehills.

Now you may be saying, how can I write something “heartfelt” on command? How can doing something for the sake of an exercise, particularly one that’s designed to help me with a mundane business task, ever be real—or moral for that matter? The magic of the BBO is that in spite of what you’re thinking before you commence to write to a loved one, when you actually start the Smartphone Letter, you will be doing it from a place of truth. You will go from an intellectual process, directly into an emotional one, and the fact that you go from one to the other in seconds makes no difference at all. This is all about “doing.” Your mere thoughts about how it won’t work are just that, thoughts. Once you begin to act, in this case to write, everything changes. Try it and you’ll see.

Read more about how mobile phones can transform lives in GLOBAL INCLUSION: Mobile phones drive growth in developing economies»

Peter Himmelman is an award-winning, Emmy and Grammy-nominated musician and the founder of Big Muse, a company that teaches creative thinking, leadership skills, and deeper levels of communication in all facets of life—from personal to professional. As Big Muse has grown in popularity over the last four years, Peter has come to share his program with thousands of individuals, including academic institutions like The Wharton School, UCLA, and the Ross School of Business, and international brands such as McDonald’s, Adobe, and Gap Inc. He has an Advanced Management Certificate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

image Excerpted from LET ME OUT: Unlock Your Mind and Bring Your Ideas to Life by Peter Himmelman. © 2016 by Peter Himmelman. TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
image: a hip young black guy via Shutterstock
Original author: editor-er
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Bratislava, Slovakia, 16 October 2016 - Before embarking on his public commitments this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama received an official Slovakian Parliamentary delegation. Ms Lucia Nicholson, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly; Mr Frantisek Sebej, Chairman Foreign Affairs Committee; Mr Martin Poliacik, MP and member of the Tibet Group and Mr Pal Csaky, MEP and former Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia called on him in his hotel.

Lubomir Bajanik of Slovak TV opened his conversation with His Holiness by asking what enables him to smile and to seem so happy all the time. He replied,

“Peace of mind. I always try to look at things from a wider perspective. Looked at from different angles, problems don’t look so severe. I’m committed to contributing to making a happier, more peaceful world, so it’s better to be optimistic.

“Each of us has to make an effort to create a happier world. At this moment in Syria for example people are facing tremendous suffering. Because of the real dangers they face, many are becoming refugees. Many European countries, Germany in particular, have done well to provide them shelter. It’s appropriate to offer them refuge, to provide education to the children and training for the youth among them. However, just as important is to work to restore peace in the lands they are fleeing. Eventually they should be able to return to help rebuild where they come from. The majority of us Tibetans who are refugees still hope to be able to return and restore our own country one day.”

Bajanik asked if the crises in Iraq and Syria can really be solved through non-violent means and His Holiness answered that the use of violence only leads to more violence. The 20th century saw immense violence and the imposition of tight control in many places. In the end, the only way to solve problems is through talk and dialogue. In the long run he said he looks forward to a demilitarized world. And the first step, as one of his Nobel Peace Laureate colleagues declared is to stop the trade in arms.

Lubomir Bajanik of Slovak TV interviewing His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bratislava, Slovakia on October 16, 2016.
Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL
Asked about the prospects for a reconciliation of the issue of Tibet in his lifetime, His Holiness recalled that it was the Chinese imposition of reforms from 1956 onwards that provoked a revolt in Tibet. In 1959 he was left no option but to escape. He conceded that he had found Marxism attractive and felt that to begin with Chinese communist leaders were dedicated to serving the people. After 1956 and ‘57 however power seemed to have spoiled them. Nevertheless, he said, the last 40 years have seen great change.

As to whether he sees a future for Tibet as a democratic country, His Holiness observed that since his childhood he had felt there was much in the old system that needed to change. After taking responsibility for Tibet he set up a reform committee, but the Chinese opposed it because they wanted changes to be done their way. Democratisation began in early 1959 with the establishment of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, a process that culminated in His Holiness’s retirement and devolving political responsibility to the elected leadership in 2011.

When Bajanik asked how to achieve happiness in a violent world, His Holiness told him we need to learn how to deal with our destructive emotions and conduct ourselves with honesty, transparency and warm-heartedness.

Invited to address students and faculty at Comenius University, His Holiness was welcomed at the door by Rector Karol Micietal who escorted him into the meeting to strains of triumphalist music. Prof Martin Slododnik introduced him to the 250 strong audience.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia on October 16, 2016. Photo/Somogyi
“Respected brothers and sisters,” His Holiness began, “I am honoured to have this opportunity to speak to people involved in education as you are. Wherever I go I consider whoever I meet to be another human being like me. We all want to live a happy life. We all respond to smiles, so wherever I go, I smile. Scientists are finding evidence that basic human nature is compassionate. Therefore, even if we don’t share a language, we can communicate our friendship by smiling. If we consider everyone as a human brother or sister, differences of faith, nationality, social status and so on will fade in significance. We need instead to focus on the oneness of 7 billion human beings.

“Too often we think in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’, a division that contains the seed of conflict. The use of force to solve problems is the wrong approach. After the bloodshed of the 20th century, it is important that we make this 21st century an era of dialogue instead, which involves solutions of mutual benefit.”

His Holiness mentioned his commitments to promoting human happiness and encouraging inter-religious understanding before inviting questions from the floor. In answering these he reiterated his view that real happiness comes from warm-heartedness. He explained that in addition to a limited instinctive, biological sense of compassion, we can develop a more extensive impartial sense of compassion through training and education. Such compassion can even be extended towards our enemies. His Holiness explained that to compensate for the inadequacies of modern education it is possible to cultivate universal values on the basis of our common experience as human beings, our common sense and scientific findings.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with His Excellency, Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, over lunch at the Altitude Restaurant in Bratislava, Slovakia on October 16, 2016. Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL
From Comenius University His Holiness drove to the Altitude Restaurant set on the television tower high above the city and surrounding wooded hills. He was received by His Excellency, Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, with whom he had lunch.

Back in the city at the National Tennis Centre in the afternoon, His Holiness walked onto the stage waving and acknowledging the welcoming applause of the 4000 in the audience. Martin Butora, Advisor to the President told them, “I’ve been asked to do the impossible, to introduce someone who needs no introduction,” and the applause increased. His Holiness gestured to everyone to sit down and began his talk.

“Look, I’m a normal human being. One nose, two eyes, a mouth in a smile. I’m very happy to be here. This morning I met students and teachers at the University and now I’m happy to be able to talk to you. We may have different faiths and beliefs, but we are all equally human beings. Scientists have found that constant anger, fear and anxiety undermine our immune systems, so it’s in our own interest to cultivate peace of mind. Affection and compassion are the source of inner peace. They are qualities necessary for social animals like us.

“In the early part of the 20th century, when the first and second world wars broke out, people proudly and unhesitatingly joined up to serve the war effort. I feel this has changed, that people have got fed up with war. Also, in the early 20th century, no one talked about the environment or taking steps to protect it, nor were there the inter-faith meetings that we see today. After so much violence and conflict, these are all positive developments.

A view of the stage at the National Tennis Center during His Holiness the Dalai Lama's talk in Bratislava, Slovakia on October 16, 2016. Photo/Somogyi
“My number one commitment, simply as one of the 7 billion human beings, is to encourage other people to understand that we all have a real responsibility to work to create a happier more peaceful world. My second commitment, as a Buddhist monk, is to encourage people to see that despite different philosophical points of view, different customs and different history, all the world’s major religious traditions convey a common message of the importance of warm-heartedness, contentment, forgiveness and tolerance. I like to point out how in India all the world’s major religions have flourished side by side for centuries. This is an example we can all learn from.

“My third commitment concerns my being a Tibetan. Since 2011, I have completely retired from any political responsibility and have ended any such role for Dalai Lamas in the future. However, I remain deeply committed to the welfare of the Tibetan people and encouraging the protection of Tibet’s language, culture and natural environment.”

In answering questions from the audience His Holiness told one distraught young woman, who wanted to know how to keep calm when faced with crisis, that among the 7 billion human beings, everyone has some problems. He told her that he follows the advice of an 8th century Indian master to assess the problem from a wider perspective to see if it can be overcome. If it can there is no need to worry any more, the important thing is to make the effort and do it. If it can’t be overcome, worrying about it won’t make things any better.

He told another questioner that forgiveness does not mean forgetting what may have been done to you, but it enables you not to feel angry about it any more.

Asked how competing politicians could bring more love and compassion to their work, he said,

“I’ve just had lunch with your marvellous President. We talked about how politics can often become dirty, but he told me that what he really wants is to serve the people. We found we have a lot in common. We talked about how existing education systems focus on material goals with too little attention to inner values. There needs to be a more holistic approach. I mentioned to him that a curriculum to enable young people to learn more about universal values is being prepared.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to members of the Tibetan community, mostly from Austria, in Bratislava, Slovakia on October 16, 2016. Photo/Somogyi
As the meeting came to an end, His Holiness told the audience how much he had enjoyed being with them. He reassured them that he feels that making a more compassionate, peaceful world is possible if each and every one of us takes the responsibility to contribute to it. He asked them to think about what he had said and if they felt any of it was practical and useful to make the effort to put it into effect.

After words of thanks His Holiness left the stage to warm applause.

Back at his hotel His Holiness met briefly with 240 Tibetans who had mostly come to see him from Austria. He reminded them that as refugees they represent the 6 million Tibetans in Tibet. He encouraged them to be 21st century Buddhists, not only to recite the 21 Tara prayers but to study what the Buddha’s teachings mean. This includes coming to understand the workings of the mind and emotions. He asked them to ensure that their children learn Tibetan.

He observed that there are now estimated to be 400 million Buddhists in China, many of them recognising the importance of Tibetan Buddhism and wanting to know more about it. He also looked forward to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that will be held in Beijing next year and his hopes that it will result in change for the better.

Tomorrow morning, His Holiness will travel from Bratislava to Prague in the Czech Republic.

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You are the world, you are not separate from the world. You are not an American, Russian, Hindu, or Muslim. You are apart from these labels and words, you are the rest of mankind because your consciousness, your reactions are similar to the others. You may speak a different language, have different customs, that is superficial culture—all cultures apparently are superficial—but your consciousness, your reactions, your faith, your beliefs, your ideologies, your fears, anxieties, loneliness, sorrow, and pleasure are similar to the rest of mankind. If you change, it will affect the whole of mankind. - Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti to Himself, p 61
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Your consciousness is not yours any more than your thinking. It is not an individual thinking. Thinking is common, is general, from the poorest man, the most uneducated, unsophisticated man in a little, tiny village to the most sophisticated brain—the great scientists; they all think. The thinking may be more complex, but thinking is general, shared by all human beings. Therefore, it is not your individual thinking. This is rather difficult to see and to recognize the truth of it, because we are so conditioned as individuals. All your religious books, whether Christian or Muslim or another, all sustain and nourish this idea, this concept of an individual. You have to question that. You have to find out the truth of the matter.
Mind Without Measure, p 37    
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Zurich, Switzerland, 15 October 2016 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama was met on arrival at the Grossmünster Church this morning by Pastor Christoph Sigrist, who introduced him to representatives of the Evangelical Church, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and the Roman Catholic Church. The Church was packed with about 1000 people as the religious representatives entered together. Once they were seated the building resounded to a Bach toccata played on the organ.

Addressing the gathering Pastor Sigrist said it was an honour and a great joy to welcome ‘Our Brother’, His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Grossmünster Church. “It means a great deal to have you here to pray and reflect with us,” he said. Each of the religious representatives was invited to make a prayer beginning with Tibetan Buddhist monks from Rikon Monastery. His Holiness joined them in their melodic chanting as their prayers for taking refuge and cultivating bodhichitta filled the church. They were followed by the Imam, the Rabbi and women representing Hinduism, the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches, each praying in their own way for peace and justice among humanity. Finally, the Church rang with the pure voices of the choir singing Heinrich Schütz’s ‘Grant us peace graciously’.

Mario Fehr, an old friend of Tibetans, who is now President of the Canton of Zurich said, “On behalf of the Canton Government and the people of Zurich, I am very thankful that you are all here and that you have joined us to pray for peace today.”

Invited to address the congregation that included another 700 or so watching a monitor outside, His Holiness began:

“Spiritual brothers and sisters, I’m very touched by the atmosphere here with leaders and followers of different faiths gathered to pray together. It’s a great opportunity for us to get to know each other.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the inter-faith prayer meeting at Grossmuenster Church in Zurich Switzerland on October 15, 2016. Photo/Manuel Bauer
“At this very moment we are praying peacefully together here, but in other parts of the world, people are being killed and are being killed in the name of religion. These days if a person is killed by an elephant or a tiger it makes the news, but when people kill other people it seems routine and hardly seems to register.

“Nevertheless, scientists are finding evidence to conclude that basic human nature is compassionate. We depend on each other for our survival. In terms of the threats we all face from climate change, national boundaries have no meaning. Looking at our small blue planet from space no such boundaries can be seen. This is the reality today. We have to think of the welfare of all humanity.

“I have a commitment to promoting happiness through understanding. We human beings are physically, mentally and emotionally the same. We all want to live a happy life, but too often our strong sense of ‘us’ and ‘them’ causes divisions among us. We need instead a sense of the oneness of humanity. All the major religious traditions convey a message of love, tolerance, forgiveness and self-discipline. They all have the potential to bring peace through the cultivation of warm-heartedness. They adopt different philosophical positions, but their purpose is to foster greater love and affection for others. Their common aim is to create more compassionate people.”

His Holiness explained that his second commitment, as a Buddhist monk, is to encouraging religious harmony. He mentioned Thomas Merton, Mother Teresa and other Muslim and Hindu friends who have deeply impressed him, people driven by the dedication of their faith. He emphasised the need to create harmony and respect among religious people. Recalling the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy, in1986 that he attended at the invitation of Pope John Paul II, His Holiness reported expressing his appreciation to the Pope and telling him how important it was for it not to be a one-off event, but for it to happen again and again.

A View  of Grossmuenster Church during inter-faith prayers for world peace with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Zurich, Switzerland on October 15, 2016. Photo/Manuel Bauer
He mentioned too how important it is for followers of different religions simply to get to know each other. Similarly, he said, scholars and religious leaders should meet to discuss and exchange their experiences. For example, in discussions with Muslim scholars in India and elsewhere, His Holiness has learned that if Muslims commit bloodshed they are no longer proper Muslims. Their commitment is to extend love to all the creatures of Allah. The same scholars have also explained that ‘jihad’ actually refers to a struggle within to tackle our disturbing emotions.

His Holiness suggested a third practice he follows to promote religious harmony—making pilgrimage to other people’s places of worship. He said he started doing this in Varanasi, India, in 1975 and has since visited Jerusalem to pray in the company of Christians, Jews and Muslims. Similarly, he recalled joining visiting Christian sisters and brothers, local Hindus and Muslims under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, for half an hour’s silent meditation.

Observing that all the world’s major religious traditions, those that are indigenous like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, and those from abroad like Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have lived together in India, side by side, in respect and harmony, for centuries. This, he said, is an example for others to follow.

Over 700 people watching the inter-faith prayer meeting on a big screen outside of Grossmuenster Church in Zurich, Switzerland on October 15, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
“Finally, if may say so,” His Holiness remarked, “I wonder how appropriate it is for us to pray to God or to Buddha for peace when the problems and conflict were created by us. I wonder if we were to meet Jesus Christ, the Buddha or Muhammad, if they might not ask, ‘Who created these problems you are seeking help to resolve? Isn’t it your responsibility to sort things out?’

“I feel we should make a personal commitment to promoting inter-religious harmony and to cultivating compassion within ourselves. If we also discuss this with friends and family, we can spread these ideas. In our materialistic world money seems all important, but much more valuable if we want to lead a happy life is to cultivate warm-heartedness. This is what strengthens the inner peace that anger and jealousy so easily destroy. Paying more attention to our inner values will ensure we’re healthy in body and mind and can make a real contribution to peace in the world.”

Pastor Sigrist thanked His Holiness for his words and called on all present to join in saying St Francis of Assisi’s Prayer for Peace:

God, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life, Amen

He announced that Syrian refugees had been offered shelter in apartments attached to the church and that they had prepared a lunch for the religious leaders, representatives and guests.

Towards the end of the meal, President Mario Fehr presented Zurich’s Gold Medal to His Holiness as a mark of appreciation.

Tibetans thronged the cobbled streets outside the church to see His Holiness off as he drove to Zurich airport. From there he flew to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, where he was met on arrival by old friends Suzanne and Csaba Kiss of the At Home Gallery and Martin Butora, advisor to the President of Slovakia, and his wife. Tomorrow, His Holiness will interact with students and faculty at Komensky University in the morning and give a public talk in the afternoon.

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A human being psychologically is the whole of mankind. He not only represents it but he is the whole of the human species. He is essentially the whole psyche of mankind. On this actuality various cultures have imposed the illusion that each human being is different. In this illusion mankind has been caught for centuries, and this illusion has become a reality. If one observes closely the whole psychological structure of oneself, one will find that as one suffers, so all mankind suffers in various degrees. If you are lonely, the whole humankind knows this loneliness. Agony, jealousy, envy, and fear are known to all. So psychologically, inwardly, one is like another human being. There may be differences physically, biologically. One is tall or short and so on, but basically one is the representative of all mankind. So psychologically you are the world; you are responsible for the whole of mankind, not for yourself as a separate human being, which is a psychological illusion… If one grasps the full significance of the fact that one is psychologically the world, then responsibility becomes overpowering love.
Letters to the Schools vol I, p 20    
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Zurich, Switzerland, 14 October 2016 - The slowly stirring streets of Zurich bore a wintry air as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove to the Zurich Hallenstadion this morning, but when he arrived a long line of beaming Tibetan children, some with flowers in their hands, were there to greet him.

Inside the hall he walked to the front of the stage peering into the audience of 9000 in search of familiar faces. He saluted the large appliqué thangkas depicting the Buddha, Nagarjuna and White Tara behind the throne and took his seat, prompting the start of a Long Life Offering on his behalf. At the end he said:

“Today, Tibetans living in Switzerland have organized this Long Life Offering with faith and devotion. I’d like to thank you all. Whether the Lama lives long is not dependent on the ritual so much as on the strength of the spiritual bond between the Lama and the disciples.

“We Tibetans have a culture rooted in the Nalanda tradition that emphasizes study, reflection and meditation. We’ve preserved it for more than 1000 years. In Tibet, Tibetans have kept their spirit alive. We in exile are their representatives.

“I thought I would teach the first chapter of Nagarjuna’s ‘Precious Garland’ which explains how to attain the high status of good rebirth. Then I’d like to read volume two of ‘Stages of Meditation’ composed by Shantarakshita’s disciple Kamalashila in Tibet. There were Chinese Hashang monks at the Samye Monastery, built at Shantarakshita’s behest, with its departments of Ethics, Tantra, Meditation and Translation. Among these Chinese monks were some who said there was no need to study the Dharma, asserting realization could be won simply through thoughtless meditation.

“Kamalashila, invited at Shantarakshita’s recommendation, defeated these monks in debate. The Tibetan Emperor, Trisong Detsen, requested Kamalashila to compose a text to guide Tibetans and he wrote the three volume ‘Stages of Meditation’, to which I attribute a special significance. Later, after Tibet had become politically fragmented, descendants of the royal line similarly requested Atisha to compose a text with Tibetans in mind and he wrote ‘Lamp for the Path’.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland on October 14, 2016. Photo/Manuel Bauer
“Finally, I will read ‘37 Practices of a Bodhisattva’ by Ngulchu Thogme Sangpo, a contemporary of Buton Rinchen Drub, who was thought to be a real Bodhisattva. I won’t be able to read all these texts in their entirety, I’ll read selections. You each have your own copy, keep it at home and read it as often as you can. I received the ‘Precious Garland’ from Serkhong Tsenshab Rinpoche and the ‘37 Practices’ from Khunnu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen.”

His Holiness mentioned that Buddhism is one of the world’s major religions and within it the Tibetan tradition is the most comprehensive, including as it does the works on logic and epistemology by Dignaga and Dharmakirti, which are found nowhere else. Tibetan language, with its own mode of writing, was evolved to express Buddhist ideas. The words of the Buddha and commentaries to them were translated into Tibetan in order that others could understand their wisdom. And yet the Buddha himself advised his followers to examine what he said as a goldsmith examines gold and not to simply accept it on the basis of faith. Therefore, study is crucial.

“Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom’ focusses on what was taught in the Perfection of Wisdom teachings. I teach it and study it myself and find it helpful. This ‘Precious Garland’ was written for a patron of Nagarjuna’s who was a king.”

His Holiness read through the first chapter and at the end led the audience in a ceremony to cultivate the aspiring awakening mind of bodhichitta on the basis of the common verse:

To Buddha, Dharma and Highest Assembly
Until I am enlightened I go for refuge
Due to the collection of merit accumulated by me and by others,
May I achieve enlightenment to benefit all sentient beings.

Members of the audience listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland on October 14, 2016. Photo/Manuel Bauer
After lunch with members of the Swiss Parliamentarian Group for Tibet, the President of the Zurich Canton, the President of the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association and elected Tibetan representatives, His Holiness resumed his teaching. He observed that following his enlightenment the Buddha reflected, “I have found this profound understanding, but if I teach it there will be no one able to understand it.” He remained silent for 49 days, then sought out his former companions and taught them about suffering—a result, and its origin—a cause. He further explained cessation and its cause, the path. These Four Noble Truths are clarified in terms of their 16 characteristics.

In due course, during the second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, the Buddha explained emptiness and in the third Turning, he explained the clear light nature of the mind.

His Holiness began to read ‘Stages of Meditation’ which explains what the mind is, developing equanimity, the two kinds of bodhichitta and so on. He paused to pay attention to children playing in front of the stage and offered them sweets saying, “These children are our hope for the future”. He mentioned that the first two Dalai Lamas had been called Gendun—Gendun Drub and Gendun Gyatso and it might have been that all of them would have been called Gendun. However, when the third Dalai Lama received ordination from Panchen Sonam Drakpa he received the name Sonam Gyatso. When he went to Mongolia and Altan Khan gave him the title Dalai Lama, Dalai was a Mongolian rendition of the Gyatso part of his name.

His Holiness further remarked:

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland on October 14, 2016. Photo/Manuel Bauer
“Regarding Dolgyal, I did the practice for some time, although there were several great teachers at Drepung who were apprehensive about it. Eventually I did a divination about it that prompted me to stop. I discovered that the 5th Dalai Lama had written that Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen had been lucky to be recognised as the reincarnation of Gelek Palsang. He also wrote that Dolgyal arose as a result of distorted prayers and that he harmed beings and the Dharma.

“In time Jangtse monastery asked Trijang Rinpoche about setbacks they’d been facing and he told them it was a result of Palden Lhamo’s displeasure. They asked me why she was displeased. I did a divination that showed it was to do with their propitiating Dolgyal. I sent a discreet message about this, but gradually the word got out. Eventually followers of Dolgyal set up an organization to protect Dolgyal or Shugden. They criticized me and you may have seen the demonstrations they held against me and the way they depicted me—not that I mind about that, but I am concerned about their ignorance.”

At this point His Holiness gave a transmission of a short prayer that Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche had requested him to write:

The path of union of emptiness and compassion
Is lucidly explained by Protector of the Dharma and beings of the Land of Snow
You are the Lotus Holder Tenzin Gyatso
We supplicate you that your wishes be spontaneously fulfilled.

In ‘Stages of Meditation’, reaching the section on Actualizing Special Insight, he quoted a verse from Je Tsongkhapa’s ‘Three Principal Aspects of the Path’:

Appearances refute the extreme of existence,
Emptiness refutes the extreme of nonexistence;
When you understand the arising of cause and effect from the viewpoint of emptiness,
You are not captivated by either extreme view.

One of several interpreters at His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teaching at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland on October 14, 2016. Photo/Manuel Bauer
His Holiness remarked that he had been in Bodhgaya talking to the Sakya Abbot Sangye Tenzin who told him he had received transmission of ‘Stages of Meditation’ from a Khampa Lama who gave it sitting on Shantarakshita’s throne.

“I immediately felt compelled to ask him to give it to me too,” His Holiness said. “It was composed in Tibet by Kamalashila at the explicit request of Emperor Trisong Detsen and I feel it has a special significance for our cause.”

His Holiness read the ‘37 Practices of a Bodhisattva’. He recommended that those who had taken part in the bodhichitta ceremony should recite three verses from the ‘Precious Garland’ daily:

May I always be an object of enjoyment
For all sentient beings according to their wish
And without interference, as are the earth,
Water, fire, wind, herbs, and wild forests.

May sentient beings be as dear to me as my own life,
And may they be dearer to me than myself.
May their ill deeds bear fruit for me,
And all my virtues bear fruit for them.

As long as any sentient being
Anywhere has not been liberated,
May I remain [in the world] for the sake of that being
Though I have attained highest enlightenment.

as well as a verse from ‘Fundamental Wisdom’:

Neither the aggregates, nor different from the aggregates,
The aggregates are not in him, nor is he in the aggregates.
The Tathagata does not possess the aggregates.
What is the Tathagata?

His Holiness noted the strong links Tibetans have had with Switzerland—the first country after India to allow Tibetans to settle. He also gratefully recalled the great help Tibetans had received early on from the Swiss Red Cross. His final advice to his listeners was that they should be 21st century Buddhists, not relying on blind faith alone, but developing an understanding of the profundity of what the Buddha taught.

Leaving the stage His Holiness stopped in the cold outside to pose for photographs with the volunteers and staff of the Tibetan organizers of the event before driving back to his hotel.

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Woman painting the word create on a wall -

A couple of days ago, I wrote a short poem with the title “I Want to Be Creative.” So many of us utter or think those words so often, but this poem is an exploration of what the sentence really means. It begins with what is often a useful operation—separating out what the words do not mean:

“Not to pile up yet another
trophy in paint or verse…”

The poem goes on to describe what it feels like to be creative. When I finished the piece, I felt I’d accomplished a kind of description of the indescribable, giving expression to a number of aspects of the state we call creativity. Thus, it gets at the reasons why people value this state.

A partial answer

A day or so after finishing the poem, I went back to it, feeling it hadn’t fully answered the question its title had implicitly posed. The piece celebrates positive emotional and spiritual states. But, I began to ask, what about these states is actually creative? What has been created in a work of art? Yes, there is the physical painting, or poem, or dance, or photo, or film. Clearly, however, the physical object is but a repository for emotional and spiritual expression and even values, such as truth or beauty, that we regard as transpersonal or universal.

I once penned a short verse that went:

“Poetry is the trail of discarded
wine bottles a drunken man
leaves behind as he
staggers toward the Sun.”

This poem speaks of experience, not words, as the essence of a poem. Yet often, as in the case of that very poem, the process of writing is the experience, drawing together or compressing many different life-lessons and adventures. Such synthesis is something new. This partially answers my question about what is actually being created in a work of art.

Tolkien and Brabazon

J.R.R. Tolkien and Francis Brabazon -

J.R.R. Tolkien and Francis Brabazon

But there is more! J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, famously referred to all art as “sub-creation” because as a mystical Catholic, he believed God to be the only real Creator. Tolkien’s belief ties in with something written by the poet who has most influenced my own life and work, an Australian named Francis Brabazon [see Author’s Note]. For years, I have studied his artistic manifesto, called Art as Practice of Devotion.

In this one-page credo, Brabazon writes, “Representation does not mean in the likeness of an object, but in the likeness of the creativeness of the Creator.” Later in the same piece, he adds,  “Creativeness cannot be two, as it is the one creativeness which made both the object and its representation.”

This may take some contemplation to fully understand, and perhaps the lines are best read in the context of the entire one-page manifesto. I’ve given it some thought, and here’s what I get: when we “create,” we leave ourselves and join God. We transcend the lower self. It is the true or higher Self that creates, and that is what people really mean when they say, “I want to be creative!” It is the relief from ego, the freedom of God, that an artist of any sort gets a taste of!

The mystery is solved

This realization solves all the mysteries that originally led to the writing of my poem of two days ago. We want to live in the divine state—the state where Truth and Beauty reveal themselves constantly and every life or object is an open book! Who wouldn’t?

A friend to whom I used to show my poems commented once, “Very good. And very good practice for the exalted states where these revelations will be your moment-to-moment awareness and will no longer be necessary to access by writing.” In truth, some realized Masters, such as Rumi, Hafiz and Kabir, do continue as poets. But they do so for the benefit of others, rather than for “personal” reasons.

All of us consciously or unconsciously yearn for the divine state. And creativity leads us there. As Meher Baba said, “Art, when inspired with love, leads to higher realms. Love art and that art will open for you the inner life.”

“I Want to Be Creative”

Not to pile up
yet another trophy
in verse or paint

but to live
to notice

open to the worlds
within and without

intimate with
every person
tree object
my own

naked to all
the mysteries across
the provisional borders
of “other.”

To be creative
is merely
to be awake.

Author’s Note: Francis Brabazon lived from 1907 until 1984. He produced an epic poem titled “Stay With God,”and was possibly the first Western practitioner of the Ghazal form of poetry. He lived in India as a poet-disciple of Meher Baba from 1959 until 1969.

What do you think it means to be creative? Do you agree with the author, or have a totally different perspective to share? Let us know in the Comments section below. 

by Max Reif. Max is the author of Toward an Interior Sun, a book of stories just published by The Mindful Word, and he has recently released a CD of songs titled The Wake-Up Man. His book of poems, Journey from here to HERE,  can also be ordered online. Max has written more than 70 articles for The Mindful Word. You can read most of them at his author page.
image 1: Max Reif; image 2: public domain; image 3 (Brabazon): Avatars Abode Trust, Australia
Original author: Max Reif
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Friends cuddling

In our weekly Mindful Dreams column, Aneta Baranek of the School of Metaphysics is offering free dream interpretations to The Mindful Word readers, as well as articles on dreams in general.

If you’ve ever been curious about deciphering the cryptic contents of your subconscious mind, here’s your chance! If you would like Aneta to interpret your dream, fill out this form. She will respond with your dream interpretation through this column, published every Thursday. Aneta would love to receive more comments for the dreams interpreted. If you can relate to a dream posted here or have any insights to add, you can post them as comments to the interpretation, or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Hi Aneta,

My best friend Chris and I both were together with someone else. But when nobody was watching he and I would start making out. Then one day it led to more sensual things…
I have no feelings for him because he is just my best friend and always will be. but the dream really felt real and magical…




Best friend – familiar aspect of the dreamer

Making out – building closeness using the physical senses



Hello Aileen,

Thank you for submitting your dream.

Often times people are concerned when they have dreams about making out or making love to someone that in real life they are either simply friends with or, for whatever reason, it would not be appropriate for them to have such encounters with. Dreams use symbolic language and in a dream being physically intimate with anyone symbolizes closeness, with sex itself symbolizing creation. Chris, your best friend symbolizes an aspect of you. A person of the opposite sex represents an outer aspect and of the same sex represents an inner aspect. To summarize, this dream tells us that, a day or two prior, you were becoming really close and familiar with an aspect of yourself that Chris (your best friend) represents.


To go deeper with the meaning of this dream you would need to narrow down a quality that Chris (your best friend) represents to you. An aspect is an innate quality within a person that we perceive. That quality might be desirable or not. Usually it is the first thing that comes to our mind when we think of that person. An example might be generosity or tardiness. What quality does Chris represent to you? Everyone in our lives is there to aid us in getting to know ourselves better. Our own characteristics are reflected in qualities of others that we perceive. When we like something about a person it is because we appreciate that within ourselves. When there is a characteristic that causes disharmony we need to pay close attention to align that part within or without ourselves.

May your dreams illuminate the inner you…

While pursuing her Doctorate of Divinity degree Aneta continues her research and study of dreams. She also holds Master’s Degree from DePaul University in Computer Science. She has been serving as a spiritual teacher through the School of Metaphysics for the last 6 years. She currently resides in Kansas City where she directs one of the branches of the School of Metaphysics. Learn more about Aneta and the School of Metaphysics.
Image couple cuddling via Shutterstock
Original author: editor
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