Date: 07/16/05 23:07:30
To: CASonline
Subject: [CASonline] Happy Birthday and 2 of the nicest books !!

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"My Religion is Kindness !!"
~~so declared His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to the world !!
Likewise, the beings @ CAS will want to offer their paws and beaks in salutation and homage to this very Embodiment of utter sincerity and compassion .....
"Happy [ belated !! ] 70th Birthday Your Holiness .........!!"
bb and other  [ etc ]  @  CAS
Celebrities join London reception for His Holiness's birthday
By Tsering Tashi (Office of Tibet, London)
LONDON, 8 July 2005:  British actress Joanna Lumley and the Duchess of York yesterday attended the
London Office of Tibet?°•s reception to celebrate the 70th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
whom the chief guest Lord David Steel lead a toast by referring to the Tibetan Nobel Peace
Laureate as ?°„a most remarkable man?and wishing him ?°„all success in the future?
The respected British parliamentarian and author also informed the invited guests that included
members of the parliament, foreign missions, officials, journalists and representatives from
various NGOs and
Buddhist centres, how a few months back he had enjoyed reading His Holiness the Dalai Lama?°•s
autobiography, ?°„Freedom in Exile?
?°„If any of you have not see it I do strongly recommend it because it is absolutely spell-binding
from cover to cover, about his escape from Tibet in 1959, all his adventures, about his family,
about his
upbringing, about his Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.  It is an amazing book? said Lord Steel, who was
the First Presiding Officer or Speaker of the New Scottish Parliament, and was involved in
inviting His
Holiness to address the Scottish Parliament, which the Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader did
with great success in June 2004.
Lord Steel, speaking at the reception held in the centrally-located premises of The Fleming
Collection, mentioned how it was unfortunate that the Chinese government always tries to put
pressure on
governments wanting to invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama for a visit.
?°„It is a sad thing that although we celebrate his birthday and acknowledge him, unfortunately the
Chinese government still tries to bring obstacles in his path and in the path of the people of
Tibet? said Lord
Steel, adding that during the visit to Scotland last year His Holiness was ?°„very warmly welcomed
and received in the Scottish Parliament?
Mrs. Kesang Y. Takla, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe, based at
the London Office of Tibet, said that in celebrating His Holiness?70th birthday, the gathering
also is
celebrating the birth of one of the world?°•s best recognised champion of peace.
?°„It is a great honour for me, and the staff of the Office of Tibet, to welcome you to our
reception this evening, to celebrate and acknowledge His Holiness?compassionate leadership and
guidance, which
benefit not only the Tibetan people but many others in all stations of life, all over the world,?
said Mrs. Takla, before reading the message from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Prince
Charles, who
could not attend the reception because of prior commitments.
Prince Charles in his message, however, said, ?°„His Holiness is renowned for his tireless work in
promoting world peace, religious harmony and universal responsibility.  I wish His Holiness many
returns of the day and join you in marking the Seventieth birthday of one of the most
distinguished personalities of our time?
It may be recalled that last year Prince Charles invited His Holiness to his official residence,
Clarence House, for a reception to honour His Holiness?visit to UK, when the Archbishop of
Canterbury Dr. Rowan
William and the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also met the Tibetan leader.  Like then, the
heir to the British throne this time in his message has also frankly shared with the august
reception gathering
how His Holiness continues to inspire him.
  ?°„I have known His Holiness for many years now and have always felt inspired by his presence.  His
sincere message of peace and compassion rightly has many followers.  Along with many of you here
today, I was privileged to attend his talk on ??A Human Approach to World Peace?last May at the
Westminster Central Hall in London, and I know that so many of us in the audience felt uplifted by
his words
and his wisdom? HRH The Prince of Wales said in his message.
While introducing the evening?°•s reception, Mr. Tsering Tashi, Secretary and Press/Information
Officer, explained how during an international scientific conference in Sweden on 12 June, His
Holiness had
said that as a Buddhist monk he does not consider birthdays important and that for him every new
day is like a birthday.
?°„However, this morning His Holiness made an exception by attending the grand Tibetan celebrations
in Dharamsala, which has already been reported by the BBC World News.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama
also told the gathering of 1400 scientists and others, who sang the birthday song in advance, that
the best birthday gift for him would be for everyone to be a good-hearted person so that this can
their family, the nation and the world at large?said Mr. Tashi, who on behalf of the Office of
Tibet thanked The Amaryllis Fleming Foundation for their kindness and support in facilitating the
reception to
celebrate His Holiness the Dalai Lama?°•s 70th birthday.
All the guests enjoyed the warm and friendly atmosphere of the Office of Tibet?°•s reception held
against the backdrop of a traditionally decorated Tibetan alter on which was placed a large
coloured photo of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama.  The day concluded successfully with the much-liked traditional song
and dances performed by members of the Tibetan Dance Group of the Tibetan Community in Britain.
Simple monk or living Buddha?

A collection of essays about encounters with the Tibetan spiritual leader offer an insight into his philosophy of non-violence and conflict resolution

Hans Van Willenswaard

Edited by Rajiv Mehrotra
New Delhi, Penguin 2004, 266pp, $35.00
ISBN 0670058106
Meeting with His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama is an experience that deeply touches many all over the world. Thousands of people attend his lectures and Buddhist teachings. Even a glimpse from afar can give life a new meaning, while personal encounters, as demonstrated in the contributions of more than 20 authors, trigger unexpected views and sparks of creativity.

These inspirational meetings with the spiritual leader are documented in a new book Understanding the Dalai Lama, edited by Rajiv Mehrotra.

Speaking to a friend, Mehrotra addresses the high, if not daunting, regard in which the Dalai Lama is held:

"'Don't be nervous,' I said. 'He's the most human person you could ever hope to meet.'

"She gave me a shocked glance. 'He's the living Buddha!' she protested.

"'Well, isn't it the same thing?' I asked her."

But is the spiritual and political leader of six million Tibetans really a "living Buddha"?

Dalai Lama: It is better to be a good Christian, Muslim or Hindu than to become a half-baked Buddhist.
In an interview with the editor, the Dalai Lama confessed that he prefers to identify himself as Tenzin Gyatso, a simple Buddhist monk. As he approached his 70th birthday _ last Wednesday _ he reflected on how he gave new meaning to his role as leader or, as some refer to him, a "god and king" of Tibet.

Tenzin Gyatso was recognised in 1939 as the incarnation of the Dalai Lama at the age of four. Twenty years later, in 1959, he left his palace in Lhasa, the Potala, for a life in exile in India. From a marginal position as asylum seeker from a country that had to be liberated from feudalism according to Chinese standards, he gradually became a world leader of moral authority far transcending the might of the occupants of his country. In 1989 he received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee identified three specific elements of his philosophy: Non-violence, the inter-relatedness of social and individual human rights, and the critical need in our generation to confront the threat of a global environmental disaster.

The Dalai Lama walked his talk by introducing a new, democratic but uniquely Tibetan, constitution based on the International Declaration of Human Rights. The new constitution shifted rule by his absolute power to rule governed by a majority decision-making process. He addressed universal causes and looked for answers from people of different cultures and social backgrounds. He is known to engage openly in religious dialogue and for his reluctance of religious conversion. According to the Dalai Lama, it is better to be a good Christian, Muslim or Hindu than to become a half-baked Buddhist.

Following the reception of the Nobel Peace Prize the Dalai Lama established the Foundation for Universal Responsibility.

The book _ to be available next year in Thai _ offers a diversity of views from people who each describe one or some of the many aspects of the Dalai Lama's complex manifestations in public life.

The Dalai Lama personifies the hope that the world's political conflicts can be solved, that spirituality is a genuine dimension of life, essential for overcoming conflict and that all religions and cultures are significant and should be conserved as sources of creative diversity that respond to modern problems.

Asked by Rajiv Mehrotra, editor of Understanding The Dalai Lama , whether he is still confident that the political issues concerning Tibet will be resolved within his lifetime, the Dalai Lama replied positively: "I think the new generation, the younger generation, is growing in quite a healthy way. I think the foundation of Tibetan spirit is very sound. The Tibetan spirit, both inside Tibet and outside, is very strong. We also have [had] an elected leadership for two or three years, so even if I am sort of semi-retired, the Tibetan issue [will] still remain strong. And the people in China have also started considering things with a global perspective. Things are changing in a positive way. So I am optimistic about Tibet."

Recently, after a long period of Chinese rejection, the Dalai Lama sent his envoys to the People's Republic of China to resume talks about Tibet's future. Public statements have been released expressing confidence and growing trust in the intentions of both parties to seek a solution. A crucial point is that the Dalai Lama renounces Tibet's independence and any political role for himself. He seeks autonomy within the People's Republic of China as a "zone of peace". This is not, however, without conditions: He proposes respect for fundamental human rights, an abandonment of China's population transfer and the protection of Tibet's environment.

In an era of emerging regional conflict _ that includes Thailand _ cultural identity and the historic dimensions of national belonging play a growing role. The leadership of the Dalai Lama based on compassion, non-violence and forgiveness is at least worth a thorough case study. If not a "living Buddha", as a simple Buddhist monk he represents a shining example of loving kindness; showing humanity a genuine path towards conflict resolution.

A Thai translation of 'Understanding the Dalai Lama' is due to be published next year by Suan Nguen Mee Ma Co, Ltd.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama - The Oral Biography
The Oral Biography
Deborah Hart Strober
Gerald S. Strober
"You too can know him, the great prophet of compassion whose grace touches us all."
?abell hooks, Distinguished Professor of English, City College, New York, and contributor to the
Shambhala Sun
"The Dalai Lama's warm embrace of all humanity places him among the greatest spiritual giants of
our time. As a Christian leader who has met him several times, I honor his remarkable spiritual
journey and commend this new biography."
?aLord George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury
"The Dalai Lama is one of the most significant religious leaders of our time. His religious spirit
and leadership have endeared him to his followers and to those of us who call him our friend. I
hope many people will read this book and share our admiration of the Dalai Lama."
?aRev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
"A fascinating mosaic of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a multifaceted individual. The picture
that emerges is the epitome of a sublimely balanced human being. He inspires us all to become
better people and to treat each other with love and respect, as he does with everyone he meets."
?B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., President, Santa Barbara Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of
July sixth will mark the 70th birthday of a unique figure in our age, whose impact is sure to
resonate for generations to come.  A Nobel Laureate and tireless champion for the freedom of his
country, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is a devoted spiritual leader whose charisma entrances both
believers and non-believers, as well as a canny political leader who has drawn celebrities,
statesmen and millions of ordinary people around the globe to the Tibetan  cause.
Drawing on more than 50 interviews with the Dalai Lama's, associates, and followers as well as
with politicians, religious leaders, and critics, HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA: An Oral History
(Wiley; July 2005) explores the Dalai Lama's public career as well as his personal life-from his
childhood in Tibet and his exile in 1959 to his role as a worldwide spiritual leader and human
rights activist?aand reveals the secrets behind his enduring popular appeal.
The Dalai Lama is a study in contradictions?aa public figure who balances a global spiritual
message with his political convictions and duty to his country, a devoted monk who captivates
celebrities from the most jaded of cultures.  What is the source of the Dalai Lama's tremendous
international appeal and to what extent does the public image reflect the private man? Is he just
a humble monk with a simple message of love and compassion, or is he a political operator with a
keen sense of modern public relations techniques? Behind the public image of the dogged defender
of human rights, does there lurk a thwarted potentate who dreams of reclaiming his throne as his
Chinese critics contend?
Deborah and Gerald Strober take a unique approach to answering these and other questions to
present an uncommonly intimate portrait of His Holiness. Through interviews and personal stories,
the Strobers share often surprising insights into the Dalai Lama's life and personality?afrom his
childlike sense of fun to his insatiable curiosity about the latest developments in physics and
astronomy, from the sound of his laugh to the integrity of his spiritual and ethical thinking.
Like a series of candid snapshots that gradually coalesce into a coherent image of a man in all of
his complexity, these brief encounters evoke the true character of the Dalai Lama and the effect
he has on all who meet him.
At the same time, this book chronicles His Holiness's incredible life story, beginning in 1935 in
the remote village of Taktser where the three-year-old peasant, Lhamo Dhondrub, was identified as
the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. From there they trace each step of his remarkable
journey, from his early enthronement and religious training in Lhasa; his first momentous
encounters with Westerners?aespecially Austrian mountain climber, Heinrich Harrer, of Seven Years
in Tibet fame?ain the 1940s; his flight from Chinese oppression and the establishment of the
Tibetan Government-in-Exile in 1950; through his dramatic transformation, in the 1980s and
'90s?afrom a cloistered holy man to a global cultural icon.
Offering a comprehensive and balanced portrait of one of the most compelling public figures of our
time, HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA is essential for Dalai Lama fans and devotees of Tibetan
Buddhism, as well as students of modern culture.