Resources for Teachers and Students on The Dalai Lama
Prepare: The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 because of his consistent
renunciation of the use of violence in the struggle for
the liberation of Tibet. His biography
can be found on the Nobel website.
The Dalai Lama's Architects
of Peace essay is excerpted from a speech given at the
"Forum 2000" conference in Prague. In it, he theorizes
that developing a sense of "universal responsibility"
is the way to achieve both peace and personal happiness.
Explore: The Government
of Tibet in Exile, located in London, maintains an official
website for the Dalai Lama. This site archives many of the
Dalai Lama's official statements, as well as a narrative
biography about the Dalai Lama's life.
Write: In his Architects of Peace essay, the Dalai
Lama articulates the belief that "a truly compassionate
attitude toward others does not change even if they behave
negatively." Is this a realistic philosophy? Are we
expected to maintain a compassionate attitude even toward
those who commit genocide and other war crimes? Write a
three-to-five page reflective essay contrasting the Dalai
Lama's idealistic approach to peacemaking with more pragmatic
approaches based on deterrence through military preparedness.
At some point in your essay, formulate an opinion as to
which approach will be more effective, ultimately, in achieving
Expand: The Dalai Lama, traditionally, has been
head of state of Tibet as well as its spiritual leader.
He has been in exile, however, since the Chinese army occupied
Tibet in 1959. The Panchen Lama, the second highest lama
within Tibetan Buddhism, was abducted by the Chinese at
the age of 6, prompting Amnesty International to call him
"the world's youngest political prisoner." One
of the many groups still committed to Tibet's independence
is a group called "Students
for a Free Tibet," a group that invites all students,
regardless of religious persuasion, to participate.
Additional Resource: The Kurukulla
Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, located in Boston,
calls itself "a center for developing an open heart
and a clear mind." The center, which was recently visited
by the Dalai Lama, makes its library of recorded teachings
available online in MP3 format.
Biography of The