The Thought for the Day – Daniel Laird, The 14th Dalai Lama

He has a remarkable faith in the power of the truth.  – Thomas Laird, The Story of Tibet: Conversations With the Dalai Lama.

Thomas Laird is an American writer, journalist and photographer whose work particularly emphasizes Tibet. The Story of Tibet is based on 60 hours of conversations he had with the Dalai Lama, and covers the long, rich and tragic history of that country. Laird lives in both New Orleans and Kathmandu. The Dalai Lama, of course, is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism and like all Dalai Lamas, he is believed to be the reincarnation of his predecessor. Now 83, the 14th Dalai Lama was obliged to flee Tibet in 1959 after the Chinese invaded and since the Chinese are still there he has been living in India ever since. He earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

The Dalai Lama is a wonderful example to all of us, regardless of our spiritual path. His commitment to truth, patience and non-violence, which he maintains despite more than a half-century as a refugee, is as remarkable as it is admirable. He refuses to waver from his path despite the obstacles rifles and repression have and continue to present.

This is a lesson for all of us. We are not likely to face rifles and repression, but day-to-day living certainly presents challenges that are seemingly equally monstrous, challenges that can range from the truly tragic to the merely disconcerting. We must not let these obstacles define us or distract us from our path.

Despite a lifetime of obstacles, the Dalai Lama continues to nourish everything and everyone he comes in contact with. We should, too. All we have to do is follow the Dalai Lama’s example, and we don’t have to be a Buddhist to do that. The Dalai Lama knows the path that has been laid out for him and he has the courage to follow that path every day and he retains the patience to see his path through to the very end, despite every obstacle.

Those that get on in this life not only are following that example, but they are setting it for others. Our lives, and our planet, is better served when we know the path that has been laid out for us and are following that path. When we have the patience to follow that path every day, every year, regardless of the obstacles thrown in front of us, we will be looking back on, and forward to, a life well spent.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Gaylon began stockpiling quotes in 1988.

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