Melbourne, Australia, 11 June, 2011 (By Tsering Kyinzom Dhongdue) – His Holiness the Dalai Lama began his first day of teachings this morning at Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre. Over 3000 people came to hear him speak on Bodhisattva’s Way of Life by Shantideva. He has received the teachings on this important text from Khunu Lama Tenzin Gyalsten. He said, “A Guide to Bodhisattva’s Way of Life is the best text on altruism and has been of immense help to my practice.”His Holiness gave a broad overview of Buddhist philosophy in his introductory remarks. He argued that while all major religious traditions may differ in philosophical viewpoints, they carry the same message and have the same potential to bring inner peace and happiness. He added different religions are necessary to suit different mental dispositions.
After a general presentation of the various religious faiths, His Holiness moved on to the day’s teaching. He took a slightly different approach by starting with “wisdom,” chapter 9 of the text and discussed the concept of emptiness and the two realities – the conventional and the ultimate.
For the second half of the day, His Holiness gave a public talk on “Happiness, Life & Living” in the same hall. Irish folk singer Luka Bloom opened the event by welcoming His Holiness on stage. “As I waved goodbye” was a song specially composed for His Holiness’ life journey of leaving Tibet and going into exile. During the talk, he stressed on the importance of promoting moral ethics and developing inner strength to create a meaningful life.
His Holiness also spoke on human intelligence and how it can be a source of both progress and destruction in the world as has been demonstrated by history. He said millions of lives were lost in war in the last century. He called for a violence-free 21st century, emphasising the need to demilitarise the world. He said, “However, before we work for universal disarmament, we must first go through internal disarmament”.
In one of the more novel events of the visit, and certainly a first for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama appeared on top-rating Australian reality TV show Masterchef. His Holiness was taken on a tour of the set and was served meals by the show’s seven contestants. The show will be on air in the last