His Holiness the Dalai Lama Visits Osaka, Japan

November 7th 2010

Osaka, Japan, 7 November 2010 - On the first full day of his autumn trip to Japan this year, His  Holiness began with a few private audiences in his Osaka hotel room. On a grey and drizzling morning he then traveled the short distance to the Intex Osaka Hall, where he addressed a crowd of 5,000 people, lined up in long rows, and including young people from 29 countries, on "Peace in the 21st Century."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the audience at the Peace Conference 2001 held in Osaka, Japan, on November 7th, 2010. Photo/OHHDL
Although fighting off a slight sore throat, His Holiness outlined, with unhesitating vigor and passion, a program for peace. "The responsibility for building a more peaceful, less violent world lies on your shoulders," he said to the younger members of the audience, listening, rapt, in the large concrete-block space. "For that, you need vision in your mind," he stressed. "Not just a desire for peace, but vision for something realistic and reasonable." Peace does not mean the end of disagreement, he explained; "disagreement will always be there." But it means peace in the face of different opinions and philosophies, which is to say inner peace.

Since violence ultimately comes from within ourselves, so, too, does the cure for violence, peace. And, His Holiness stressed, in universities across the U.S.--Wisconsin, Stanford, Emory--scientists are "carrying on full-time research into how to develop peace of mind." Now, he said, scientists are not just investigating matter, but beginning to investigate states of mind, to investigate themselves!

He pointed out that "deep joyfulness is not necessarily just pleasure. Sometimes physical pain can bring deep satisfaction." Ultimately, he said, drilling deep into the root causes of peace and joy, these belong to our mental nature, and not just our sensory consciousness. And so they are available to everyone, with or without religion, regardless of circumstance.

Change comes, he concluded, after almost two and a half hours, speaking with more and more conviction, even through a hoarse voice, "not by force. Not by weapons. Not by resolutions, or mere words. But through action. Carried with sincere motivation. As soon as we think of the whole world as "we," then we can really change the world."

After a quick lunch break at his hotel--the autumn sun beginning to push through the clouds--His Holiness returned to the Intex Hall for a two-hour Question an Answer session on peace with various representatives, mostly young, from the Peace Conference for Youth.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama answering questions during the Peace Conference 2010 held at  Osaka on November 7th, 2010. Photo/Taikan Usui
The youthful campaigners for peace spoke about their experiences trying to learn about the world, and "break the vicious cycles" of violence and of poverty. Listening to them intently, His Holiness expressed great admiration for their program and their sense of purpose. But, he stressed, even in the age of the Internet, there's an importance to meeting, face-to-face. "Words cannot convey a facial expression." And he recalled a Chilean physicist he had met in Argentina who said, "I should not become too attached to my own field." So, too, His Holiness said, he should not become too attached to his Buddhism. "You love your own nation, you love your own people, you love your own culture: wonderful!" But still we need a larger sense of community and responsibility.

In leaving the young people with words to live by, he stated that "sometimes we think we are small, we cannot make a difference. But we can! Even I, in my experience, think about the scarcity of water, of electricity, and try not to use too much water in my shower at home, turn off the lights when I leave the room. It's a small thing, but it can make a difference."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama thanking the young people who shared the stage during the Peace Conference 2010 in Osaka on November 7th, 2010. Photo/Taikan Usui
"Your enthusiasms are wonderful," he told the young people sharing the stage with him. "Enthusiasms with holistic view--very important. Now you know, every good work is bound to face some challenges. In that case, we Tibetans have a saying, `Nine times fail, nine times effort.' " Never give up, in short.

The audience rose as one to cheer him as he finished, alight with spirit and energy in spite of his cough, and after greeting all the young representatives individually, he traveled by car to Nara, an hour away, on the day when the first permanent Buddhist capital in Japan was concluding the celebration of its 1,300th anniversary.

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