Santa Barbara, California, USA, 24 April 2009 (By Elizabeth Schwyzer, Santa Barbara Independent) - After delivering a challenging two-hour lecture on the intricacies of Buddhist philosophy and practice, the Dalai Lama switched gears Friday afternoon, holding a 1 p.m. press conference followed by a public talk on ethics. In both cases, the Tibetan leader spoke in lucid terms about the importance of compassion, values, and dialogue.
'Wherever I go, I always stress the importance of compassion,' he told a group of about 30 assembled journalists. 'I consider it the source of strength, and self-confidence.' Throughout the afternoon, the Dalai Lama was clear to distinguish between secular and religious ethics, stating, 'Some say there is no God; some say there is God. Big difference, eh? But that is not a problem.' Ethics, he explained to a spellbound crowd of 6,000 during his afternoon lecture, is not a religious matter at all, but rather a matter of achieving a spirit of globalism