EDITION: October - December '07


Nano Calvo

Text & photos: Nano Calvo · Adverstock.com

With the message that the final objective in life is to be happy, Tenzin Gyatso, XIV Dalai Lama, spiritual and secular leader of the Tibetan people, demonstrated his natural spontaneity in Spanish territory during his three day visit in Barcelona. He spoke there before thousands of people that listened respectfully and attentively about our need to avoid suffering, obtain the best mental peace possible and remember that we are interdependent beings connected by nature.

This wise man of slight body and constant smile often defines himself as “a simple Buddhist monk – not more or less”, who holds more than 100 honorary doctorates, and lives a simple life that resumes at 4 in the morning when he awakes to meditate and dedicates himself to a busy agenda of administrative meetings, audiences, teachings and diverse ceremonies. He fights for the liberation of Tibet, constantly opposes the use of violence and based on tolerance and mutual respect to preserve the historical and cultural knowledge of his people, was worth the Nobel peace prize in 1989 amid worldwide applause, excepting China.

During the conference in the Palau Sant Jordi, the Dalai Lama set out that, based on his experience, that the highest level of internal peace comes from the development of love and compassion. The more that we concern ourselves with the happiness of others, he commented, greater will be our sense of wellbeing. Cultivating a warm feeling, we can also eliminate the fears and insecurities that we might have. We must strive to develop a compassion that is not motivated by attachment, as often happens with a new marriage or other relationships motivated by our emotional desires and that do not vary with a change of attitude of the other person.

To develop this compassion, he recommends the following: “The beautiful and friendly people, as well as the not so attractive and harmful people, in the end are human beings as I am. Like myself, they are looking for happiness and shun suffering, and their right to overcome it and be happy is the same as mine. When we recognize that all beings are equal in their desire for happiness and the right to obtain it, empathy is automatically created and we feel close to them.”

For more profound reading on this theme, you can read “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, where this and other concepts are dealt with more extensively and in greater detail.