After meeting with the President and accepting the National Endowment for Democracy’s Democracy Service Medal, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made his way to Los Angeles where he will give a talk entitled Cultivating Compassion and the Needs of Vulnerable Children at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal Citywalk, an event organized by Whole Child International, and appear on Larry King Live on CNN. The interview with King will air Monday night at 9 pm ET.
Below is an excerpt from the transcripts of a previous conversation from the year 2000 between King and His Holiness in which King asked the Dalai Lama about Buddhism and yoga.
KING: Why do you think there’s so much interest in Buddhism and yoga all over the West, all over the United States. It’s not just Hollywood, but it’s Illinois. Why this interest, do you think, in Buddhism?
DALAI LAMA: My impression or my sort of view is that, you see, time goes, time passes, and especially, you see, those countries or those communities who have the material comfort already achieved. But then, through their own experience, they now begin to realize the limits of the material sort of facility, or I think, the limits provided by material development to genuine happiness or long-lasting happiness.
So, therefore, the people now begin to feel, oh, still there is something missing. So, some kind of curiosity or sometimes another sort of desire. They want to do something. So that, I think, leads to the interest towards Buddhism. Buddhism here not as a religion, but rather, I think, some sort of techniques or methods, you see, to address the mental crisis, mental problems…
KING: And what does yoga…
DALAI LAMA: … and yoga also.
KING: What does yoga do for the person?
DALAI LAMA: Yoga — of course, I think there are many variety of yoga system. As far as I know, yoga mainly deals with physical, the channels — or channel of — what say — the — an energy and then also the different nerve centers. So it is too some kind of control or some kind of change on the physical level, that effect on the mind. So it is both. Another one, which is just simply through the training of mind, just simply try to utilize the mental force and then change the body’s mental level.
Here, you know, I don’t like external things. In emotional level or mental level, there are contradictory sort of forces or thoughts there. So in order to reduce another one, all this logically, the opposite side, if you increase, then the other side will minimize. So that’s the way.
Now, for example, anger. If we have some kind of realization and there is something bad for the community, so one’s own peace of mind, then, you see, try too find what the opposite sort of emotion. That’s love and kindness or compassion. So once we realize that, try to increase these opposite power or force. That’s the system, the training of mind.
KING: We will take a break and come right…
DALAI LAMA: So the combination of yoga…
KING: Yoga and Buddhism, right?
DALAI LAMA: Yes, as you will see, it is really worthwhile, yoga practice as well as the sort of positive mental training. If these two things are combined, then there could be more, more effective.