Dali Lama Interview – ‘Westerners are too self-absorbed’

Telegraph | News | ‘Westerners are too self-absorbed’

They need to discover an inner strength, he tells them. “The West is now quite weak – it can’t cope with adversity and it has little compassion for others. People are like plants – they can develop ways of countering negative forces. If people took more responsibility for their own problems, they would become more self-confident.”

The Dalai Lama’s way of life is frugal – but not punishing. He doesn’t have to squash into economy seats when he takes off on his global tours, for example. “If I fly abroad, I fly business class – or my robes engulf everyone,” he explains. “But first class is an outrageous luxury.”

His only other indulgence is watchstraps. “I love them. My glasses, my shoes, my robes are always the same. The watchstrap, I change – I collect them.”

“Fundamentalism is terrifying because it is based purely on emotion, rather than intelligence. It prevents followers from thinking as individuals and about the good of the world. This new terrorism has been brewing for many years. Much of it is caused by jealousy and frustration at the West because it looks so highly developed and successful on television. Leaders in the East use religion to counter that, to bind these countries together.”

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