Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Meaning of Life - Foreword

Buddhist Perspectives on Cause and Effect

Foreword

The Gere Foundation is delighted to sponsor Wisdom’s publication of The Meaning of Life by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Peace, the Dalai Lama is universally regarded as one of the great spiritual friends of our time. He is the product of an unbroken lineage extending back to the historical Buddha. His forty years as a spiritual teacher and political leader are unique. A brilliant scholar, his words and experience go far beyond the academic. His teachings are rooted in a life tried and tested, a life dedicated to peace, human rights, social change, and the total transformation of the human mind and heart. These can only be achieved through a fearless nonviolence guided by both a transcendent wisdom and an unshakable universal altruism. “My religion is kindness,” he has often said.

Since the Chinese invasion of independent Tibet in 1950, and his harrowing escape to India in 1959, His Holiness has worked tirelessly to free his people from a brutal and systematic genocide that has left 1,200,000 Tibetans dead (a fifth of the pre-invasion population). The unfaltering patience and compassion he has shown for those who continue to destroy his country are finally beginning to bear fruit, and the restoration of Tibetan independence is within sight. The ability to adhere to, embody, and generate Buddhist principles under extreme adversity is the mark of a true bodhisattva.

This book is a wondrous opportunity for us all to make contact with such a man and his teachings. Readers will derive much benefit from contemplating and meditating on them. The Gere Foundation is proud to be associated with His Holiness and his message of universal responsibility and peace, and pleased to support Wisdom Publications in its efforts to promote these ideals. May this book bring happiness and the causes of future happiness to all beings.

Richard Gere

New York

 

How to cite this document:
© Tenzin Gyatso and Jeffrey Hopkins, The Meaning of Life (Wisdom Publications, 2000)

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