Catholics Can Learn a Lot from the Dalai Lama

I was mesmerized by our lead interview on Interfaith Voices this week. My guest was Pico Iyer, a friend of the Dalai Lama for more than 30 years, and the author of a new biography of him called The Open Road: The Global Journal of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

He provides an intimate portrait of this highly learned man, who calls himself a “simple Buddhist monk.” But the Dalai Lama is a philosopher, a lover of science, a leader of the Tibetan community in exile, and a globe-trotting political leader. Yet he finds time to spend at least eight (count ‘em – eight!) hours a day in meditation. And he’d like more.

Maybe this spiritual practice has something to do with his commitment to non-violence, his willingness to forgive the Chinese for invading his homeland, and his long-range view of what brings real change.

And perhaps most amazing, he is not out to convert anyone to Buddhism; he encourages believers to simply delve deeply into their own faith traditions.

Support Catholic journalism. Join our new membership program for as little as $5 a month.

Umm… deeply contemplative, non-violent, and non-dogmatic. We Catholics could learn a lot. We’ll get a closer look when he visits the United States in October.
If you want to listen to the interview with Pico Iyer, and the rest of the show (an interview with a transgender Jew, and a piece on the Muslim call to prayer), go to the Interfaith Voices web site.

Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.

We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.


Looking for comments?

We've suspended comments on for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.