The Dalai Lama in conversation with Daniel Goleman, Tricycle Magazine – Fall 2021
Thirty years ago, the cover subject of Tricycle’s premiere issue was Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, photographed by Herb Ritts (1952-2002). His Holiness had won the Nobel Prize in 1989 and was touring the world in 1991 to launch the Year of Tibet, aimed at garnering international support for nonviolent efforts to counter Chinese occupation. But when he was interviewed for Tricycle by the writer and performer Spalding Gray, their conversation was not political but surprisingly intimate, ranging over meditation practice, dreams, fear, and quotidian life.
Today, the Dalai Lama is one of the most famous and revered spiritual leaders on the planet. And his conversation with best-selling author and longtime Buddhist practitioner Daniel Goleman reflects quite a different set of interests, notably how Buddhism can contribute to Western neuroscience, psychology, and education.
You often talk about how ancient Indian thought could add to modern education. What do you see as missing? Modern education is very much oriented around external things, material things. So in the West there’s not much concept of training our mind. But in the Indian tradition, the Buddha himself said, “My followers should not accept my teachings out of faith, but rather through investigation.”
All ignorance is based on appearances. In order to reduce ignorance, we must investigate deeper reality—tongpa nyi [Tib., “emptiness”; Skt., shunyata]. The Buddha’s teachings deal with reality. So it’s not just faith—we must utilize our intelligence. Faith and intelligence must combine. In an Arab Muslim country and a European Christian country you mainly….
Click here to read the full interview.