Friday, May 13, 2011

The Dalai Lama

If The Rix Mix had more than a handful of regular daily readers I'd be upset by Blogger's two-day shutdown.  All I missed was Yogi Berra's 86th birthday (Yogi's critique of a restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded"). But the popular bloggers who write off the news cycle may be looking into switching to Wordpress &  moving to another host..

The Dalai Lama is visiting Newark NJ for three days & participating in a "Peace Conference" at the arts center. The conference is more exclusive than inclusive, & I'm inclined to dismiss it as pointless. But I can't. Because wherever His Holiness goes he  brings a powerful energy.

Of course, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, with the typically narrow vision of a politician, says the conference helps the "image" of the city. I'm certain His Holiness has no such illusions, & it is not even his intent. He wants us to become more aware of violence, not only in its obvious manifestations on the streets of Newark. Our government engages in horrific acts of violence every day of the week in the name of national security.  Every field or wood destroyed to build a big box store is act of violence.  There's violence in the cans of beef & chicken soup I just brought home from the supermarket. Violence in media,  language,  families, schools,  even violent rhetoric in churches.  We are slaves to violence.  Poverty is itself violence on the spirit because it's  now very difficult to be poor with dignity in America.

Yes, the Dalai Lama is a sheltered man, but it would be foolish to think he isn't aware of the conditions in Newark but a few blocks from where he is speaking. He's seen worse.

 The Dalai Lama's connection with Newark is through Newark Museum, which has one of the best collections of Tibetan art in America, as well as a beautiful, consecrated Tibetan altar room where Buddhist ceremonies are conducted from time to time. It would be good is His Holiness made his presence felt in the city beyond the museum & special events.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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