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December 2010

Dear Friend,

Here we are at the end of 2010 - one year on from when His Holiness was last here with us in Australia. Where has the year gone? In the film Sunrise Sunset, which is currently touring Australia and being screened in association with our Man of Compassion & Wisdom Photo Exhibition, His Holiness speaks of the relativity of everything...

"After 5 billion years this sun will also go - this is not much."

"5 billion compared to our life is quite long. All human beings life is 100 years in average. But according to Buddhist beliefs, we usually count time in eons and eons. Compared to an eon, 5 billion is short. So short and long are relative."

"Compare one short thing to another and you will find it short, something long, it will be long. So from the Buddhist view, there is no absolute."

"This moment, relatively speaking, we can call it present - but if we look at the watch, then our minute consists of seconds, seconds also can be divided to 60 time pieces. Then within one millisecond there is also past & future. So half is past, half is future - no present. So we cannot find present. Without present there is no basis for past and future. So if we don't investigate in such a way, then generally we can say present. Present minute means one minute period - present hour means one hour period."

"Today, present day, is 24 hours. Present month is 30 days. Present year is 365 days, isn't it?"

"So present eon is billions of years. So everything is relative."

This teaching by His Holiness was given whilst standing on the balcony of his home, overlooking the foothills of the Himalayans, dispersed with lots of laughter but also said with authority and commitment.

Hailing the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as "Buddha of this era" Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem. Kumar Dhumal recently said that His Holiness was an apostle of Mahatma Gandhi's message of peace and non-violence.

"The Dalai Lama is the greatest living Buddhist monk, the Buddha of this era, and an apostle of Mahatma Gandhi's message of peace and non-violence," Dhumal said. "I pray for long and healthy life of the Dalai Lama," he said.

So as we come to the end of 2010, we invite you to hold His Holiness in your heart, enjoy each 'present' moment and look forward to the journey of your 'future' and His Holiness's return visit to Australia in June 2011.

In the land encircled by snow
You are the source of all happiness and good
All powerful Chenrezig Tenzin Gyatso
Please remain until Samsara ends

A Conversation with His Holiness

As I am sure you are all aware, Oprah Winfrey has recently been in Australia and recorded shows for the farewell season of her long running and extremely successful talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Oprah interviewed His Holiness in 2001 for her magazine O and this month we would like to share some of this intimate interview with you as part of our ongoing series, A Conversation with His Holiness.

Oprah: Is Buddhism a path to happiness?
Dalai Lama: Certainly-though some people get the impression that Buddhism talks too much about suffering. In order to become prosperous, a person must initially work very hard, so he or she has to sacrifice a lot of leisure time. Similarly, the Buddhist is willing to sacrifice immediate comfort so that he or she can achieve lasting happiness. And in order to develop the willpower it takes to sacrifice, you must first realize that spending all your time and energy pursuing material comforts means you will eventually suffer. It's all about positive and negative consequences. It's very important to be aware that there are long-term consequences for every action.

Oprah: Though you believe that Buddhism is a path to happiness, you've encouraged others to remain in their own faiths. True?
Dalai Lama: That's right. I always emphasize that it is much safer and better to keep one's own religious faith. The other major religions are thousands of years old and have long traditions.

Oprah: Do you believe that someone can be a Christian and still practice Buddhism?
Dalai Lama: Yes, I think so. There are techniques of Buddhism, such as meditation, that anyone can adopt. And, of course, there are Christian monks and nuns who already use Buddhist methods in order to develop their devotion, compassion, and ability to forgive.

Oprah: Can we talk now about what it's like to be you? When you were first discovered as the Dalai Lama, did you feel that there was something special about you?
Dalai Lama: No.

Oprah: There wasn't a part of you that had always known you were different?
Dalai Lama: Sometimes, I do feel that, yes, I may feel some effect from previous lives. In the early mornings, when I am still half asleep and half awake, my mind is very clear. And when I am in this special twilight state, I have had glimpses of memory from past lives in which I identify with those from, in some cases, one or two centuries ago. I once had a feeling that I might have been in Egypt 600 years ago.

Oprah: Do you feel you're different from most humans?
Dalai Lama: No, no, no.

Oprah: So like every other human, are you your own master?
Dalai Lama: Yes.

Oprah: But you are the master of no one else.
Dalai Lama: That's true, too.

Oprah: Growing up, did you miss having a regular childhood?
Dalai Lama: Fortunately, I had playmates, though most of them were grown-ups.

Oprah: Have you ever wanted a family or children?
Dalai Lama: No. Well, when I was around 15 or 16, I had some interest. That was biological. But then some of my older playmates who were monks later became laypeople, and they told me about some of the complications of leading a family life. Of course, there can be great pleasure in having a family, but there are a lot of problems, too.

Oprah: I've read that you spend many hours a day in meditation. What value does meditation have for even non-Buddhists?
Dalai Lama: Meditation is valuable for all of humanity because it involves looking inward. People don't have to be religious to look inside themselves more carefully. It is constructive and worthwhile to analyze our emotions, including compassion and our sense of caring, so that we can become more calm and happy. Hatred, jealousy, and fear hinder peace of mind. When you're angry or unforgiving, for example, your mental suffering is constant. It is better to forgive than to spoil your peace of mind with ill feelings.

Oprah: You seem to have a lot of joy. What makes you happy?
Dalai Lama: I don't take myself too seriously! That makes me happy.

Oprah: What is a perfect day for you?
Dalai Lama: There's never a perfect day. There is no perfection in the world.

Oprah: So what would make a good day- a day when you really have fun and laugh a lot?
Dalai Lama: I really like gardening and playing with mechanical things. And when I have leisure time, I spend some of it reading and studying-mainly Tibetan Buddhist texts, as well as readings on my favourite subjects like compassion and altruism. On those days when I can spend a few hours getting some understanding, I feel fulfilled. I feel as if I have made good use of my time.

Oprah: Do you work so hard and travel so much because you want to bring attention to what is happening to the Tibetan people?
Dalai Lama: Not necessarily. Just this morning I read a newspaper that said something like "The Dalai Lama visited six cities in order to explain the Chinese oppression of Tibet." That's wrong. I have never been any place where I was not first invited. And upon invitation, if I feel that there is potential for making some contribution to humanity, I will comply in spite of being tired.

Oprah: Will you be unhappy if Tibet has not gained its independence before your death?
Dalai Lama: If I were to die today, I would have some concern for Tibet. But I know that I have personally done as much as I can to use my existence for others. So I have no regret.

Oprah: None?
Dalai Lama: That's right.

Oprah: Have you ever had to forgive yourself for anything?
Dalai Lama: I've had to forgive myself for small incidents, like accidentally killing an insect. My attitude toward mosquitoes and bedbugs is not very favourable or peaceful!

Oprah: Have you ever had to forgive yourself for any big mistakes?
Dalai Lama: I make small mistakes every day. But major mistakes? It doesn't seem so. I've examined my service to the Tibetan people and to humanity, and I've done as much as I can in my life.

Oprah: One last question: Every month I do a column in the magazine called "What I Know for Sure." What do you know for sure?
Dalai Lama: Altruism is the best source of happiness. There is no doubt about that.


Tickets to the Public Conversations in Canberra, Brisbane & Perth will now go on sale Monday 7th February 2011

This is your chance to 'get to know' the Dalai Lama as we converse with him around the country about Happiness, Life and Living.

For one week only from Monday 7th February, tickets will be available for you, our supporters and members, so please use this opportunity to secure the best seats in the house.

Melbourne Saturday, 11th June
Canberra Tuesday, 14th June
Brisbane Friday, 17th June
Perth Sunday, 19th June

Ticket prices for all the Conversations are:

Platinum $50
A Reserve $35
B Reserve $25
C Reserve $15

The Canberra Conversation will have a focus on Love & Forgiveness, the conversation in Brisbane on Happiness & Compassion and Perth, Spirituality in the Modern World.

When booking your tickets to any conversation, you will also have the opportunity to submit a question for His Holiness via your member area on our website.

Tickets to the Melbourne Conversation have been on sale since October, with Platinum tickets completely sold out. There are still great seats available in all other seating tiers, so get in quick to ensure your spot at this conversation where His Holiness will speak about Karma & Reincarnation.

Some questions submitted for the Melbourne conversation include;

Your Holiness, if harm is unintentionally caused to someone, but there was no negative action intended, in particular not letting an animal suffer when dying, does this still affect the persons karma?

From a logical perspective, how can reincarnation be proved?

Your Holiness, Why are the Tibetan people who have lived in peace and followed the Dharma going through cultural genocide and such incredibly poor treatment by the Chinese?

Your Holiness, given the process of death as explained by Buddhist scriptures, do you support the notion of heart transplantation? What about other organ transplantation?

My daughter has had brain tumours since early in her life and has many disabilities. She is very happy but in pain most of the time. Could you help me with understanding her journey from a karmic view?

We will post more information about each conversation on our website during January with more news regarding the release of tickets for you in our January newsletter and weekly Ecards - so stay tuned.

TEACHINGS - Pre Earlybird Pricing finishes 31st December

Pre early bird ticket prices for the Teachings, A Bodhisattva's Way of Life by Shantideva, which will be held over the Queen's birthday long weekend in June, end Friday 31st December.

Please take this opportunity to sit with His Holiness once again.

In the whole of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, there is no single treatise more deeply revered or widely practiced then A Bodhisattva way of Life by Shantideva. Over the course of the weekend, His Holiness will explore the six perfections that provide the basis for the Bodhisattva Way of life - generosity, ethics, patience, zeal, meditative concentration and wisdom.

His Holiness has stated, "If I have any understanding of compassion and the practice of the Bodhisattva path, it is entirely on the basis of this text that I possess it".

This Teaching will afford those attending to once again be in the presence of His Holiness and receive these invaluable teachings directly from him. Do not miss this rare and special opportunity.

Kids Space at the Melbourne Teachings

We are now able to advise that as a service to parents attending the Teachings, we have been approved by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Office of Child Safety for a licensed Kids Space at the venue.

There will be a maximum number of children we have been licensed for, so we would ask that if you wish to attend the teachings and feel secure that your children will be occupied and well cared for in the Kids Space, to register your interest with our Melbourne Event Manager, Chris Hooper on

The age range of children we can care for in the Kids Space is 3 to 12 years old. There is no charge to have your children in this space during the events - we are offering this as a service to parents. Children in the Kids Space do not require a ticket but children over 12 who attend the teachings are required to purchase a ticket.

Attached to the Kids Space will be a parents room, for those with children 0 - 3, who may be in attendance and sitting on a parents knee. This room can be used if your child is disturbed during the teachings or requires feeding, nappy changing etc, however please note, these children are to be accompanied by a parent at all times and do not have access to the Kids Space.

The Kids Space will be managed and run by experienced volunteers who are approved and have current Working With Children Check certifications.

The Kids Space is only available for those attending the Teachings and Public Conversation. If you are attending the Public Conversation only on Saturday afternoon, we are sorry but we will not be able to offer this service to you.

Once again, contact Chris to register your interest now - - this service will be popular.

Man of Compassion & Wisdom Photo Exhibition

Our photo exhibition detailing His Holiness life and achievements, A Man of Compassion & Wisdom, the Dalai Lama's Journey started its journey in Bathurst and Mudgee last week.

Comments received about the Exhibition include;

Wonderful, interesting journey, amazing, thank you for bringing this to regional NSW, thank you, great exhibit, we are so lucky here in Mudgee, lovely, so interesting - thank you, fantastic, interesting story, very informative - thank you.

Future confirmed locations and dates include:

Friday 14th to Sunday 16th January
Bryon Community Centre
69 Jonson Street, Bryon Bay

Two screenings of Sunrise Sunset will be shown on Saturday 15th at 3pm and 6pm.

Friday 4th to Sunday 6th February
Festival of Tibet
Powerhouse Museum
There will be a screening of Sunrise Sunset Thursday 3rd February.

Friday 18th to Sunday 20th February
Hervey Bay Regional Gallery
161 Old Maryborough Road, Pialba
There will be a screening of Sunrise Sunset with date and time to be confirmed soon.

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre

Our website will be updated with details of new locations and dates as they are confirmed so please check back often to see when the exhibition and or a film screening is coming to a venue near you.


Thursday 3rd to Saturday 5th February 2011
Brisbane Powerhouse

Back for its third year, the three day Festival of Tibet offers sustenance for the mind and body, in honour of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, and featuring a special guest lecture by the Dalai Lama's younger sister, Ama Jetsun Pema.

Be inspired by the wisdom and compassion of the Dalai Lama by viewing the photographic exhibition presented by Dalai Lama in Australia, A Man of Compassion & Wisdom, the Dalai Lama's Journey and gain a rare insight into his life at the special screening of the film SUNRISE SUNSET, which documents 24 hours in the life of the Dalai Lama.

A panel of Geshe la and Tibetan community leaders will discuss The Art of Healing and the Dalai Lama's younger sister Ama Jetsun Puma ("The Mother of Tibet") will make her first visit to Australia to talk about her lifelong commitment to caring for and educating children in the exiled Tibetan Community.

Fabulous music is on offer too - The TIBET: Awakened Heart Concert features the award-winning Tibet2Timbuk2, Taro Terahara and Jamyang Dolma. The popular Mystical TIBET Concert with Tenzin Choegyal and the Camerata of St. John's String Orchestra will thrill audiences with its sublime fusion.

In addition to daily workshops on Meditation: Breath and its Essence and Tibetan Painting, children and adults alike are invited to help create a beautiful Sand Mandala for Peace throughout the Festival.

For tickets (including Festival package deals) and info please call the Box Office on (07) 3358 8600 or visit

All proceeds from the Festival of Tibet go to the Tibetan Children's Village in Dharamsala, India.

Alan Wallace Retreat

Alan Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970 and translator for His Holiness on many occasions, will lead a Shamatha retreat for developing meditative concentration in Sydney, 25-31 March 2011.

Few things affect our lives more than our faculty of attention. If we can't focus our attention - due to either agitation or dullness - we can't do anything well. During this week-long retreat, B. Alan Wallace will explore in theory and practice, a range of methods for developing meditative quiescence or Shamatha. This is an opportunity to gain the skills to take your meditation practice to another level and to reap the benefits of a more concentrated mind.

Few things affect our lives more than our faculty of attention. If we can't focus our attention - due to either agitation or dullness - we can't do anything well. During this week-long retreat, B. Alan Wallace will explore in theory and practice, a range of methods for developing meditative quiescence or Shamatha. This is an opportunity to gain the skills to take your meditation practice to another level and to reap the benefits of a more concentrated mind.

Alan is the translator of A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, by Shantideva that is available on our website and is recommended reading in preparation for His Holiness Teachings in June.

For more details regarding Alan's retreat, visit

Tulku's Tails

Tashi Delek everyone,

Well, who would believe it but December is here already and we all know what that means - LOTS of excuses for treats.

Not only that, it's the time of year for being with family and friends and offering them gifts. All the team here have starting wearing these really nice t shirts that have been designed with the message of compassion and wisdom, which seems to me to be an appropriate message at this time of year. Doh, I was going to get one for Mum for Christmas but seems she has already snapped one up! And there is a new Manga comic book that has just come in about His Holiness' life which Mum is going to read to me each night, this would make a great pressie if there is someone you can think of who may enjoy it.

The team wish you peace and many blessing for your family and friends

Ven. Aileen tells me at Christmas, with the exchanging of presents, people are given the opportunity to exercise their generosity through the practice of giving. This is often limited to our own family circle, or to work colleagues but some will extend this further by making donations at Christmas to charities or even devoting some of their own time to charitable work. She also says Christmas extends a message of good will to others and in Buddhism, this is similar to loving-kindness, so whatever circumstance we find ourselves in it is a good time to reflect on others who are unhappy and who are suffering in all sorts of different ways. In our heart there can be an acknowledgement of their suffering and wish for that to be alleviated in some way. When my best friend Nugget and I are down at the park, we remember to be kind to our mates and I try not to scare my friend the cat who lives next door.  

This is a time for Christian celebration, yet when His Holiness speaks of religion he has said, "love of one's neighbour, kindness and compassion these are, I believe, the essential and universal elements preached by all religions. In spite of the differing views, we can establish harmony among all spiritual traditions on the basis of these common traits of love, kindness, and forgiveness."

And of course, this time of year also means holidays, so everyone here in the office is looking forward to a well deserved week off to recharge their batteries in preparation for the work ahead next year. Our office will be closed from Thursday 30th December to Tuesday 4th January 2011. Phew.......I am also looking forward to putting my paws up and soaking in the sun. Please remember your furry friends over this period, we are pretty happy with lots of walks, plenty of water, lots of hugs and please keep those yummy treats coming.

So, I will see you again in 2011, maybe a bit chubbier after Christmas, with news and updates about His Holiness visit - Mum announced at our staff meeting this week that when we return on the 4th its only 107 working days before His Holiness visits and I was thinking, that's not that far away even in dog time!!

Big licks,


Win a T-Shirt To Wear On the Journey

We have 6 of our brand new "Wisdom & Compassion"
T-Shirts to win. All you have to do is send an email to with the word "Compassion" in the subject line and in the body of the email, include your name, address, shirt size and if the shirt is for a male or female. asd We have 6 of our brand new "Wisdom & Compassion"
T-Shirts to win.

We will draw 6 emails at 3pm on Monday 20th December and the winners will notified by email and announced in next month's Newsletter.

Until the new year - many blessings for a happy Christmas and a peaceful 2011
Dalai Lama in Australia Ltd Board of Directors &
Lynn Bain, General Manager and the team

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