Since the Dalai Lama arrived in Australia yesterday, he has delivered cheeky comments to the media, called for countries to reduce greenhouse gases immediately, and fielded questions on same-sex marriage.
But the theme that underscored all of the Dalai Lama’s comments was finding peace of mind.
“Peace of mind, you can't buy if from a supermarket. You can buy a diamond ring, but you can't buy peace of mind,” he told a rapt audience while he sat slipper-less in giant maroon robes, according to Australian paper the Age.
He suggested peace of mind would come from being less focused on oneself, citing a study by a doctor at the University of California that found that people who often use the words “I, my or mine” are at greater risk of heart attack.
The theme also underscored his thoughts on why the Copenhagen climate change summit failed. He said the major problem is that for individual nations, “their top priority is for their own national interest, rather than global interest.”
”That, I think, is wrong. After all, every nation belongs to the world. If [a] global crisis happens … everybody suffers,'' he told the Sydney Morning Herald in an interview.
As for gay marriage, the Dalai Lama said he was neither for or against it.
The Dalai Lama is on an 11-day tour of Australia and will hold events in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner has for more than 50 years been a powerful political symbol in the West of the repressed Tibetan people living under Chinese rule.
At 75, the Dalai Lama has presided over Tibetan Buddhism longer than Queen Elizabeth II has presided over Britain.