This morning I went to see the Dalai Lama speak at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. I admit, it was a bit odd to view his holiness at a football stadium. (The Budweiser ads looked a bit out of place, or he did) The Dalai Lama was wrapped in an orange robe and sitting on a temple-like structure that looked like a pagoda. The stadium smelled like incense.
Unfortunately, I missed the first few several minutes of his lecture. He spoke about the existence of God, the illusion of the self, mind and what it is, and the four noble truths. He also talked about suffering, and what causes it: karma, and the illusions of the mind.
The Dalai Lama also compared various religions and made some funny comments about Christianity. He said, "Majority go up to heaven. Minority go down to hell. You don't want to look down." He also said that all religions or traditions deserve mutual respect. He talked about the old Buddhist masters, and it's clear that he's read a lot of texts. Sometimes, he was above my head, or blowing my mind when he talked about cause and effect and conditional existence. For example, every thing has a cause. Therefore, it's illogical that a God created us because something had to create God. At the same time, how can we explain this beginningless beginning?
At least the good news is that the Buddhist belief is that part of our mind, not the sensory part but the consciousness or soul, is permanent. This is also difficult to understand, since in everyday life we see that everything eventually passes.