Lama says best weapon is compassion

BY NICHOLE DOBO, Citizens Voice, Feb 3, 2006

Wilkes-Barre, PA (USA) -- The way to defeat enemies is with love and compassion, a Tibetan Buddhist scholar told about a crowd of about 40 Thursday night at Wilkes University.

?The best weapon is compassion,? said Lama Rinchen Phuntsok. ?The best weapon is love and kindness. The best weapon is wisdom.?

Lama Rinchen began studying the traditions of Tibetan Buddhist when he was 6 years old. He fled Tibet in 1958 after the Chinese invasion and studied at Sanskrit University in India.

The meditation master now teaches about Buddhism across the nation and in Europe. He is the former director of and resident lama of the Padmasambhava Buddhist Center in New York.

?I must say he is a wonderful person to be with,? said Dr. Tim Gilmour, Wilkes president.

Lama Rinchen began the talk with a quiet prayer in the salon of Kirby Hall on the Wilkes campus.

About 15 people directly surrounded Lama Rinchen, where he sat in an arm chair. More seats spilled in to a second room.

The talk was peppered with laughter, some of it Lama Rinchen?s.

In a subdued voice, he calmly spoke about clearing the mind during meditation, which he said will bring about outward happiness.

?We should try to correct our mind and not our outward physical body,? he said. ?A correct mind will naturally correct speech and naturally correct the body.?

During the talk, meditation sheets were passed around and the crowd joined Lama Rinchen in ?Four Boundless Meditations.?

Reciting the meditations in times of anger will help turn that hatred of enemies into love, which is the path to world peace, one person at a time, Lama Rinchen said.

?We can change the world,? he said. ?We can make the world in peace again.?