Monday, July 25, 2016

Dalai Lama on Religious Harmony

A Biased Mind Cannot Grasp Reality

I am extremely delighted to attend this inter faith seminar on the Preservation of Religious Harmony, Co­existence and Universal Peace organised by the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF), Ladakh group. Thank you very much for the detailed explanation of the association's history, activities, objectives and their relevance in the present century. I have nothing to add on what the speakers said earlier. But I would like to say a few things.

We are now in the twenty ­first century. The quality of research on both the inner and physical world has reached quite high levels, thanks to the tremendous stride in technological advancement and human intelligence. However, as some of the speakers said before, the world is also facing a lot of new problems, most of which are man­-made. The root cause of these man­-made problems is the inability of human beings to control their agitated minds. How to control such a state of mind is taught by the various religions of this world.

I am a religious practitioner, who follows Buddhism. More than a thousand years have passed since the great religions of the world flourished, including Buddhism. During those years, the world had witnessed a lot of conflicts, in which followers of different religions were also involved. As a religious practitioner, I acknowledge the fact that different religions of the world have provided many solutions about how to control an agitated mind. In spite of this, I still feel we have not been able to realise our full potential.

I always say that every person on this earth has the freedom to practice or not practice religion. It is all right to do either. But once you accept religion, it is extremely important to be able to focus your mind on it and sincerely practice the teachings in your daily life. All of us can see that we tend to indulge in religious favouritism by saying, "I belong to this or that religion", rather than making effort to control our agitated minds. This misuse of religion, due to our disturbed minds, also sometimes creates problems.

I know a physicist from Chile who told me that it is not appropriate for a scientist to be biased towards science because of his love and passion for it. I am a Buddhist practitioner and have a lot of faith and respect in the teachings of the Buddha. However, if I mix up my love for and attachment to Buddhism, then my mind shall be biased towards it. A biased mind, which never sees the complete picture, cannot grasp the reality. And any action that results from such a state of mind will not be in tune with reality. As such it causes a lot of problems.

According to Buddhist philosophy, happiness is the result of an enlightened mind whereas suffering is caused by a distorted mind. This is very important. A distorted mind, in contrast to an enlightened mind, is one that is not in tune with reality.

Any issue, including political, economic and religious activities human beings pursue in this world, should be fully understood before we pass our judgement. Therefore, it is very important to know the causes. Whatever the issue, we should be able to see the complete picture. This will enable us to comprehend the whole story. The teachings offered in Buddhism are based on rationality, and I think are very fruitful.

Today, a lot of people from different religious backgrounds are present here. In every religion, there are transcendent things that are beyond the grasp of our mind and speech. For example, the concept of God in Christianity and Islam and that of wisdom truth body in Buddhism are metaphysical, which is not possible for an ordinary person like us to realise. This is a common difficulty faced by every religion. It is taught in every ­religion, including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, that the ultimate truth is driven by faith.

I want to emphasise that it is extremely important for practitioners to sincerely believe in their respective religions. Usually, I say that it is very important to distinguish between "belief in one religion" and "belief in many religions". The former directly contradicts the latter. Therefore, we should resolutely resolve these contradictions. This is possible only by thinking in contextual terms. A contradiction in one context might not be the same in the other. In the context of one person, a single truth is closely associated with a single source of refuge. This is of extreme necessity. However, in the context of society or more than one person it is necessary to have different sources of refuge, religions and truths.

In the past it was not a major problem because nations remained aloof from each other with their own distinct religion. However, in today's close and inter-connected world there are so many differences amongst various religions. We must obviously resolve these problems. For example, there have been a lot of religions in India for the past thousand years. Some of them were imported from outside whereas some have grown in India itself. Despite this, the fact is that these religions have been able to coexist with each other, and the principle of Ahimsa has really flourished in this country. Even today, this principle has a strong bearing on every religion. This is very precious and India should really take pride in it.

Ladakh has been a predominantly Buddhist area 'for so many centuries. But other religions such as Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism have also flourished here. Although it is natural for the people of Ladakh to have attachment to and love for their own religions, yet this place has a very peaceful environment with no major problems of religious intolerance. During my maiden visit to Ladakh, I heard elderly Muslims using the phrase "community of sangha" in their speeches. Although such phrases are not found in Islam, yet a reference of this kind invokes a lot of trust amongst the Buddhists. Therefore, people from different religious background in Ladakh are very close to each other and live in harmony.

As far as the Muslims are concerned it is appropriate for them to have complete devotion to Allah while praying in the mosques. This is also the same with Buddhists who are completely devoted to the Buddha when they pray in Buddhist temples. A society, which has many religions should also have many prophets and sources of refuge. In such a society it is very important to have harmony and respect amongst the different religions and their practitioners. We must distinguish between belief and respect. Belief refers to total faith, which you must have in your own religion. At the same time you should have respect for all other religions. This tradition of believing in one's own religion and having respect for others is in existence in Ladakh since your forefathers. Therefore you do not have to invent it. The most important thing at the moment is to preserve and promote this tradition. I would like to thank all of you for working hard regarding this and request you to continue to do so in the future.

If a harmonious relationship is established amongst societies and religious beliefs in today's multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural world, then it will surely set a very good example for others. However, if all the sides become careless, then there is a danger of imminent problems. In a multi­ethnic  society  the biggest problem is that of between the majority and the minority. For instance, in the capital Leh, Buddhists constitute the majority of the population whereas Muslims belong to the minority community. The majority must consider the minority as their invited guests. The minority, on the other hand, should be able to sensitise with the majority. In other words, both sides should live in harmony. In order to sustain this harmony, both sides should not take lightly the sensitive issues between themselves. Indeed, the majority should pay attention to and appreciate the views and opinion of the minority. Both sides should discuss and clearly express what they think about the other's view and opinion. The minority, on the other hand, should be careful about where the sensitive issues of the majority lies and express whatever doubts they have in their minds. If problems are resolved in such a friendly manner; then both sides will gain. Suspicion of each other will only harm both communities. Therefore, it is very important to live in harmony and analyse where the opinion of the other lies. The best way to do this is to engage in dialogue, dialogue and dialogue.

Excerpts from His Holiness the Dalai Lama's address to the inter-faith seminar organised by the International Association for Religious Freedom, Ladakh Group, in Leh on 25 August.

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Essential Oils & Raindrop Therapy, Demonic Doorways, Part 1

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This two-part post is designed to help bring awareness to many people regarding falseness that many professed Christians are practicing. Many Christians are engaged in many forms NEW AGE PAGAN and Witchcraft practices. Sadly, along the way with the Demonic forces pulling those strings to get these people deeper into trouble with God!

So let's examine this false forms of ‘healing’ which is called Essential Oils. What many of you don't know about this subject is that it has roots which go way back into ancient ways - ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Indian and Roman Civilizations.  Have you done the research as to where this stems from or did you just once again follow the doctrines of man which make this not fine with God?

Now I know this might upset many but I am here to tell you the truth. So let's examine this Essential Oil aspect. Now medicines were prepared in temples and there was a Greek temple of aromatherapy. Aromatic substances were burnt to ‘appease the gods’ and to channel ‘divine knowledge’.
The Greeks ascribed divine origins to aromatic plants.  Did you know the word perfume is derived from the Latin ‘per’ (through) and ‘fumus’ (smoke)?  Breathing in wood and resin aromas was believed to drive out demons!  Hippocrates (460-370 BC) recommended aromatic baths to prolong life and Pliny recorded therapeutic aromatic oil massages. In the Middle Ages, incense and aromas were used during differing rituals, as perfumes and disinfectants, especially during plagues.
In relating to the biblical times, frankincense, spikenard and myrrh were used for anointing, incense and other religious rituals. However, this is far from the current ‘holistic aromatherapy’ which is taking place with Christian people. The Good Samaritan's oil was more likely to have been olive oil than an aromatic preparation.

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances (such as clove and bergamot) extracted by expression, absorption or distillation from plants and trees. They are labelled essential as they are considered to have a particular, essential relationship with their parent plant. Implications that they are essential for good health which are unjustified. Prominent aroma therapists, however, believe that they contain an essential vital force, life energy or universal cosmic energy, which have New Age, Eastern religious and cultural associations all over this. Does this sound ANYTHING that Christians professed in Christ Jesus are to even go near?

Remember this people - “You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.” Leviticus 18:22

In Practical Aromatherapy, 'Essential oils are so complex and magical that no one knows what they are - sound proper for a Christian to do? Romantics and enthusiasts say they are the life force of the plants similar to the human spirit - sounds very improper to me and is PAGAN. Researchers say they are mixtures of organic compounds such as ketones, terpenes, esters, alcohols, aldehydes and other molecules too small and complex to classify under a ‘microscope'.

Claims are that these benefits depend upon balancing the bodies' vital energy, cosmic energy or life force.  That is a HINDU and Eastern Medicine practice. It is stated: 'Essential oils can be used to balance the energy flows of the body in a similar way to acupuncture'.  Aromatherapy was based on the same principles as acupuncture (which is an Eastern Medicine and opens you up to Demonic forces), herbal medicine and homeopathy - the balancing of life force or ch'i (yin and yang).  So Christians are to blend this ch'i with Christ Jesus and that doesn't sound proper. Aromatic oils were yin or yang in effect with astrological associations influenced by their ruling planets. Still think this is something professed Christians should touch and get involved with?

Here is what you probably did not know - The Essential Oil was created with D. Gary Young, a naturopath physician in the 1980's who worked with a LAKOTAH MEDICINE MAN named Wallace Black Elk. The technique called Raindrop Therapy which incorporates certain Native American concepts including a 'special form' of massage called 'feather stroking'.  People this act conjures demons along with a procedure called Vitaflex. This was adapted from ancient oriental which addresses the 'energy flows' within the body. Once again does this sound anything proper that a professed Christian should be doing?

Raindrop Therapy is 'based upon' a theory that the spinal problems as well as many chronic illnesses and discomforts are caused by various viruses and bacteria which lie dormant upon the spine. Now this therapy uses 'specific techniques', 'energy work’ - code for REIKI which is DEMONIC and 'aromatherapy'. In addition, the therapy uses a 'sequence' of these oils - designed by a Medicine Man - a Native American Witch Doctor. These oils are dropped onto the spine from 6 inches above one at a time and worked in with hot towels to help penetrate and relax. People understand this sickness and infirmities come from SIN within one’s LIFE that is why this occurs!! In other words if you get right with God and you probably won't be sick anymore!

So my question is this - Should a Christian use oils designed by a Native American Medicine Man upon their bodies? Does this sound even remotely proper? One is going to put oils formulated by a MEDICINE MAN of Native American culture whose own roots go back to cursing this land and bloodshed? People there are lots and lots of Demons which are behind this!!!

People I cannot even tell you how many cases I have had to work which people had Demonic curses from Native American aspects in which many Demons were engaged and cast out to set these people free!

D. Gary Young of Essential Living oils and some of these other ‘oil’ companies market their oils under Christina banners, but this is plain old witchcraft. It is deceiving too, because Young Living has a DVD that they sell called, “Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture” in which you can purchase along with a kit of those twelve oils (for about three hundred dollars). They are acting like the fact that Christ Jesus was given Frankincense and Myrrh means that all of their practices are fully Biblical, however these practices aren’t biblical.

Here's why.  I will prove it. D. Gary Young is the founder of Young Living oils and he is a “professing” Christian. You can find him discussing the twelve oils of Ancient Scripture if you search hard enough.  In this article, D. Gary Young talks about the ‘Third Eye’ being opened by the use of essential oils. This is not a Christian belief. It isn’t even a scientific belief. It is only a pagan belief under Witchcraft and Hindu aspects with CHAKRA's!

People I have had to deal with many demonic cases of closing the ‘Third Eye’ with people who have done YOGA and other spiritual healing avenues instead of going to the Lord God Almighty in repentance and prayer. This is just another way for Satan to deceive you.

In part two we shall cover even more!

Rev. Bradley Luoma