Monday, November 17, 2014

Dalai Lama Addresses the Tibetan Community & Meets with Chinese Students

New York, NY, USA, 5 November 2014 - Under grey skies, the New York streets wore a sombre look as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove to the Javits Convention Center for almost his last engagement of this visit to the USA. Inside it was colourful and 5000 assembled Tibetans were full of smiles as His Holiness took the stage before a backdrop of the Potala Palace. Everyone stood for the Tibetan National Anthem, and then the President of the New York & New Jersey Tibetan Association (NYNJTA) presented a report to His Holiness. He explained that the association began in 1979, that it is non-sectarian and acknowledges no regional bias either. Its objective is to provide a platform for all Tibetans to have a sense of community and to participate is a cultural life. It also concerns itself with offering opportunities for Tibetan children to study Tibetan and so on. The association meets the cost of such classes. By keeping up the Green Book contributions, members of the association contribute $200,000 per year to the CTA.

The President of the Tibetan Association of New York and New Jersey, Sonam Gyatso, offering a traditional white scarf on behalf of the Tibetan community before His Holiness the Dalai Lama's address in New York, NY, USA on November 5, 2014. Photo/Sonam Zoksang
The association not only recognises His Holiness as the leader of Tibetans, but as a leader for the whole world, and while pledging to follow his advice, requests him to live long.

“My dear Tibetan brothers and sisters,” His Holiness responded, “today, when I have this opportunity to meet all of you, I wondered for a moment if I was back in Tibet, or in one of the large settlements in South India. You’re all working hard to retain your Tibetan identity and spirit and I thank you. Here on this new soil, it seems you have made a lot of children! Ensure that they grow up as Tibetans. They may learn to chant the verse for taking refuge, but that’s not enough. You can even teach a parrot to chant. We had one at the Norbulingka Palace that could recite ‘manis’ while nicely nodding its head. The children need to study and know what the Dharma is about. 21st century Buddhists need to study. Prostrating, chanting mantras and circumambulation are good, but they are not the main practice. You need to know how to transform the mind.”

He went on to explain that the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which derives from the Nalanda tradition, is impressive. It’s a culture of peace that has a contribution to make in a world riven by competition and conflict. Today, he said, even scientists take interest in its knowledge of the mind and emotions. It is peace of mind that is important and mere chanting isn’t enough to secure that.

His Holiness talked about his hopes for reclassifying the content of the Kangyur and Tengyur in terms of science, philosophy and religion. He pointed out that the Mind Only and Middle Way Schools of Thought have much in common with the approach of Quantum Physics and can be of interest to anyone, while topics like the Four Noble Truths are primarily of interest to Buddhists. Two volumes of science from these sources were recently published in Tibetan and will soon be available translated into English, Chinese and other languages.

After Buddhism came to Tibet, the collective values of society became more compassionate. Tibetans have their own spoken and written language, and it is the language best suited to expressing the Buddhist path including Tantra, logic and epistemology. His Holiness has encouraged the study of the classic Buddhist texts, even in monasteries and nunneries that were previously concerned only with chanting rituals. These days there are nuns who have studied well and are close to receiving their Geshe-ma degrees. Individuals who have an interest in Buddhism need to study. In Ladakh, laypeople have set up discussion groups to encourage this and His Holiness said he had heard of people doing the same in Tibet. It is not necessary to have a lama involved. This is how to preserve Tibetan religion and culture.

“I have studied in our tradition and whoever I meet, wherever I am, I’m proud and confident. I respect all the major religious traditions, but I am aware that of all the great religious teachers it was only the Buddha who gave his followers advice and encouragement to examine and question what he had taught.”

Changing the subject to what is happening in Tibet, His Holiness said:

“The 6 million Tibetans in Tibet are our real masters. They have been going through difficult times, not least because of the hard-line policies pursued by Chinese officials in Tibet. And yet Tibetans have not lost their spirit and character. Just as Chinese are proud and devoted to their culture, so are we Tibetans. The people of the three provinces feel a strong sense of unity as Tibetans and we in exile should give them our support.

“Whenever I can, I meet Chinese. Many years ago I encouraged the setting up of Sino-Tibetan friendship groups and they have been quite effective. Today, there are 400 million Chinese who call themselves Buddhists, many of whom have an interest in Tibetan Buddhism. Others concern themselves with preserving the natural environment and ecology of Tibet. Relations with ordinary Chinese have improved. The Tibetan issue appears to be a struggle between the gun, the use of force, and the truth. It may appear that in the short term the gun is more effective, and yet in the end the truth will prevail.

“When I was young in Lhasa, the servants used to keep me informed. I became aware of the shortcomings of too much power in too few hands. Everything depended on who you knew. I wanted to change it, but my attempts at reform were thwarted. We began democratization in 1960 and when a new leadership was elected in 2011, I retired. It took time, but eventually we have reached a point where our leaders are elected.”

His Holiness explained that the Vinaya or monastic discipline functions on a democratic basis too. An example of this is the issue of the full ordination of women that he says he fully supports. A lot of people, especially people from the West, ask him simply to issue an edict about it and say that because he doesn’t he is obstructing progress. In fact, changes related to the Vinaya require a group of at least five qualified individuals to be legitimate.

His Holiness spoke at some length about the matter of Dolgyal. He said:

“I was at Dromo, Nechung and Gadong were not with us, but there was a medium there, who although illiterate, was reputed for giving good predictions. This is how my relationship with Dolgyal began. I am also a custodian of Pabongka’s tradition, so from 1950-70, I propitiated Dolgyal. In the 60s Nechung mentioned that is was not good to propitiate the vagabond, Asay Khenpo. I told him to keep quiet and he did and I continued the practice.

“Then the Yellow Book came out suggesting that for a Gelugpa to practise other traditions would arouse Dolgyal’s anger. I consulted Nechung again and he told me a long story. Consequently I did a divination involving special offerings to Palden Lhamo, attended by the Abbot of Namgyal Monastery. He didn’t know what it was about, but when I told him he remarked that it had been a powerful ritual. The questions were whether I should stop the practice, whether immediately or gradually. I stopped. I informed Ling Rinpoche who was pleased, having earlier been very apprehensive about my relations with Dolgyal. I also explained everything to Trijang Rinpoche, who said divination involving Palden Lhamo was infallible. He cast no doubt over it and said that Nechung was very reliable too. He said there must be reason for what we had learned, but he was not annoyed or anything like that.

“The pro-Dolgyal demonstrators shout about religious freedom, but my religious freedom was restricted while I did that practice. I wanted to receive teachings of the Guhyagarbha from Khunu Lama Rinpoche, but because he was apprehensive about Dolgyal, Ling Rinpoche advised against it. I was only free once I gave Dolgyal up and was able to receive many teachings from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

“Dolgyal is a mundane deity. Some say he is a manifestation of Manjushri, but we could also say that Nechung is ultimately something transcendental too. The 13th Dalai Lama warned Pabongka Rinpoche that relating to Dolgyal as he did he risked breaching his refuge, which is recorded in Rinpoche’s own biography. The 5th Dalai Lama said Dolgyal arose from distorted prayers, that he is a ghost of the dead and his function is to do harm. Many other great Gelugpa masters like Trichen Ngawang Chokden opposed this practice. These protestors are mistaken and full of ignorance, but I don’t feel angry towards them.

“They say, ‘Stop Lying, stop lying’, but you stood behind me; I thank you. The thing is it’s harmful, but whether people listen to this or not is up to them. My responsibility anyway is to warn people and to make the situation clear. I have never said anyone has to listen to me.”

His Holiness also made reference to the work that is going on in Vancouver and British Columbia to introduce secular ethics in schools. He concluded his talk by offering transmission of the mantras of the Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, Vajrapani, Tara, Hayagriva, Vajrakilaya and the Medicine Buddha. He said it had been 20 days since he left India, that there had been some benefit and that his health was good.

“Be happy, Tashi Delek.”

After lunch at his hotel, but before leaving for the airport, His Holiness met with a group of Chinese students studying in New York and nearby areas. Addressing them as brothers and sisters he made reference to the long standing relations that exist between Tibetans and Chinese, which have often been good, but have sometimes been difficult.

“One of the problems between us is ignorance. For too long, too many have thought of Tibetans as backward and barbaric. But now they have the opportunity, more Chinese are finding things to admire in Tibet. Spiritually, China and Tibet are very close. Today, there are said to be 300-400 million Chinese who call themselves Buddhists, many of whom have some interest in Tibetan Buddhism.”

In answering questions from the audience he gave a survey of relations between China and Tibet over the last 50 years or more, of how at times hopes of a solution have been raised only to be dashed again. He mentioned how he had tried to introduce reforms and faced obstructions, but then reforms were imposed by others by use of force.

He said that since Tibetans would like to see material development too, it was in their interest to remain part of the PRC, expressing his admiration for the voluntary way European countries had put the common interest ahead of national interest within the EU. He also drew attention to the way diversity flourishes in India without any risk of the country breaking up. He also mentioned his wish to make a pilgrimage to Wu-tai-shan.

Leaving the hotel, His Holiness drove to JFK airport and boarded a flight that will take him to Frankfurt on the way back to India.

original link with photos:

The Breaking of the Human Will -- Permission from God, Part 1

In this two part series we will uncover the key aspect of Demonic activity as we engage one of the most popular questions that gets asked to the Exorcism Ministry quite frequently is “Why does GOD allow evil to reside in or upon his children?”  During this blog series we hope to help you discover the “Biblical Truth” of what the Holy Bible states regarding what we refer to as the permission of GOD when it comes to the Demonic forces upon a person.

To fully understand this aspect as to why some people have demonic activity while others have virtually nothing has to do with GOD’s permission upon his children as well as people engaging in acts that GOD is displeased with.  Let me explain this in a very simplistic form.

At the time of writing this blog I am engaging with a new case.  While on the phone with a paranormal investigator who is now having serious issues as a result of his own direct actions of searching for answers with what is in the spirit realm.  While searching for these answers of the afterlife, this person crossed many lines that GOD instructed us to not do.

The conversation between this afflicted person and I went something like this.  The man has children and I asked him the following two part question: (a) “Do you let your children do what they desire to do?”  The man answered with authority “of course not that would be foolish”.  I followed up with the words stated “because as the adult you know better.”  The man responded “I certainly know more than they do so that would be a yes.”

Then I asked the next question: (b) Do you let your children learn painful lessons for disobeying your instructions even though it hurts you to see this occur?”  The man took a period of time to respond but said “Yes, I let them learn some lessons which I told them and I know better that they should not have done and told them so.”  I simply answered him saying one word “interesting”.  The man responded why is at interesting to you?

My approach to this man being afflicted by the Demonic was to show him the correlation to GOD loving his children, just as he (a parent) loves his children.  I stated to the man, “Don’t you think that is how our heavenly Father GOD works with us?”  Since we are his children I said “Do you not think for one minute he gave us the instructions upon how we are to operate in this life?”  The man answered me with a very sullen and soft voice saying “I get what you’re saying, it doesn’t make my situation better, but I do understand how this is relating to me and what I have done.”

Folks here is the plain and simple answer for it is two parts as to why the Demonic attack us human beings (1) A direct hand in not listening to GOD and (2) Our own free will to do what we choose to do.

Just as parents provide life instructions to their own flesh and blood (i.e. children), GOD provided the instructions to walk in this world which are found in the Holy Bible.  I simply call the Holy Bible – the owner’s manual for life as this has been provided for all to read and learn the righteous ways of the Lord.  However, as humans we have the free will to read and enact the ways GOD wants us to operate or not read and enact our own ways based on our own worldly experiences.

The change in the man with me on the phone started to make sense to him and he responded to me in not so many words “So these actions I am experiencing now are the results of my own actions?”  What more was I to respond.  The man was guilty of doing many things in paranormal world that he admittedly told me he should have not done and then said he didn’t know then what he now knows.  At this point in time the man started to have reactions of the stomach being squeezed extremely hard as to vomit as well as the feeling of something holding onto the right side of his arm.

The entire aspect of why these forces are upon him is a result of his own actions and secondly because GOD has allowed this to occur.  You mean to tell me the reader that GOD allows the Demons to attack us?  Unfortunately the answer is YES!  However, the key being that they must seek permission from GOD to do this upon the person.  We hinted at this back in our blog Demons Not Ghost’s, that we were going to cover this aspect for all to understand.

Permission from GOD is how these entities work.  Yes, many scriptures in the Bible discuss that permission is what is required and when the permission is removed the forces have to leave because GOD is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  They have to obey period.  The Demonic will fight to hold onto those they are upon as this is the battle.  However once the Lord Jesus Christ has said no more it is over.

A prime example of final authority is found in the book of Mark, Chapter 5 when the Lord Jesus encountered the man from the tombs.  Lord Jesus simply stated “Come out of the man”, thus meaning I have removed my permission from your realm to reside within this man.

So to reverse engineer these words Jesus Christ commanded them out, however, the true key to this story is the man ran, fell to his knees in front of Jesus (as an act of humility) for the Lord loves a humble heart.

Thus the legal permission was removed as a result of the humbling by the man in front of the true King of the world.  Then the Demonic were forced to deal with the fact that permission has been revoked to reside within this man.

This was to be the testimony of removing permission or legal rights the Demonic were claiming on the man.  Permission had to be given for them to enter and thus permission was removed upon the dismissal of the entities within.

Satan does not need permission to do evil, for he is known as the prince of this world, but must have the permission to enact upon the children of GOD for he is the accuser of men.  During the second series of this blog we will uncover how permission is granted in the first place.

Realize that Satan has a bestowed relevance in keeping all of us as ignorant about his plan as he possibly can. One way that Satan does this is by afflicting both good people and bad people.  Satan does this in such a manner that it is impossible to determine whether a person is good or evil simply by what is happening in their life.  We will conclude permission from GOD in the next blog.

Rev. Bradley Luoma, Exorcist Minister

The Breaking of the Human Will -- Permission from God, Part 2

Continued from the blog:

In this two part series we will uncover the key aspect of Demonic activity as we engage one of the most popular questions that gets asked to the Exorcism Ministry quite frequently is “Why does GOD allow evil to reside in or upon his children?”  During this blog series we hope to help you discover the “Biblical Truth” of what the Holy Bible states regarding what we refer to as the permission of GOD when it comes to the Demonic forces upon a person.

The first part we laid out that permission must be granted by the Lord Jesus for attacks to occur upon his children. The New Testament, however, reveals Satan as the “god of this age,” who does not ask God permission before doing evil, thus Satan has been defeated time and time again.

The very words of our Lord and Savior Jesus state the following in Luke 22:31 KJV “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.”  So let’s examine these words spoken by Jesus Christ.  In order to attack precious children of the Lord Jesus, permission was sought to do so.

Let’s further explain Satan and the forces of evil must seek permission from GOD to attack, not to do evil.  The context of this is Jesus predicting the denial by Peter that Lord knew was coming:  "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

As a backdrop to understanding this passage, wheat in ancient times was sifted in order to remove the chaff and the dirt, as well as to eliminate the broken and withered grains. The sifting process removes impure wheat from the good wheat. In same manner, Satan will tempt believers with a view to reveal impure “wheat” and thus emphasize our weaknesses. This is what Satan sought to do to Peter.

In Luke 22:31-32 it is clear that Satan is "on a leash." The Devil cannot go beyond what our sovereign GOD will allow. We see this not only in Luke 22 but also in the Book of Job where Satan had to obtain permission from GOD before afflicting Job.

We should all rest in the fact that Jesus is in control of the universe and that Satan cannot simply do as he pleases in our lives. The trials and testings’ that come to GOD’s people are only those which GOD allows.

Another observation we can make is that Jesus, fully aware that Satan wanted to destroy Peter, prayed for Peter before the temptation even began that Peter's faith would not fail (Luke 22:32).  Hebrews 7:25 tells us, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Thus a glorious Savior we have.

Therefore when the forces of Satan come upon people it is a result of permission given from GOD to break the will of the human.  In the wording above the Lord Jesus Christ was asked permission by Satan to do this act of destruction against his disciple for Satan hated Peter.

Many of you will say why would a loving and all powerful GOD do this?  The plain and simple truth is, to teach us lessons from our Heavenly Father GOD for disobedience of his words and instructions!  In our blog “Why is GOD cruel” gives us the answers.

Our own flesh is full of sin and secondly we have to much “us” in our own world and not enough of “Jesus Christ” in our own lives.  We are commanded to seek the Lord God with all your heart and all your soul (Luke 10:27, Matthew 22:37, Deuteronomy 6:5).

The forces of evil must seek permission from our Lord and Savior to attack his children.  The most famous story of seeking permission is the story of Job recorded in the Bible.  As the story unfolds GOD was “bragging” about Job and we pick up the story in verse 6 ending at verse 12 in Chapter 1 taken from the KJV Bible.

The story unfolds as follows: Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”

The very words of our Lord state that “Hast thou considered my servant Job?”  Thus meaning I will give you permission to “test” my child.  The story unfolds that Satan was given permission to destroy everything that Job had.  However, Satan could not destroy Job for it was forbidden by the Lord.  For the tests that were given and Job staying the course, the Lord rewarded Job more than he had before.

Since paranormal activity is the result of Demonic forces upon a person, thus means permission from GOD was given to enact lessons to “repent of your ways” and return to the GOD.  In essence the hard part to swallow is this, due to actions you have possibly given the Demonic forces openings for them to come into your life.  All they need now is to seek the permission from GOD to do so.  Why?  All souls belong to GOD.

During battles with those that reside within a person, the job of an Exorcist is to remove those within by seeking permission from GOD to renew this person as a righteous person.  This starts with prayer work to humble oneself before GOD.  GOD loves a repentant heart as recorded in James 4:6 KJV “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

Once we as humans (especially those afflicted with Demonic forces) humble ourselves, repent of our ways and actions and then seek the forgiveness that Lord Jesus offers, GOD will no longer provide permission against his child.  This is when the battle truly starts and why the Demons fight so hard to stay upon a person.

We hope that you have enjoyed this two part series.

Rev. Bradley Luoma, Exorcist Minister