Food reference: Dalai Lama

Recently we had the honor of listening to the Dalai Lama speak in Indianapolis. During the event he spoke of diversity, compassion, education, meditation, restraint, countermeasures to mischevious people and of course our fundamental common humanity. In preparation for the event I read through the Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living. He references food in a few passages to explain the benefits of diversity and the process of learning.  Here are two:

“The purpose of religion is to benefit people, and I think that if we only had one religion, after a while it would cease to benefit many people. If we had a restaurant, for instance, and it only served one dish — day after day, for every meal — that restaurant wouldn’t have many customers left after a while. People need and appreciate diversity in their food because there are so many different tastes. In the same way, religions are meant to nourish the human spirit. And I think we can learn to celebrate that diversity in religions and develop a deep appreciation of the variety of religions.”


“When you talk of knowledge leading to freedom or resolution of a problem, you have to understand that there are many different levels. For example, let’s say that human beings in the Stone Age didn’t know how to cook meat but they still had a biological need to eat, so they just ate like a wild animal. As humans progressed, they learned how to cook and then how to put different spices to make the food tasty and then they came up with more diverse dishes. And even up to our  present age, if we are suffering from a particular illness and through our knowledge we learn that a certain type of food is not good for us, even though we might have a desire to eat it, we restrain ourselves from eating it. So it is clear that the more sophisticated  the level of our knowledge is, the more effective we will be in dealing with the natural world.”

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