“Beware of being lured into their ways ... Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did those nations worship their gods? I too will follow the same practices!’” (Deuteronomy 12:30).
The model for the day was dying for the sake of rebirth. Think meditation, think spiritual awakening, think psychoanalysis.
To paraphrase an old rye bread ad, you don't have to be Buddhist to admire his holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, or at least that's so in the case of at least three Jewish artists, who lend their artistic voices to "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama," an exhibition currently at the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History.
It sounds like the set-up for a politically incorrect joke: Did you hear the one about the journalist who began his journey in the Buddha's footsteps in Poland? But what was I doing in Oswiecim, in the southwest corner of Poland? It might make more sense knowing the German name by which Oswiecim is better recognized: Auschwitz.
"What is Buddhism?" the interpreter reads from a card collected from the audience. "Tell us, as in the story of Hillel, as if you are on one foot."
The Dalai Lama tilts his head to one side. "Hmmmm," he says, then, his deep voice raising an octave or two, "Buddhism is Buddhism."
He erupts into giggles, his shoulders hunched forward and his head bouncing, as he delights in this joke with his audience.