In April of 2006, the prominent Japanese cultural anthropologist Noriyuki Ueda sat down with the Dalai Lama for a two day conversation. This book is based on that long and lively conversation in Dharamsala.
In this little book, the two men explore whether there is a place in religious practice for anger against social injustice, the role of competition in spiritual life, conditional versus unconditional love, and the soullessness of materialism.
One of the real pleasures of this book is the Dalai Lama’s uncharacteristic candor. For example:
‘I am not only a socialist but also a bit of a leftist, a Communist.’
‘I hold the position of a high monk, a big lama. Unless I exercise self restraint, there is every possibility for me to exploit others.’
He also argues that rather than suppressing anger, Buddhism embraces using anger to precipitate social change. In other words anger can be an important spiritual practice. This book offers a unique perspective on the Dalai Lama’s political and spiritual views. And it guides the reader through the complex reality of what it means to practice compassion in the here and now.