This is a delightful discussion between the Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga. The video lasts for about 19 minutes and Lady Gaga asks the Dalai Lama some questions that she’d received from some of her fans via social media. You can watch and listen to the interview between the Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga just here, or you can read the full transcript at the bottom of this article.
My Thoughts on The Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga
It’s really good that people with Lady Gaga’s profile can use that to bring the words of someone like the Dalai Lama to more people. Just the combination of the Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga is unusual and enough to draw more attention to the interview. The Dalai Lama has some really important things to say and I don’t think we really understand (or want to understand) what he’s saying.
Here are the main points I got from the Dalai Lama here;
Our Inner Value
The Dalai Lama talks quite a bit about realising our “inner value” rather than focussing on the materialistic culture that thrives today. This is refreshing. It’s inside where all our value is, not outside. He says “our beautiful brain and warm heartedness must combine” and that we can be “very happy, calm, and no need relying drugs or some other things”.
Can we really accept that our true value is innate and within us? It’s more common in our society to relate our value to the artificial labels and measures assigned to us by others.
Sense of Oneness of Humanity
He very clearly talks about the sense of oneness of humanity, and he’s not exaggerating here. He really means that each of our lives is fully dependent on the rest of humanity and cannot be separated. He goes on to explain that we are social animals and mental sickness can spread easily, but strengthening our understanding and belief in our inner value can improve both our mental and physical health.
Can we really accept that humanity is one and cannot be separated into individuals? It’s more common in our society to believe that each person is an individual and can act as such. It’s part of the “winner take all”, “survival of the fittest” and “succeeding over our competitors” culture we’ve somehow built and believe is real.
The Dalai Lama prefers analytical meditation (requiring one to deeply analyse the causes of suffering, either external or internal) over single-pointed meditation (focusing on a single thing, which he also calls a tranquilliser). He explains how mental health and physical health are intricately interlinked, just as the lives of all of humanity are interdependent on each other.
The Ultimate Source is already within our hearts
This is a very good part of the Dalai Lama’s message. All the power we need is already within us. We don’t have to look outside for help. As he’s already said, humanity is truly one so this power is within us all and something we all share, and it can help us be more healthy mentally and physically.
Even when we see something in the world that is tragic, by widening our view, we can see that there are many positive and loving aspects existing at the same time. We should not lose hope. Hope is very essential and we should have self-confidence.
Full Transcript – The Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga – Kindness
LG – Hello your holiness, it’s nice to be with you. We’re so happy to have you here today and so very grateful to hear your perspective and your philosophies on the world. I have some questions here that were… looking at… taken from young people old people all over the world from social media that we’ve asked to give us their thoughts and their questions about humanity that they would like to ask you. May I begin?
DL – Yes.
LG – Bridget Wilson, she asked how do you help young people address issues of poor self-esteem, managing eating disorders, addiction, self-harm and suicide?
…our inner value…
DL – Basically I have to review also the environment or the society’s way of life. I feel there is too much materialistic life too much materialistic culture. And then, most important in our education system, not much talk about our inner value. So in spite of basic human nature, according scientists, more compassionate that compassion is part of our life, not cultivated from birth, that’s there, but existing our education system, you see, very much oriented about external values. So, I think, society or generation who come through that kind of education then eventually create more materialistic life, materialistic culture. So these I feel – may be wrong! – I cannot say my view is 100% right – I don’t know – that is for the young people, they have to check, or investigate, according their only experiences. Now, these, this problem, is I think due to lack of the ability about compassionate feeling, thought. Too much self-centered. Then life not free from problem. Problem always there, but the your mental attitude is the key factor. Your mental attitude is sound with self-confidence and foresightedness. But then this problem, you see, of course they on the surface for our mind or emotion, yes we feel uncomfortable or something, but deeper level we have the ability to keep calm. So, so actually youth, young people value, I think future is on your shoulder not my shoulder now I need to say goodbye, bye-bye, so future, you see, future depends on our younger generations shoulder. And then another thing is, past is nobody can change, future yet to come, so there is possibility to change. So existing environment I feel unhealthy, so we, younger generation have to create more healthy environment. Through that way our coming generation, future generation, will be more also the complete sort of… complete sort of… thinking of a person that, I mean, physical comfort from material facility, mental comfort from our inner sort of strength, that’s mainly compassion as I mentioned earlier. So our beautiful brain and warm heartedness must combine. Then this is that person can be very happy, calm, and no need relying drugs or some other things. So then, I think when you show more sense of concern of others well-being then you also you get the feeling or I am something useful to other that brings more self-confidence and a meaningful life. Otherwise, they went lonely and looked here, you cannot trust, look here, you cannot trust, then, in yourself, sometimes feel helpless, discouraged. And then, some say suicide.
LG – So what you’re saying is that caring for others and having compassion, it gives you a sense of purpose
DL – That’s right
LG – So it helps you to feel less alone and alienated, because you know that we all belong together
…sense of oneness of humanity…
DL – That’s right, that’s right. Basically, we are social animal so individual future entirely depend on the rest of the community. No matter how sort of intelligent, how sort of rich but in the empty place, remain lonely, I think even one week very difficult. So our very life is it depend on rest of the community. Now, today, reality of today’s world, heavily interdependent, interconnectedness, so we need sense of oneness of humanity. Think other people, otherwise is it too much the emphasis “we and they”, then there’s violence on community level, the national level – all these violence is to come on the basis to much sort of feeling “we and they”. And then for shortsightedness and also out of I think ignorance, I feel, and lack of compassion, then they feel destroy your enemy, that’s your victory. Actually enemy, mainly is a human being, so that part of our humanity. That’s my view. But the people, really they feel interested or not, that’s up to individual. But my interest is “express this” and I’m one 81 year old person, now quite lot of experiences, so I think as far as experience is concerned, my experiences are much bigger than your experiences.
LG – You didn’t know this, but I’m much older than I look actually.
LG – This is not, just as another question as part of what you just said, so then would it be fair to say that, if one person is sick that the whole body of humanity is sick and it is important to keep us healthy and to detoxify humanity in order to clean and purify our future?
…time has come for us to pay more attention to our inner value…
DL – That’s right – not really clear your question (some translation for the DL) – yes, we are a social animal. Someone, mentally sick, then it spread easily. So, any way, is a problem of human being, must solve by human ourselves, not relying on or prayer or distance. Then also, the problem related with the physical, problem which is related with mind. The problem related with physical compare problem of mental state. The physical level is not superior, but mind is that superior. Obviously, according our own experience, mentally happy, sound, then physical illness, you can subdue. Mentally too much worry, anxiety, physical comfort… will not subdue mental suffering. So therefore, now time come we have to pay more attention in what our inner value. And should know the method, or the right approach, to strengthening our inner value.
Lady with DL – Inner value and recognition, as you point out, that we’re all interconnected, inside and to each other as brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers…
DL – right
LG – In a sense of protection of one another in our human dignity this is our responsibility to care for one another
DL – Right, right.
LG – This is from Joshua here another question. I meditate, I like to meditate. Which meditation practice have you found to be the most fruitful, and what can you say about creating effective meditation practice?
…two types of meditation…
DL – According Indian tradition, meditation two types. One meditation, single-pointed meditation. Your mind remain focusing certain thing, or just remain clarity of mind. Just remain there. That’s one kind of meditation. Another meditation is analytical meditation, analyze, analyze. So these meditation although the explanation come from religious texts, but it’s something applicable to our daily life. Now, for example, the scientists the researchers, they actually implementing analytical meditation – investigate, investigate, investigate. So the subject of analytical meditation about matters, or analytical meditation about our inner world. So for me, I must say I’m poor practitioner of meditation. Now 81 years old but progress not much, very, very little. But better than none. So, so therefore for me, analytical meditation is much more powerful. Single-pointed meditation, sometimes I describe like tranquilizer. For short moment, peace, but then after that again you see the problem is when we face some restlessness come. The analytical meditation you see analyze what the causes of the suffering are – external thing, internal thing – then you will realize ultimately your own mental attitude. I think two-person, same problem, but feeling could be big differences. One person, same illness or same problem, but mentally there are some sort of ability to deal with that problem. Much happier.
LG – Do you believe that meditation is also a way to calm humanity?
…more healthy mind, automatically more healthy body…
DL – Yes, yes. We all have the potential. See this warm-heartedness, is the foundation of human survival, including our health. More healthy mind, automatically more healthy body. In that respect, I can tell you, according my own experience, now my sort of age as I mentioned earlier 81 year old, and my life went through lot of problems, there are lot of sort of causes for anxiety or fear or anger even. But, with my mind, always calm. I think as a result of analytical meditation according, I’m Buddhist, Buddhist practitioner, according Buddhist method or technique. So I think you can judge my face.
LG – Very young!
DL – So, so, that’s nothing special medicine or nothing. I’m not not even yoga practice, not much, a little bit, otherwise not much. So mainly, I found peace of mind.
LG – This is, I think, important for people to hear because they associate meditation and yoga with religion or a political background, or race or colour, but what you’re saying is that it is a state of mind where we’re returning to the inner peace that we’re born with as children and I think that is important for everyone to remember during such inflammatory times, violence, loss of illness, people becoming angry and full of fear that we have to cool the system down. It’s about less hot, less heat, more cooling, more relaxation, but also thoughtful but also conscious and strategic.
…the ultimate source is already within our hearts…
DL – That’s right. So I believe and also accordingly I telling or sharing with other people the ultimate source already here (points to heart), the only problem is whether we realize that or not, or exploit that potential within ourselves. From birth, we already have this potential there.
Other lady – so we were just told that we’re running out of time. Do we have time for more or…? No, we have to stop…
LG – I’m going to just asking one question if that’s alright okay. You’ve answered almost everything with all of your wonderful answers… I’m going to ask this one… this is Gudren Fortner… he said how can I still feel at peace with so much horror in this wonderful world? – I need peace of mind – I’m losing it.
…tragic things but, at the same time, many positive things too…
DL – It’s not acceptable, but again according my own experience, you see once a certain tragic situation happen, then not avoid but look at more deeper way, and from wider way, then there are some tragic things there, but at the same time on this planet many positive things, many sort of happy things there. If you look more wider perspective then the frustration from the tragic situation, that becomes something part of that – not whole. So when some problem you see happen if you look very closely then it appears unbearable. The same problem look from distance, more wider perspective, then yes there’s problem I have to face, but okay, there are other very positive things there, so I should not feel losing hope. There are. Now if humanity is really very negative, then we don’t we don’t need any worry about population increasing.
LG – So we have to keep hope to keep the world going.
…hope is very essential – self-confidence…
DL – Hope is very very essential – self confidence
LG – Thank you, thank you.
That’s the end of the Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga interview transcript.