The Next Dalai Lama Should Be a Woman

October 14, 2009 at 8:31 am | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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Dharamsala

The Dalai Lama Photograph of the Dalai Lama by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images.

The Dalai Lama is known as a symbol of peace, compassion, and nonviolence. During his visit to Washington, D.C. this week, it is no surprise that he will receive another award for his work promoting human rights.

Far lesser known is his role as a feminist. In 50 years of exile from Tibet, this self-professed “simple monk” has been the driving force behind the growing prominence of women in Tibetan exile society. He has even suggested that his next reincarnation could and should be a girl. “Woman is more compassionate and has more power to understand and feel the needs of others as compared to man,” he said at a press conference last November in Dharamsala, his exile home in northern India.

That the Dalai Lama—believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be the 14th reincarnation of the Buddha of compassion—should return to the world as a woman is a radical notion that perturbs even open-minded Tibetans, men and women alike. And despite his wishes, the 15th reincarnation will very likely be a boy, just like all the prior ones…

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