His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is regarded with great reverence and respect as a spiritual leader by thousands of Buddhists around the world. As the key lineage holder of the main Tibetan Buddhist traditions, in particular the Gelug lineage of Lama Tsong Khapa, His Holiness is an eminently qualified teacher of the three Buddhist vehicles and the two paths of sutra and tantra.
The Dalai Lamas are considered to be manifestations of Chenresig (Avalokiteshvara), the bodhisattva of compassion. In his own view however, His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. He often speaks of his three main commitments in life. As a human being, he imparts the universal values of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance and contentment. As a religious practitioner, he promotes inter-religious harmony and understanding. Thirdly, as the Dalai Lama, he is committed to preserving the Tibetan Buddhist culture of peace and non-violence.
For over 50 years, His Holiness has devoted himself tirelessly to teaching Buddhism throughout the world, inspiring people everywhere of all creeds and religions with his message of peace and compassion. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
His Holiness is spiritual master or guru to many high lamas, including our Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche. As followers of the authentic Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the students of Amitabha Buddhist Centre take His Holiness as our spiritual guide.
Within the scale of the life of the cosmos, a human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a visitor to this planet, a guest, who has only a finite time to stay. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time lonely, unhappy, and in conflict with our fellow visitors? Far better, surely, to use our short time in pursuing a meaningful life, enriched by a sense of connection with and service toward others.