Buddhist lama to give talk | TheUnion.com

Buddhist lama to give talk

The Union StaffLama Ole Nydahl
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If you’ve ever been interested in studying Buddhism, there’s something Lama Ole Nydahl wants you to know.

“Buddhism is something everyone can experience. Everybody is a Buddha who hasn’t discovered it yet.”

That’s right. Everyone, including a white-haired Dane, has a bit of the mysterious, meditative attributes extolled by Buddha, whose credo of resolving human suffering through a process of meditation, nonviolence and compassion has been practiced by hundreds of millions for more than 2,000 years.

“Growing up in the ’60s, I was very interested in anything that had to do with expansion of the mind,” said the lama, who is scheduled to speak at 8 p.m. Saturday in the L.O.V.E. Building at Condon Park.

Nydahl first experienced Buddhism on his honeymoon to Nepal in 1968. He met people schooled in a variation of Tibetan Buddhism, which teaches that a person is in complete control of his or her mind and of the events that happen in one’s life. He has written numerous books on the subject which have been published in a variety of languages.

Nydahl describes his teachings as a way to transfer one’s consciousness at the moment of death to a state of highest bliss. It employs meditation techniques and teachings of the Buddhism.

With that knowledge, “there’s no reason to fear death,” he said. Reincarnation is another important facet of the religion.

Nydahl said he believes he was a Tibetan soldier in the province of Kantze in eastern Tibet, protecting civilians against Chinese soldiers in the 1920s and ’30s. “I’ve had that memory since I was 2 or 3 years old,” he said.

Nydahl travels the world spreading this message. Buddhism has a strong following in parts of Nevada County – one of the reasons Nydahl will speak on the subject Saturday.

He hopes to bring understanding to a curious audience, some of whom may be yearning to find meaning in a world recently marred by terrorist attacks and the threat of war.

“I’ve seen the hate and the feeling of inferiority build up over time,” Nydahl said. The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were unavoidable, he believes, because of the inequities faced by cultures. “It was a clash of civilizations.”

Nydahl realizes that some may have serious doubts about Buddhism, and he encourages debate about it and other religions.

“Everybody should be a skeptic,” Nydahl said. “If you force everybody to wear the same hat, they suffer.”

Becoming a Buddha means having total understanding of everything, an omnipotent sense, that Nydahl admits is a tall order.

“I’m just looking for answers to universal questions,” he said.

Tickets to the talk are available for a $10 donation. For information, call 470-0425.

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