Over at On Faith (and cross-posted on The Huffington Post), Eboo Patel, founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, writes about a meeting he and a group of other Muslims had with His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his recent visit to Bloomington, IN. He writes:
The Dalai Lama was in Bloomington, Ind., giving a teaching on the Buddhist Heart Sutra. He took time out to meet with a small group of Muslim and interfaith leaders to launch a new book — and a new dialogue — called Common Ground Between Islam and Buddhism.
Muslims have lived in Tibet for four centuries, His Holiness recounted, in full peace and solidarity with their Buddhist neighbors. The Dalai Lama told a story of one of the earliest memories he had with a Muslim, the local watch-repairer. “I was a restless child,” the Dalai Lama said, that priceless smile playing upon his lips, “so I would always break my watch.” The Muslim watch-repairer would come and fix the watch, and lovingly admonish the young Dalai Lama to play more gently. At this point the Dalai Lama broke out in full laughter — a Muslim telling a Buddhist to be more gentle, that is a story the world should hear more often!
And then the Dalai Lama got serious. He spoke of his sadness that the image of Islam is all violence. This was not his experience with Muslims or his understanding of their faith and he was especially concerned about the isolation this image was causing.
Several times His Holiness spoke of the importance of “coming together”, emphasizing that when people interact positively with each other they learn how similar they are, and when they are separated the gap is often filled by hostility.
Read the rest here.