Don't ask silly questions

Dalai Lama Is Honored With Democracy Service Medal In Washington

According to various journalists who cover the White House, the Dalai Lama told the media who covered his visit there this week not to ask silly questions. That, and the throwing of snow at the gathered press, put a smile on my face. We looked at some of the early media coverage of Tiger Woods' apology. He said that part of his recovery would involve a re-dedication of the Buddhist principles he was taught as a child.

And one reporter asked the religious leader what he thought of the sex scandal:

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader told The Associated Press during a brief interview in his hotel suite in Beverly Hills that he had not heard of Woods, but when the circumstances were explained to him he said that when it comes to adultery, ''all religions have the same idea.''

''Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that's important,'' he said. ''Self-discipline with awareness of consequences.''

I was hoping we'd see a bit more analysis from Buddhists who are a bit more familiar with the Woods situation. This other AP report addressed the religion issue head on. Pointing out that most public apologies come from Christians or use the Christian language of sin and redemption, the story noted the Buddhist distinctives in Woods' apology:

Buddhists look to themselves as they work to lead an ethical life. There is no one divinity who can bestow redemption as in Christianity.

"Buddhism offers the opportunity to be Buddha, if we do the work. It's already there, it's who we are," said Darren Littlejohn, a Buddhist and Portland, Ore.-based author of "The 12 Step Buddhist," a book about addiction recovery. He said Woods' comments reflected the Buddhist belief that "life is suffering. It's based on attachment, anger and desire."

The story is not bad, quoting more than a few scholars and explaining a bit about karma and samsara. It's just nice to see a story that's the result of asking good questions instead of "silly questions."

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