Happy 83rd Birthday to his Holiness


I am Catholic. I went through a very hard time in 2008 and my mom, also Catholic, sent me to listen to his holiness for a week…he changed my world. Since then I have been at peace. I believe in one God - I believe in enlightenment- I also believe in karma and reincarnation- how do I reconcile these beliefs? Could it be that purgatory is a transition between earth and heaven? Is Bodhisattva a time to become enlightened before entering heaven?


You’re talking about Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama, right?

I have found him to be quite inspiring too. Once, I fell asleep listening to a talk he gave on the 4 Noble Truths. The Dalai Lama spoke in Tibetan, while an interpreter repeated his words in English. I had the weirdest dream, where this guy walked up to me speaking Tibetan and all I could think was, “How could you be speaking Tibetan in my dream when I don’t speak that language?” Then I woke up and realized it was the Dalai Lama!

In response to your post, the first thing I would say is that the Dalai Lama would strongly advise you to stick to ONE faith tradition, preferably the one in which you were raised, and absolutely do NOT try mixing the two. He does not believe that is a valid path for anyone to take. He says that if there is something you are seeking, such as peace or transcendence, you should first look for it in your own faith tradition, because it is most likely there too. For example, if you read the writing of the great Catholic mystics, like St. John of the Cross or Saint Catherine of Siena, you will find in them a LOT that is similar to the themes and experience of the great Eastern mystics.

Second, do not trade Grace for Karma!

Grace is the gift of Divine Life, freely given to us by God, that is neither earned nor deserved. It is Christ’s own life force. If you accept it, it will transform you to become the person God created you to be - perfect in every way. It may take some time (maybe eons as the Dalai Lama would say) and you will have to work with it, but in the end you will be in perfect communion with Christ and all the saints in heaven forever.

Karma is all about getting what you deserve. It is a form of cosmic justice that really nobody can live up to by their own will and merit. So at some level, punishment awaits us all. Here is more about if from Bishop Barron who does a much better job explaining the difference between Grace and Karma.

Will the Dalai Lama be with Christ in heaven too? I have no doubt that he will. In Matthew 25, the righteous do not recognize the King, instead they ask, “Lord, when did we see you…” Those are the people like the Dalai Lama, who may not recognize Christ, but who have given their lives in the service of others, bringing peace and hope with them.


So many thanks … I will respond once I absorb your words…


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