The Dalai Lama Recently Canceled all His Foreign Travel
The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, has canceled all travel for the rest of the year. This has made Buddhists nervous.
Representatives of the holy man have stated that it is more about exhaustion then it is about his health. However, the Dalai Lama has decreased his country visits for the past three years and is 82-years-old.
There are some real dangers to Tibetan Buddhism of the Dalai Lama having a decreased international presence. The Dalai Lama’s public exposure and charismatic personality has been a boost to conversion to Buddhism all over the globe. In addition, he has spent much of his public exposure to advocate for the independence of Tibet from Chinese rule. China took over Tibet in 1959, forcing the Dalai Lama into his exile since.
This could have two effects. It could stop the pressure for China to give any autonomy to the Tibetan people. Even more frightening is the possibility of violence occurring. Many Tibetans have threatened violence if China does not give more rights. Some experts believe the Dalai Lama speaking out against violence has been the main reason why it has not occurred. If the Dalai Lama decreases public appearances or becomes ill it could be a catalyst for a possible uprising in Tibet.
Only time will tell how the decreased travel schedule will affect Tibet Buddhism. Although, foreign leaders have traveled to see the Dalai Lama, meaning that he could to petition for political changes while able to rest.