The Dalai Lama’s Reflections on the Realistic Approach of Buddhism: Buddhism in the Twenty-first Century

I’m always telling the Tibetans and also the Chinese and Japanese, and the Ladakhis and all the Himalayan Buddhists – I’m always telling them that now we are in the twenty-first century, we should be twenty-first-century Buddhists. That means having a fuller knowledge about modern education, modern science, and all these things, and also utilizing modern facilities, but also at the same time having full conviction about Buddha’s teachings about infinite altruism, bodhichitta and the view of interdependency, pratityasamutpada [dependent arising]. Then you can be a genuine Buddhist and also belong to the twenty-first century.

There is an inspiring talk by His Holiness about how to practice Buddhism in the 21st Century, I would like to share:

The talk includes many different topics, ranging from the “Importance of Scepticism”, “Potential Dangers of Guru Devotion” to “Should We Act in the Name of Humanity or in the Name of Buddhism?”. Enjoy!


  1. Lizzy Lewis says:

    Thank you so much Tenpel! Wonderful!

  2. I look forward to reading the whole text, thanks

  3. Happy to hear that you found it either helpful or are interested to read the whole text. The complete four parts can be found under this link:

  4. I note HH doesnt talk about mixing the two but rather he speaks of gaining knowledge of both-important distnction

  5. Good job, T– I look forward to reading/seeing this– I suspect that it is exactly the approach from HH that I have found to be life-saving over the years.


  1. […] Buddhism encourages us to be realistic; to see things as the truly are. Buddhism emphasizes that we should not place importance on worldly affairs. Emptiness of our natural existence means that our world is a projected world of labels and limitations that are put into place based upon our rearing, cultural background, and habituation. The way we reflect and see our own lives — optimistically, pessimistically, or realistically—is a combination of the disposition we’re born with, the schooling and training we undergo, and the atmosphere we grow up in. […]

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