Dalai Lama agrees with Tiger (whoever he is)
Monday 22 February 2010
The world's most famous golfer should not feel bad that the leader of the religion he promises to re-embrace had never heard of him until now. The good news is that Tiger Woods and the Dalai Lama share similar views on Buddhism and, perhaps more surprisingly, on infidelity.
That might not have been true until recently, but last week Tiger Woods renounced his adulterous ways, in a carefully crafted apology to his family, fans, and fellow golfers. In future, he promised, he would live a life befitting of the tradition in which he was brought up.
But all this was news to the Dalai Lama, on a US tour after his controversial meeting with President Barack Obama last week. He cheerily called his unfamiliarity with sports "my disgrace" when questioned on the subject by reporters at the weekend. When told of the golfer's indiscretions and subsequent enlightenment, he made observations about restraint close to the line Mr Woods took.
"Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that's important ... self-discipline with awareness of consequences," he said. "Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse."
Tomorrow and the day after, the Dalai Lama's American tour calls for him to be in Florida, Woods's home state, to meet members of its Buddhist community. It might have been the perfect opportunity for the two men to have got more properly acquainted. But sadly Mr Wood's has a busy schedule of his own: he is due back at his sex rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi this morning.
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