Dharamshala, India /March 18, 2011
Meeting Dalai Lama at his residence was a precious opportunity. I posed three questions to him, which prompted his enthusiastic and enlightening comments recorded at the time, transcribed later, and presented below.
The three questions were respectively on the future of Buddhism in China, on certain mysterious phenomena of incense ash resisting falling while forming patterns, and on karma from violent actions initiated by kindness.
On March 11, 2011, exactly a week before the meeting, Dalai Lama surprised the world by announcing that he would retire as the political head of the Tibetan government in exile and let the next elected prime minister take over. That somewhat added to the historical weight of our meeting from 13:30 to 15:00 on Friday March 18, 2011
Back in January 2011 when Professor Su Chiahong (Figure 1) of Fooin University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan arranged a March 18 meeting with Dalai Lama, he had no idea of what transformation was forthcoming regarding the Tibetan government in exile located on the foothill of Himalayas in northern India. On that subject, Professor Su is Taiwan’s leading expert with the publication of an award-winning book entitled Democracy in Exile.
As Professor Su invited me to join him on the trip, I accepted the gracious offer with much appreciation and asked my wife Alice to come along.
Our meeting with Dalai Lama was scheduled to last half an hour. It turned out to be one hour and half.
After Professor Su interviewed His Holiness on his recent political decision, the parliamentary election to be held in two days, and prospects of the government in exile, my conversation with Dalai Lama in English began (Figure 2). It was recorded by Professor Su, and later transcribed on paper by Mr. Gesang at Taipei’s Tibetan Religious Foundation. I reviewed and polished the sometimes broken and ungrammatical conversational English by November 29, 2011. Ms. Eli Huang, my former assistant at Tamkang Unversity’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies finished the Chinese translation on January 18, 2012. Ms. Lisa Yu, a proactive practitioner versed in Buddhist vocabulary, verified the Tibetan Buddhist terms contained therein.
The terms Mr. Gesang used in referring to the participants in the conversation are retained to project the live atmosphere of the occasion from the perspective of a bystander who is now virtually ready to witness the exchanges that are going to unfold as follows.
 English transliteration of his name格桑to be ascertained.