Be Here includes discussions of the Buddhist concepts of attachment, emptiness, compassion, love, and resentment and how our sense of the past and the future affect our ability to be in the present.
Many Buddhist practices and meditations focus on “being in the present moment.” But what does that really mean? What does it mean to be here now?
Attachment. Emptiness. Compassion. You will hear the Dalai Lama present these three words again and again in this book of wisdom designed to move us toward the goal of “being here.” He speaks of attachment—to things, to people, to memory, to feelings of anger and resentment, to future goals. Being attached means we are not here now; we are living through wherever our attachment takes us.
Does emptiness mean we let go of everything? Even the present thoughts in our minds? How does understanding emptiness help us to be here now? The Dalai Lama is clear: if we are not educated about past history and if we have no sense of the future, then how can be possibly have a “present”?
When we are here, we can practice compassion in the present moment and focus on social justice now. When we are here, we are no longer attached to our past, no longer stressed about the future, no longer tethered to suffering. Being here means we find happiness, peace, and the fullness of life.
Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, is the exiled spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.
Noriyuki Ueda is a well-known Japanese author, lecturer, and cultural anthropologist. In 2006, he was a visiting research fellow at the Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford University where he taught a 20-part series, "Buddhism Today: Responses to New Global Challenges."