His Holiness Gets Huffed

Ashley Baxstrom: The Huffington Post announced on Friday that its very own Arianna Huffington – the Post’s namesake? Editor? Aggregator General? Blogger in Chief? – will interview the Dalai Lama on May 14th.

His Holiness will be awarded the prestigious Templeton prize, which “honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” When he heard he would be receiving the award, he responded that he was just a simple Buddhist monk.

Arianna Huffington, His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Huffington will sit down with him at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London the day of the award for a one-hour interview, and has asked the Post’s readers for topic suggestions. “If you had an hour with the Dalai Lama how would you use it?” the story asks.

Would you ask about his dreams, about Tibet and China, or his plans for the $1.7 million dollars that comes with the Templeton Prize?

“Would you ask him about Buddhist principles, how to be happy, or how different religions can get along together? We encourage any and all questions that come from your heart, head, or spirit – or all of them together!

“We know that the Dalai Lama is ESPECIALLY interested in talking about the relationship between science and religion and we especially encourage any questions in this arena.

I can think of at least seven people I would rather see interview the Dalai Lama than Her HuffoPo Highness, but I have to admit, she’s probably appropriate for today’s quick-post, blurb-bite media environment. It is unsurprising that a person whose news site consists of very little original reporting will interview His Holiness by crowd-sourcing questions. It’s exactly what the Post is all about – pitching to the lowest common denominator of our media-consuming selves, doing the “hard work” of seeking out the news for us, even and especially when the news isn’t that hard.

But let us hope that she might have a few thoughtful and challenging queries of her own, because those coming in from the reading public aren’t particularly promising:

 I am into spirituality but I find the idea of karma difficult to comprehend, is that justified or contradiction?

 I’d like to be both a christian and a buddhist. I don’t see a conflict. Ask him what he thinks.

 I’d ask if science has caused any moral issues for him. For example, if you are not suppose to kill bugs (any living thing), then is it OK to take anti-biotics, becasue that kills bacteria.

This one is actually my personal favorite:

 Sit with him in stillness for one hour.

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