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may 21, 2001

To Jet Li,

I hope this isn't too personal a question, but how did you come to follow Tibetan Buddhism? What are your feeligns on China's present actions in Tibet?


Jet's Response

Nothing in this universe is permanent. If there is a beginning, then there is an end. After the end is another beginning. Life is like this. You are born, you die, and are born again and die again. This is samara. All things are in a continuous process of change, which Buddhists call impermanence.

Life is composed of many stages. In each stage we have different goals. For example, finishing our education, then getting a job, falling in love, starting a family, taking care of our parents, and so on. Eventually, you realize that the things you have done, the relationships you have had and material things you have accumulated along the way are not who you are. You cannot take them with you when you die. All things are actually a result of karma, which is actually cause and effect. It is through Buddhism that I strive to understand the essence of the universe.

The major schools of Buddhism include the Hinayana, the Mahayana, and the Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism. And within these major schools there are many sects. It is like a student choosing a college. No one school is ultimately better than another. The choice of a school will depend on a variety of factors, but overall the student will feel that based on their needs one school is more suitable for them. Tibetan Buddhism has inspired me and accelerated my understanding of life.

Religion and politics are different topics. In my opinion, national borders and ethnic questions are political not religious questions. The issues concerning the Chinese government and Tibet are that of an administering country managing an internal situation . I personally don't have any political opinions.

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