By Trevor Kitcher

 Over recent months the world has lost two eminent spiritual elders and now faces new threats to world peace.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama has reflected on each of these events. 

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama with his friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Immediately after being informed that his “respected elder spiritual brother and good friend”  Archbishop Desmond Tutu had passed away on the 26th December 2021, His Holiness the Dalai Lama composed a letter to the Archbishop’s daughter, Rev. Mpho Tutu.

“Please accept my heartfelt condolences,” he wrote. “As you know, over the years, your father and I enjoyed an enduring friendship. I remember the many occasions we spent time together, including the week here at Dharamsala in 2015 when we were able to share our thoughts on how to increase peace and joy in the world. The friendship and the spiritual bond between us was something we cherished….With his passing away, we have lost a great man…”

His Holiness greets Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh

On December 26th, 2021, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was further saddened to learn that his friend and spiritual brother Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh had passed away. He offered his condolences to his followers in Vietnam and around the world. “In his peaceful opposition to the Vietnam war, his support for Martin Luther King and most of all his dedication to sharing with others not only how mindfulness and compassion contribute to inner peace, but also how individuals cultivating peace of mind contributes to genuine world peace, the Venerable lived a truly meaningful life. I have no doubt the best way we can pay tribute to him is to continue his work to promote peace in the world.”

And more recently, on the 28th of February, His Holiness released the following statement about the war in Ukraine.  I have been deeply saddened by the conflict in Ukraine. Our world has become so interdependent that violent conflict between two countries inevitably impacts the rest of the world. War is out-dated – non-violence is the only way. We need to develop a sense of the oneness of humanity by considering other human beings as brothers and sisters. This is how we will build a more peaceful world. Problems and disagreements are best resolved through dialogue. Genuine peace comes about through mutual understanding and respect for each other’s wellbeing. We must not lose hope. The 20th century was a century of war and bloodshed. The 21st century must be a century of dialogue. I pray that peace is swiftly restored ​in Ukraine.”

For further information about the schedule of teachings of His Holiness, please visit