I went to Louisville, KY on May 19th to hear the 14th Dalai Lama speak on “Engaging Compassion”, along with about 14,000 other people. These are my notes from that public talk. My comments are in parenthesis.
This is the century of dialogue. More and more people from all over the world and all religions are talking with each other.
America is the leader of the free world, so it is possible to lead the world in compassion.
It would be good if America could import its democracy style to China.
He is Buddhist, and he prays every day, but he accepts the limitation of prayer. Real effect comes through action.
To make the entire world better, start with yourself. Your actions make a difference.
If you have respect for other’s well-being, then there is no room for violence.
Peace starts within you, now. It creates a ripple effect.
When we are born, our survival is based on other’s care and affection. This continues to be true as we get older. The survival of humans and the planet is based also on care and affection from others.
If you have a healthy mind, you will have a healthy body. If you have a peaceful mind, you will show compassion. If you show peace towards others, you will be healthy. Showing compassion is a benefit to yourself as well as the world. Anger is self-destructive. The counter force to anger and hatred is tolerance.
Attachment leads to bias and a loss of objectivity.
It is possible to have faith in your tradition, and still have respect for all traditions.
On war – If one person kills another person, he is a murderer and goes to jail. If a soldier kills a thousand people, he is a hero. (Killing is killing, no matter who does it.)
The biggest moral and social problem is the gap between the rich and the poor. It is similar to the caste system in India.
There is a oneness within all human beings. We all have the right to be happy.
It is possible to oppose another person’s attitude but still love them.
Instead of anger, have pity. (It is more compassionate to feel sorrow at another person’s bad choice of behavior than to be angry.)
Have a genuine concern for other’s well-being.
Separate action from actor. Oppose the action, forgive the person. People are not what they do.
We must respect all of God’s creation. So environmentalism should be part of your faith.
There are over one billion non-believers, so we must find different ways to help them to understand how to have a “happy life and a happy body.”
In India, “secular” means “respect for all religions,” as well as “respect for non-believers.” (It is not negative like in America, where “secular” means “not religious.”)
Thomas Merton was a bridge between Buddhist and Christian monks. If you follow your own tradition, you will discover that we are all following the same practice.
Politically, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is Marxist. He believes that in capitalism, if profit is the goal, then humans suffer. Humans are more important than profit.
(Edit) – I’m adding some pictures to this, since I’ve figured out how.
On the way to the event –
Waiting outside to get in. We got there about an hour early. There was a long line past us.
Seen outside the auditorium.
Our seats were really really high up. The rest of the crowd has not arrived yet. We had time to get and eat our lunch there.
The Dalai Lama has arrived. The tiny red dot in the center is him.
On the Jumbotron.