Hanging with the D.L.

Yesterday I went to see H.H. Dalai Lama in Denver. This is the second time I’ve seen him. The first was at Central Park in NYC.

The place was packed. Leaving Boulder we caught all the traffic. I joked with Doris, What if all these people are going to see the Dalai Lama, too? ? And guess what? They were!

The vibe was different than NYC, maybe provincial is the word I’m looking for. Most people were wearing their Sunday best and it had a very churchy feel to it. When I say churchy what I mean is that sort of bourgeoisie way many Americans divide themselves along racial and class lines every Sunday.

But what the man had to say was cool. He was very funny. Who knew the Dalai Lama was so self-deprecating?

The subtance of his talk was on compassion. Of course. He made several statements against war and violence. He talked about the value of all religions, including Islam. All religions are founded on love, compassion, and forgiveness, but primarily love and compassion because forgiveness follows from those two. He said there is good people of all faiths and their are mischevious people of all faiths. He told of his personal experiences with muslims and his love for them.

He talked about inter-dependency and how there is no defeating the enemy, only mutual self-destruction. The last century became a century of violence, he said, but we can make the next a century of peace.

He said that he believes that what has helped him to open his own heart and sustained him all these years is the love and compassion he recieved from his own mother the first two years of his life. He said more scientific research needs to be done on how children learn compassion. If we can teach all children compassion, starting in kindergarten and going up to university, then we can truly change the world, he said.

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