Freedom and Compassion

Jul 6, 2016

July 6 was His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s 81st birthday. Last month, I had the honor of listening to him speak for the second time at the Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus. [He was here back in 2002] His topic this year: “Compassion and Universal Responsibility.”

I wonder, how a man who has been through so much in this one lifetime, can still be so kind, compassionate and optimistic. He truly “Walks and Talks His Light”.

You can read a brief biography of him here. 

I thought I would share with you some insights, I remembered from his speech and from a discussion with our Sifu (aka Lama Thupten Dorje Gyaltsen Rinpoche) in our T’ai Chi class the night after he spoke in Salt Lake City. One thing that continues to resonate with me is something my Sifu said, “Realize there are people in Tibet who would give their life, to hear His Holiness speak in person.” [… can you imagine?]

… from His Holiness [personal thoughts from me]

  • A meaningful life is serving and helping others [I ask myself often, how can I better serve?]
  • Skepticism is necessary for a good scientist because that brings him curiosity — which brings up questions. [A great reminder to me, to ask questions and not believe everything I read / hear / see.]
  • Every human being has the same right and same desire — TO BE HAPPY [period]
  • Once we begin to see each other as the same — we begin to communicate with one another. [I believe our basic human nature is compassion.]
  • Now is the time for action — not just prayers. [He reminded us to begin the action with kindness in ourselves, then our family, spread it to our community, city, state, etc.]
  • No matter how many difficulties we have— we can keep our own inner-strength. [Yes, we can — He did it, even after he was exiled from his own country at the age of 24].


… from Sifu [personal thoughts from me]

  • Suffering comes from the veil of our own ignorance [How often do I judge another person by their appearance before they even speak?]
  • The adversity we experience gives us insight to have more compassion with others. [… I feel this to be so true]
  • We listen but sometimes do not know how to hear [ouch … I am guilty of this at times]
  • Engage in the study of meditation and obtain wisdom from your own experience [Part of my daily practice is sitting/meditation on my cushion every day and writing in my gratitude journal.]

With all that is going on outside in our world — I truly feel — now is the time to reset on the inside. I know for me, it seems I may reset many times a day, but as long as I recognize this — I know — I will continue to learn from my experiences. My wish for you, is the same, and on your journey please … BE KIND TO YOURSELF & OTHERS.


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