Yesterday ten of us went over to Manchester to hear the Dalai Lama talk, what a great man he is! He's so jolly and just full of the joys of being alive. He had 3 points to deliver in his message
1) think globally, think at the level of humanity - recognise our interdependence
2) pay more attention to your inner realm
3) keep optimistic
That's it! And this is clearly what he lives and practises. He also talked in a very similar way to Thay about the urgent need for moral ethics to be taught in schools and throughout education, from the kindergarten upwards to university level. Not in a religious way, but to introduce morality back into schools and lives.
He also addressed the urgency of ecological thinking and acting. Someone asked a question about how to best show compassion to this earth and he said, 'use common sense!' He reminded us this planet is our only home and we need to look after it, he used the analogy of being cold and burning the furniture to warm up, it doesn't make sense and in the end it harms us.
One of the last questions put to him was, how to love the unlovable. And his answer was 'that's real love, genuine compassion, you should try it!'.
One of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings that I am currently looking at on my path as an aspirant to becoming a member of the Order of Interbeing is number 8, using compassionate listening and loving speech to avoid separation and suffering. To me, this is connected to what the Dalai Lama was teaching, we need to find ways of inclusion rather than rejecting those we disagree with, or stop listening to them. We all have an input into this life and the sort of contribution we make will determine not only how happy our own life is, but also the people around us. If we can be compassionate and loving towards others, especially when they don't deserve it, we can make the world a better place.
All the great teachers of all time have been telling us this, Jesus said turn the other cheek, Gandhi said hate the action but not the doer, the Buddha said 'hatred is never appeased by hatred, it is only appeased by love'. We need to start living these teachings for ourselves.