“What the world needs more than anything is active servants of peace clothed in the armor of perseverance, dedicated to the spreading of wisdom into all reaches of our experience… working to transform their minds and actions and those of others, working tirelessly in the certain knowledge of the support of the buddhas and enlightened beings, for the preservation of our world, and for a more merciful future. As Teilhard de Chardin said: “Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity… we shall harness… the energies of love. Then for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.””
-from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
Friday I had the great honor to attend a lecture given by the Dalai Lama in New Orleans. Even though I have been twice to Dharamsala where he lives in India, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to hear him speak live. One of the things that is most striking about His Holiness is how funny and down to earth he is. I’m still a little bit awed from the whole experience. I feel really lucky and blessed to have been there.
The city has been preparing for his visit for a year. In the last couple of weeks New Orleanians have draped homes and business in every neighborhood, and churches of all denominations with Tibetan Prayer Flags. I had a fun day cruising around the city on my “#BuddhaBike” doing a photo essay of the flags. All the pics are on my Instagram page. Have a look! You don’t have to be on Instagram to see the photos.
The main thing I have taken to heart from this auspicious audience is that compassion has the power to unlock the suffering and trappings in our personal lives. Practicing peace and compassion in our own lives is the key to bringing more harmony to the whole global family. With so much suffering in the world, how can we not work to become more compassionate beings?
It’s my favorite song…Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
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IN PEACE & COMPASSION,
If you’re interested to read more information and details about Friday’s lecture and His Holiness’s first ever visit to the Gulf Coast, this is a great article from Nola.Com about the historic visit.