This afternoon the Dalai Lama addressed the public at the Stand Sheriff stadium at the University of Hawaii. Introduced by Pierre Omidyer, who organized this event with his wife Pam, His Holiness talked about the spirit of Aloha that points the way towards making peace. It symbolizes the qualities of kindness, warm-heartedness, unity, joyfulness, humility patience and perseverance, service to others and seeing the good in all, all the qualities that the Dalai Lama practices.
In his talk today, as always, he started by saying how he is one of us and to think of him like an old friend. There is no difference between him and us, he said. He talked about how the way to happiness is the result of one's own right actions, including physical, verbal and mental actions.
This includes a hearty body and a hearty mind that leads to Inner Peace. A disturbed mind that has too much stress and anxiety develops frustration and anger and cannot have peace.
Ninety-percent of those negative emotions, psychologists have found, are actually mental negative projections that only serve to distance us from the reality of what is.
So what is the key to Inner Peace? It is simple, so simple.
The key to Inner Peace is warm-heartedness because then we bridge the gap of separation between us humans. As we become closer, anxiety is reduced, fear is reduced, insecurity I reduced--and compassion increases. Trust develops, which leads to self-confidence and the ability to be transparent, because then there is no fear.
I had the chance to talk about this to my new friend, Victor Chan, whom I met at the conference.
Victor is the co-author, with the Dalai Lama of Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys. Seven years ago, he founded the Dalai Lama Center with His Holiness in Vancouver. Its mission is to foster educating the heart in schools.
I asked Victor how the Dalai Lama achieved this state of consciousness, because Victor has known him for forty years.
Victor said, "He meditates every day from 3:30 in the morning for a few hours, and he has been doing his spiritual practice now for six decades, come rain or shine. This includes meditating and visualizing his own death and his mortality. He shapes his motivation of his practice to be of service to humanity."
Like everything else in life, it takes discipline devotion and putting the time in to get where we want to go. It takes unwavering willpower to attain this kind of spiritual progress, and there is no quick fix or fast track to transcendence.
Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hours rule, the time investment that one has to put in when striving for mastery of any kind of vocation. But I guess for the Dalai Lama or anyone who has a spiritual quest it's 100,000 hours or more.
Like everything else, the road to a thousand miles starts with one step or one chant at a time and an intention to connect to the higher spirit and the higher truth.
Someone asked him a question what to do when he is practicing compassion, but the people around him are resentful. The Dalai Lama replied, "If I wanted an excuse to give up on compassion, I had plenty of excuses. Exiled from my country for 50 years, I had to develop more experiences and practice compassion because compassion is enhanced when you are facing challenging situations."
The way he learned was by "the four dimensions of looking at a situation from different perspectives." For examples, the Tibetans are divided in the region geographically, but because of Chinese rule they are united in their determination to preserve their culture and religion.
His Holiness said that if you look from a wider perspective you'll see the positive in every situation. It is important not to view things in a narrow perspective, but to see situations from all points of the compass.
The event ended with one of most delightful sights I have ever seen: fifty little girls and about 10 boys came on the stage to dance the Hula to a song called "I am Happier When You are Near Me."
They were so charming and gracious in their dance, which demonstrated such unity. In their round circular movements of grace, tenderness and flexibility, the children encapsulated the message of the Dalai Lama, with dance of a hearty body, hearty mind and hearty heart.
We all left ignited, with our hearts definitely warmed up.
Visit Agapi's website Unbinding The Heart.
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