Not many people in their lifetime have the honour to witness the Dalai Lama speaking publicly. I, being one of them, did not believe that I would stumble across the opportunity nor witness His Holiness speak earlier this month. I chose to attend independently, purely for the benefit of my own spiritual journey and to avoid pressuring another into reluctantly making the trip. Being seated amongst 10,000 other beings, connecting on a deeper level with the same intention at heart, I felt anything but alone.
The afternoon began with music from Tibet, opened by a former monk who sung a Tibetan mountain song, proclaiming the Dalai Lama as the light of the 21st century. Ngawang Ludru’s performance was followed by a group of Tibetan children, 52 in fact, chanting for the reunion of fellow Tibetans to their homeland and to put an end to their ongoing suffering. It was an incredibly moving piece, the translations displayed on large screens, highlighting their desire for freedom. The Dalai Lama proceeded to greet each student thereon, exuding his contagious sense of humour and patting the children on their heads with joy.
His Holiness began his speech with greeting the audience as his ‘brothers and sisters’. He reminded each and every one of us that we are all the same; physically, mentally and emotionally. He is no different to any other being amid the 7 billion humans that inhabit Earth nor any more or any less important. ‘Biologically we all have the seed of infinitive love’, it is just that many of us have lost our connection with what lies inside and have become too focused on what appears on the outside.
Much of the Dalai Lama’s talk lead to to the topic of affection and the way in which it was received or not for that matter. Our ability to show compassion and empathy towards others in our later years is shaped by what happens in our younger years. Those who received an upbringing full of love and joy appeared to be more open and compassionate as individuals in their later lives. Alternatively, those who had an upbringing that centred around fear, neglect and anger were less likely to feel compassion and a deep connection with others. The emphasis therefore lies upon teaching the younger generation about compassion at an early age, by introducing it into schools, making it mainstream within the media and openly discussing love and wellbeing. Therefore, the aim is to create a more compassionate race by the end of the century that cares more about their inner state and the well being of others than materialistic problems that separate us further.
The key underlying message however was: Want to change the world? Change yourself first. Only you yourself have the power to change your mindset and the way you view each and every life situation and ‘problem’. Moreover, self centred motivation is biased if the welfare of others is not taken into consideration and used as an aid to motivate in the first place. Having an open mind and viewing the needs of others just as important as your own will help the human race progress further into a more loving and unified place to exist. If we, together, think logically and act tireless to change the now, then we pave the way to a brighter future for our generation and for generations to come.