(TibetanReview.net, Nov12’19) – The Dalai Lama has on Nov 11 morning led an interactive conversation on “Cultivating Compassion in the Next Generation” with a delegation from the US state of Washington at his residence. The delegation was led by Cyrus Habib, the Lieutenant Governor of the state, and those who took part in the interactive conversation included youth and community leaders from the state.
Some 1500 members of the Association of Washington Generals, community leaders, and students from six universities and institutes in Washington State – including groups at Seattle University, Whitman College, Evergreen State College, Edmonds Center for the Arts, Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle and Gonzaga University – were stated to have taken part in the discussion through video conferences. The discussion featured topics such as mitigating climate change, overcoming inequality and improving civil discourse in politics.
The delegation was stated to include six scholars as well from the Compassion Scholar Program who aim to make their communities more compassionate. Habib has said the establishment of the compassion scholars’ programme was prompted by the Dalai Lama’s 2008 visit to Seattle. “We want to know how to make the US and Washington State more compassionate in the 2020s,” he was quoted as saying.
In his address, the Dalai Lama was stated to have remarked: “Just as antidote counteracts poison, our destructive emotions can be counteracted by constructive emotions like compassion. When you are warm-hearted everything else appears positive to you. In contrast, self-centeredness will only bring fear and negativities; therefore, the practice of altruism is very necessary to retain warm-heartedness.”
He has further emphasized the importance of combining warm-heartedness with human intelligence in order for one to become not only a happy person but also a sound-minded person.
The Central Tibetan Administration quoted Habib as saying on its Tibet.net website Nov 11: “Our meeting with His Holiness was beautiful and inspiring. We also have compassion scholars with us. This is a new programme that we have launched in our state to identify young people who are committed to expanding compassion in their communities. They have specific projects that they would like to initiate in their communities. They had the honour to share those projects with His Holiness. It was important to me that before we had a meeting with His Holiness our young scholars would get to see what compassion actually looks like in the real world, in the tradition of His Holiness and the secular ethics that he teaches us all. It is just a great joy for us to be here.”
The delegation was stated to be on a five-day visit to Dharmasala.