Last week I attended the Melbourne public talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama titled 'World Peace - Who Is Responsible' .. to say it was an amazing day ~ is an understatement. I can't possibly describe the energy that filled the air around the Melbourne Convention Centre (waiting in the sunshine .. a sense of community and shared excitement) and inside the auditorium (a hushed, revered, attentive energy that drew us all to be still, to be open and listen). Some of the points that resonated with me:
* Happiness : all beings on this plant seek and have a right to happiness .. we are one plant, one family
* Materiality : material 'things' are momentary delights .. not providing us with any true inner peace .. and our material life is very limited. In response to the crisis of this realisation .. our world is now moving towards a united consciousness
* Peace : so how else do we find inner peace? .. in part through a life given to the wellbeing of others
* Buddhism : is not a religion but a 'Science of the Mind'
* War : our world has long been driven by fear and anger and violence .. and we have continued to use war as our response. War costs us billions of dollars, millions of lives and much suffering. But war is now outdated : our tribes are now inter-related and therefore any war causes suffering to all
* Spirit of Dialogue : His Holiness the Dalai Lama asks us to consider a new approach to conflict - that we embrace this new century as one of the 'Spirit of Dialogue' .. being open to really listening to alternative views, meeting mind-to-mind with a view to compromise and understanding .. and that this will have a much greater effect of change in our world
* Disarmarment : we need external disarmarmourment and to do that we need internal disarmament. Hatred, fear, distrust are 'troubling emotions' and we can counter these with the development of 'loving kindness'
* Environment : the current environmental issues (the result of karma) are urgent .. we must act now and with full effort and urgency. The crisis is however bringing the world closer .. a new reality .. and a more holistic view is emerging
* World Peace : genuine lasting world peace must come through inner peace .. and this responsibility sits on all of our shoulders
* Younger generation : needs to think smarter! How to build this century of peace, it won't happen overnight but we are only 9 years into this centure and there are 91 more to come to learn a better way.
* World leaders : current world leaders are of the 'old way' .. not in touch with inner values but driven by fear of competition and fear of not being respected by others of the same generation. Compassion is often seen as a weakness in our leaders.
In all, each of us needs to embrace more holistic thinking .. compassion, ethic training and inner awareness.
At the end of the talk I sat with my girlfriend the yogi .. discussing, arguing and generally basking in the events of a brilliant day .. we both felt a real reluctance for the day to end .. as if something was unfinished. After a brief interlude in the cafe, we both felt a distinct change of energy around us and found ourselves walking quickly (for whatever reason) to the foyer of the hotel. Then the most amazing thing happened.
His Holiness was there! Checking out of the hotel and bidding a farewell to staff, friends and organisers. A big smile caught my eye and we were motioned to join the line. Almost in slow motion His Holiness walked past extending blessings to us all, holding hands, smiling and totally engaging with everyone he passed. I was so overwhelmed to be in his presence .. so close .. and after a quick bow I looked up to meet his gentle embracing gaze and sweet smile .. the world stood still for a moment.
As we finally made our way to leave, we stopped again by the side of the road as His Holiness passed us by .. and he waved to us!
An amazing day .. he truly is an inspiration to our world ..