Being Present With the Dalai Lama
After a decade’s absence, on October 21 His Holiness the Dalai Lama touched down in Vancouver. His first stop and talk was with students at John Oliver Secondary School and then as the feature speaker at the Heart-Mind Summit at the Vancouver Convention Centre and finally to UBC and the widely attended panel discussion on the ‘need to cultivate empathy and compassionate behaviour in young children’.
At the Dalai Lama’s final event on October 23, more than 6,000 students, faculty and Vancouverites gathered at UBC’s Thunderbird Arena to hear him deliver an ‘empowerment teaching’ on Avalokiteshara, the Buddhist deity of compassion. Among Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama is seen as being the living reincarnation of Avalokiteshara.
The Dalai Lama encouraged the audience to practice compassion and seek to understand similarities rather than differences between one another. “Whatever misery or suffering there is in the world arises from self-centredness, self-cherishment,” explained the Dalai Lama. “Whatever happiness there is in this world comes from cherishing others.”
With tickets from $35 to $200, the proceeds from the Thunderbird rally were earmarked for the Tibetan Resettlement Project, a humanitarian movement organized by the Dalai Lama to bring more than 1,000 displaced Tibetans from refugee camps in northern India and into Canada.