He refers to himself as, “a simple Buddhist Monk.” His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, temporal and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people graced Toronto with his presence this past week, as tens of thousands gathered as the Dalai Lama spoke of “Human Approaches to World Peace.”
Tibetan flags swirled in the hands of such inspired hearts, all joined together in hopes of a more peaceful existence. His Holiness entered with grace and humility and was greeted with standing ovation as he humbly bowed to each member of the audience.
“So, sit down,” he said with a shake of his hands, to only confirm both his kindness and unassuming nature. The audience let out a relieved laugh upon this sweet gesture. Once His Holiness was comfortably siting, he laughed saying, “Very strong spotlight,” to which he revealed a visor. Clearly pleased with his joke, he giggled to himself with the candour that only a man of 75 years old can get away with and perched the visor on his head.
His Holiness began with the simple notion that, on a fundamental level, we are all the same. Physically, mentally, emotionally, we are all the same. As he put it so eloquently, “Everyone want happy life.” So simple, so truthful, so honest. We all want a happy life. His speech was charming and much more reminiscent of a conversation rather than a formal address as he continually reminded us of our humanity’s oneness.
His message was simple, logical and sincere. He explained the way in which all religions are based upon warm heartedness and carried this theme throughout. Love, compassion, and forgiveness are all we need. He explained that openness is key and once we begin to communicate and interact with one another as brothers and sisters, opportunities arise and peaceful interactions will commence.
“Respect other’s interests and listen,” were simple words of advice, amongst many that he offered the audience. Much like his speech, the Dalai Lama’s approach to world peace is deliberate and unhurried. Peaceful methods, for him, come from individuals and it begins from within. He believes that peace of mind can be achieved once your actions are promoted from the heart rather than a forceful place. To continually go through life understanding that others are a part of yourself, he believes will lead you to a more peaceful existence.
His Holiness went on in realistic form to make clear that this is an ongoing journey, where a calm mind is essential. He believes fear keeps us from our peaceful existence. “Open mind. Open heart. Trust.” For the Dalai Lama, this is what it is to conquer fear and instill a healthy mental attitude. Too much of a self-centered attitude creates more fear, more anxiety and more worry. He made clear that we must practice compassion, forgiveness and tolerance towards our brothers and our sisters to nurture a more peaceful way of life.
Simply put, the Dalai Lama says, “Peace will come through our actions.” Fear not what compassion and kindness will bring you, instead show your love and let the world start changing around you.