H.H.Dalai Lama Speaks on Compassion & Universal Responsibility
Giugno 22nd, 2016 by admin

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Speaks on Compassion & Universal Responsibility

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 21 June 2016 – This morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited the Huntsman Cancer Institute, part of the University of Utah. President of the University, David Pershing and Director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute Dr Mary Beckerle welcomed him on arrival. They escorted him into the Huntsman Cancer Learning Center for a meeting with physicians, care-givers and recovered patients. Dr Beckerle told him that as people live longer there are more incidents of cancer, but there are also more cases of recovery and survival. She introduced her staff, two of whom are Tibetan, carers and former patients.

Invited to offer advice, His Holiness said:

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with physicians, care-givers and recovered patients at the Huntsman Cancer Learning Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 21, 2016.
Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL

Illness is a part of our lives. People come to a hospital for treatment. Medicine is among the five sciences of classical Buddhist studies. Caring for others is the work of bodhisattvas and I very much appreciate those who do it. Cancer is serious illness and it’s wonderful that you are able to help people overcome it. An important aspect of recovery is to remain hopeful and determined, but the doctor’s attitude makes a difference too. We have a Tibetan saying that one doctor may be skilled, but lacking compassion. His companion who is less skilled but is warm-hearted may seem to be more effective. It really helps to show patients love and affection. In my own experience if doctors or caregivers do their duty without smiling or any show of affection, it makes you apprehensive, whereas it’s crucial to put patients at ease.”

Requested to give the facility and patients his blessings, His Holiness went to some lengths to explain his scepticism. He suggested that for physicians and carers to live a meaningful life and do their work sincerely is the real source of blessing. And it also happens to bring a real sense of personal satisfaction. Since Dr Beckerle had mentioned that the practice of mindfulness is increasingly used in treatment, His Holiness suggested that the group meditate quietly together. On his way out of the Institute His Holiness met and comforted several patients who were undergoing treatment.
Back at the hotel he spent some time in conversation with Utah Governor Gary Herbert and his wife before joining them for lunch with 250 other guests. Stressing how honoured he felt to have His Holiness present among them, the Governor called Rev. Scott Hayashi to offer a prayer. Once everyone had eaten, Governor Herbert introduced His Holiness as a living symbol of world brotherhood and asked him to speak.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at a luncheon hosted by Utah Governor Gary Herbert in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 21, 2016. Photo/Thom GourleyWherever I have the opportunity to speak,” His Holiness began, “I start by acknowledging the audience as brothers and sisters. I believe that if we thought of the 7 billion human beings alive today as our brothers and sisters, many of the problems we face would go away. Fundamentally we are all the same as human beings. We all want to lead a happy life and we all have a right to do so.”

He discussed his three commitments, his pledge to help people become more aware of the role of human values in the pursuit of happiness. His second commitment is the promotion of inter-religious harmony, keeping in mind that all religious traditions convey a similar message of love and compassion despite their different philosophical approaches. He once again dismissed the idle talk that associates Islam with violence and militancy. He mentioned the Muslim communities that lived in the vicinity of his birthplace in North-eastern Tibet and others who lived in Lhasa—all of them gentle people. He repeated that he thinks it as wrong to refer to ‘Muslim terrorists’ as it is to refer to ‘Buddhist terrorists’. He said a terrorist is just a terrorist and that if they harm others they are no longer properly following their faith.

He said that thirdly, since 99% of Tibetans in Tibet have placed their trust in him over the last 60 years he feels a responsibility to defend Tibet’s rich culture, language and natural environment.

In the afternoon at the University of Utah, before an audience of 12,000, President David Pershing offered His Holiness the President’s Medal in lieu of his work to create a better world and a white U of U visor to shield his eyes. In his address, His Holiness repeated that we are all the same as human beings

“If you think of this speaker as something special, then what I have to say won’t be very relevant. But if you reflect that we are all fundamentally the same, what I have to say may be of some use. When we’re born and when we die, in fact when we come to hospital too, there is no room for formality. Formality is a kind confinement, like a spider getting caught in its own web.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 21, 2016. Photo/Thom Gourley

“We’ve prayed for peace for 1000 years without much success. We need to ask who it is who breaches the peace and creates violent conflict and the answer is we do.”
His Holiness said it’s important to understand that unless we change our behaviour, the 21st century risks being a period of pain and bloodshed like the 20th century, an era in which 200 million died in violent conflict. In Europe, where 100 years ago French and Germans regarded each other as their enemies, de Gaulle and Adenauer set up what has become the EU. Consequently peace has prevailed in Europe for 70 years. He reported the BBC as saying that more and more young people today consider themselves primarily global citizens; an encouraging sign.

He said that what we need now is a sense of ethical principles founded on common experience, common sense and scientific findings. If young people can be educated in the value of such ethical principles and understand that there can be no world peace unless individuals develop inner peace there will be hope of a happier more peaceful world before the end of this century.

His Holiness spoke briefly in Tibetan to the Tibetans in the audience, acknowledging that this has been one of the most difficult periods in Tibet’s long history. It has also been a period of opportunity for those in exile, while in Tibet the spirit of Tibetans remains strong. In the meantime he conceded that those who had made their present homes in Salt Lake City were fortunate and had chosen well.

Speaking in English again, His Holiness emphasised that individuals can make a difference. If someone cultivates inner peace within themselves they will be a beneficial influence on their own families. Such families will be an influence on their community and by extension the world. He mentioned that the number of American cities declaring themselves a city of kindness or a city of compassion is very encouraging.

Asked whether he expects to return home in this lifetime His Holiness replied:

“Most of us hope that one day there will be a reunion of Tibetans in exile and our brothers and sisters in Tibet. I remain optimistic.”–universal-responsibility

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