His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet began his first official visit to San Diego on Wednesday, by offering two parts of his three-part symposium, “Compassion Without Borders: Science, Peace, Ethics” by taking part in a panel discussion entitled “The Global Impact of Climate Change” at University of California, San Diego and by giving a public talk entitled, “Cultivating Peace and Justice.”
On Thursday, the Dalai Lama completed his San Diego symposium at San Diego State University by giving the public talk entitled, “Upholding Universal Ethics and Compassion in Challenging Times.”
At the University of San Diego, President Mary E. Lyons presented the Dalai Lama with the USD Medal of Peace.
At the USD Jenny Craig Pavilion before a full house, the Dalai Lama spoke about peace, compassion and nonviolence. He asked what is the meaning of peace? Is it the absence of trouble or violence?
Answering his own question, the Dalai Lama said, “Going deeper into peace … genuine peace must come through inner peace, not through fear.” “Any action that is harmful to others or is in the long run harmful is unjust,” he shared. He explained that “the key thing” is a “warm heart of concern for others’ well being.”
He explained that scientists are beginning to learn about the value of creating an internal balance and a calm mind in helping people recover from illness faster. A calm mind, he said, is the remedy for the loss of hope and a destroyer of fear, distrust and hate.
Stating that the energy to restore our happiness is within ourselves, the Dalai Lama urged further study of the relationship of the mind with the emotions to learn about the destroyers of inner peace.
“You must develop compassion” not pity, he said. Genuine respect is a very noble form of compassion. With compassion, distrust reduces. He advised that we could have a sense of concern for other people because they are human beings just like ourselves. Further, we can respect other people even if they have taken negative actions toward us.
He stressed the value of education through which awareness can be developed, so we can get an understanding of our inner world and achieve inner peace after which justice automatically comes.
Speaking about materiality, the Dalai Lama recognized that material things can bring physical comfort, “but not mental comfort.” He gave as an example that some people have plenty of money and “still are not happy.” No matter what you’re surroundings, he said, you can keep peace of mind.
The twentieth century was a century of blood, fear and violence, said the Dalai Lama. However, he feels that the twenty-first century can be a happy century based on inner peace, “we would have a compassionate world.”
A healthy mind brings a healthy body and a healthy family and a healthy world. He asked that we all think more about these things, but “If you don’t do this, no problem, “I’m leaving the day after tomorrow. It’s your problem.”
Overall, the Dali Lama feels that “humanity is becoming more civilized, more mature.” He recommended taking care of our minds, being compassionate and living more holistically. A bad economy, he said, reminds us to invest in new things … it’s a “good lesson.”
When asked how he remains optimistic when there is so much bad in the world, the Dalai Lama responded, “It is far better to remain optimistic.” When we are optimistic, we “look for ways and means to work on. When you loose all hope, there is no ground making effort.”