The Dalai Lama’s Practice of Compassion
Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. practices acupuncture in Washington D.C., Reston, Virginia, and in Bethesda, Maryland.
We heard recently from someone who returned from India. Her group met with the Dalai Lama for several days. The meetings focused on dialoguing what they believed were the five most important questions to be considered moving into the new millennium. The group was asked to come up for five questions before meeting with the Dalai Lama. They asked:
- How do we address the widening gap between rich and poor?
- How do we protect the earth?
- How do we educate our children?
- How do we help Tibet and other oppressed countries/peoples?
- How do we bring spirituality—deep caring for each other—through all disciplines?
The Dalai Lama said all the questions fall under the last one. If we have true compassion, our children will be educated, we will care for the earth, and for those who “have not.”
He asked the group: “Do you think loving on the planet is increasing or staying the same?”
His own response was. “My experience leads me to believe that love IS increasing.”
He shared a practice and a prayer with the group that will increase loving and compassion in the world, and asked everyone attending to go
home and share it with as many people as possible. This is the practice:
- Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same thing (to be happy and loved) and we are all connected.
- Spend 5 minutes cherishing yourself and others. Let go of judgments. Breathe in cherishing yourself, and breathe out cherishing others. If the faces of people you are having difficulty with appear, cherish them as well.
- During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet—we are all the same, and I cherish myself and you (do it with the grocery store clerk, the client, your family, co-workers, etc.).
- Stay in the practice, no matter what happens.
This favorite short prayer is a source of great inspiration and determination for the Dalai Lama. It can be repeated silently at any time to remind ourselves to be awake in each moment:
“For as long as space endures,
And for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I, too, be able
To dispel the misery of the world.”