My Religion Is Kindness
My Religion Is Simple
My Religion Is
- His Holiness The Dalai Lama
Seattle provided the backdrop for a wonderful event called “Seeds of Compassion” on April 11-15. There were 144,000 of us fortunate ones who attended the conference. HH The Dalai Lama, Rev. Desmond Tutu and other spiritual luminaries of many paths spoke on the topic How to Nurture Compassion, Especially in Children.
The Dalai Lama considers compassion to be “at the core of all the religions, all our humanities, all our existence.” The Seattle Times, April 11 issue, quoted him as saying that “practicing compassion is a necessity, not a luxury and the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes.” Cultivating compassion enables us to refrain from thinking in a self-centered way. Our self-confidence grows bigger and strengthens.
How can we cultivate compassion? When children asked the Dalai Lama this question, he said to practice the three R’s: Respect to Oneself, Respect to Others and Responsibility, practicing a universal sense of responsibility for each other. Then as one gains proficiency in the three R’s, use your spirituality as a catalyst for action to alleviate suffering in at least one person each day.
This may be as simple as a smile at the right time or as complex as opening your home to a foster child. One youth minister talked about a foster father who would warm up towels in the dryer each night to wrap his foster children in after their bath and just hold them for awhile. This act of kindness moved many of us to tears.
Why cultivate compassion? In his book An Open Heart, The Dalai Lama tells us that practicing compassion is our birthright. The seeds of compassion, also called Buddha Seeds or Buddha Nature, are in each of us. “The seed of compassion will grow in you if you plant it in fertile soil, a consciousness moistened with love.” By planting these seeds, we plant hope for our children and our world.
The Tibetan Buddhists believe that by practicing compassion you will attain equanimity, altruism and wisdom which are attributes of an enlightened being. This verse from Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life by Shantideva shows the dedication and service to others of an enlightened one:
As long as space remains,
As long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too remain
And dispel the miseries of the world.
Darlene & Jamey
You can hear the talks of HH The Dalai Lamsa, Rev. Desmond Tutu and others from the Seattle Seeds of Compassion conference at seedsofcompassion.com