Knights of the Pain Table

A Camelot for Sufferers of Chronic Pain

Dalai Lama Speaketh of Compassion at the Vancouver Peace Summit


The Dalai Lama, the Buddist monk and exiled Tibetan spiritual leader,  spoke yesterday at the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit (Vancouver, BC, Canada).   The three-day conference consists of bringing together, Nobel Peace Prize winners and spiritual, corporate and social peace activists together for discussions about peace.

Yesterday the Dalai Lama spoke to thousands at the UBC Chan Centre.

“Compassion and awareness lead to peace.”

The Dalai Lama explained, that the art of focused listening is part of compassion.

“When you listen, your mind, your eyes, must focus on what is being said.  Sometimes the mind is equipped to listen, but the eyes go here and there.”

The art of listening is the key to compassion.  Until we hear another’s feelings, until we hear an animal’s cry,  until we hear soldier’s despair,  until we hear Mother Nature’s wail,  how can we understand how to be compassionate.   Listening is an art and must be taught and nurtured.   When we listen we must listen with our entire being.   Our feelings must be put aside for the other.   That is our sacrifice.

Many of the speakers at the conference said that compassion was more than feeling pity or idle sympathy.   Unless there is direct action, compassion cannot be understood.

For those who suffer great pain, we learn very quickly where true compassion lies.   Many people use words or superficial acts when they see suffering.   True compassion involves feeling another’s pain and then responding with action,  so that the other knows you understand.  Compassion helps to heal suffering.

I  believe no matter how much each one of us suffers,  we must still find compassion for others.    It is easy to use our pain as a reason to inflict pain in the world.    It is understandable.    When you suffer with pain 24 hours a day, there is nothing left to give.  It is then we must see the world, using the microscopic view, and find one small thing to do that reminds our heart that compassion and love still exist.     Maybe it can be something as small as leaving some food for the birds.  But that small act is a sacrifice that will help you remember your humanity.

We must train our eyes to see compassion,  so that we know that compassion and caring still exist in this world.  Constant suffering tends to bring us to a darker place,  where we only see the greed,  the despair, the violence and the hopelessness in the world.     It can kill us  or others if we stay in that place.  Instead focus on any small act of kindness that you see, and keep that in your thoughts and let it anchor your heart.

The 2009 Vancouver Peace summit is taking place from Sept 26-29, 2009.   We thank the Dalai Lama and all those speakers for taking part in this conference.   The event is being staged by the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education.   The purpose of the centre is to educate the heart and foster compassion through creative learning,  facilitating and applying research,  and connecting people and ideas.

Visit the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education to view this conference and hear more about listening to our hearts.

Lady Sharon
Scribe of Camelot
Believer in Compassion

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