When asked late in Ghandi's life by a reporter, "So what is your message?" He replied, "I don't have anything to say. My life is my message."

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It’s All About The Basics… (from Mario Frangoulis - Sept 2009)

By bkalsi | November 9, 2009

I just returned from the Dalai Lama Center’s 2009 Peace Conference in Vancouver where I was there with our team for the World Centers of Compassion for Children International.

I participated in two sessions: One was called “Conversations for Change” where we were in a conversation, 120 of us, discussing our own life experiences and how they relate to the Dalai Lama’s “call to action” for us, and the other was at a Laureate panel discussion on the meaning of “Compassion”. I performed at both sessions – songs of love, peace, compassion and reconciliation in Italian, French, English, Greek and Spanish.

As I was backstage after my performance, His Holiness came up to me, and looked into my eyes, held my hand and said, “Stay with me for a moment…” I could feel his pulse. He was like an endless river of love and compassion. For some reason I felt calmer being in his presence than, say, what it’s like when one watches him on TV. It was my own personal experience of the power of human interaction, and it was as though he read my mind in a sense, when he turned to me and looked straight into my eyes… connecting with me without saying a word, and then he leaned in and touched his forehead to mine.

More than anything else is the fact that meeting him in person and interacting with him for real was an extension of everything he said in his panel dialogue… and it rang true to me right then and there, in that silent moment. We heard him talk about compassion, love, understanding other human beings, and what it means to really reach out. He is for real, he is the Dalai Lama, and yet he is a person who dares to publicly say “I don’t know”… in his own Tibetan accent. He is brave and wise… and he wants equal rights for everyone.

He talked about 3 focal points:

  1. The human basic level of understanding and interacting is the most important thing;
  2. That all religions are essentially equal because they have a lot of the same ideas, and they ultimately want good things to happen to good people… it’s just that they are connected to traditions and each country has own traditions… I am Greek Orthodox and was raised a certain way, but it doesn’t mean I can not embrace the ideas in Buddhism as well… I accept and feel that everyone has their own place in this world and that we should be allowed to feel free, to breathe free and that we must all be connected, because we all live under the same sky.
  3. In his Tibetan way, he is trying to support his people who are being oppressed and are not allowed to practice their own rights around freedom of spirit and existence. People deserve and aspire to live and love and have justice and a happy life, no matter what their religion or beliefs, these are universal things.

As His Holiness talked about, on a human level it all boils down to whether you have enough food on your plate and a roof over your head, and whether you are able to touch another human being and reach them on a deeper level. It’s very easy to just shake someone’s hand, but it’s not easy to reach someone’s heart. Power is to not misuse power. Power is to know you have it and never use it.

That is what we have to teach children of the world, and why we have to make the Declaration of the Rights of Child a reality.

Mario Frangoulis
Global Ambassador for Peace

Mario, Betty and His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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