On October 1, 2009 Carol Cone had the unique honor of speaking at the EngageNow Conference in Calgary, Canada directly following the Dalai Lama. She was so moved by the experience that she decided to share her thoughts here. To view a brief video clip of her speech, visit the event blog.
Now that I have met His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, and he has deeply touched my head and heart, I continue to look to his wisdom. So many have asked what it was really like to meet him, so I’d like to briefly share my experience with you.
The first time I saw him in person was among a crowd of 15,000 spectators. When he entered the arena, I felt a warm white light inside of me. Really. Truly. It calmed me and filled me with serenity. The arena full of people was so completely mesmerized; you could hear a pin drop. As he talked, his comments on universal responsibility gave me hope for mankind, to make peace with one another and the planet.
The second “meeting” was in a more intimate setting among a group of 1,200 at the Telus Centre in Calgary, where I would follow him on stage. While his energy was a bit lessened, (even the Dalai Lama who travels 300 days a year, with a jam packed schedule of multiple speeches and meetings a day, combined with 5+ hours of meditation can become burnt out) his message deeply penetrated the audience. “Be kind to one another. Help others to gain peace inside yourself.”
When I met him and he grabbed my hand, I felt so humbled, and grateful for just a moment of his presence. His look into my eyes deepened my resolve to share his message through my work, speeches, friendships and acquaintances.
When I came across blogger Justin Dixon’s list of “20 Quotes from the Dalai Lama,” I wanted to share them. So much wisdom from a “simple monk.”
“Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions.”
“Silence is sometimes the best answer.”
“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”
“Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”
“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
“When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.”
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”
“It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.”
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”
“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”
“The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.”
“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”
“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”