I took Isaac out of school today and we drove to Madison to see his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama speak. Here are some of the main points.
1. The key to happiness is compassion for all living things (including yourself).
2. Compassion is NOT the same as pity. It is not a superior person feeling bad for an inferior person. It is one human being recognizing the human rights of another human being.
3. World peace begins with compassion. Compassion is a form of internal disarmament. When it manifests, it is as external disarmament.
Someone from the audience asked him what his hobbies are. He told us what he does each day (gets up at 2:30 a.m., prays, meditates, then has breakfast, prays and meditates some more, has lunch, and then has meetings.) He noted that as a Buddhist monk, he is not supposed to have solid food after lunch. No dinner. But, he said, sometimes he has cookies because they are tasty, and he figures the Buddha wouldn't mind if he had some cookies once in a while. I loved that.
Although Isaac slept through the second half of the talk, I think he got a lot out of it, and I hope he remembers later on in life that he got to see the real Dalai Lama (and that it was important enough that he got out of school for a day!)