Kindness and Compassion 3

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s visit to Eden Prairie

Compassion and kindness, arguably the most important values to possess. In late June, Starkey Hearing Technologies invited His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Eden Prairie to speak on a panel titled, “A Call for Compassion and Conscious Kindness,”. The Tibetan Buddhist leader was joined by Starkey’s founder Bill Austin and moderator Forest Whitaker for an eye opening and beyond enlightening discussion.

Whitaker opened by asking both Austin and His Holiness to define compassion. The Dalai Lama began by stating that compassion encompasses sincere concern, calmness, affection, awareness, readiness to help, self-confidence, and inner strength.  Austin defined compassion as a respect for life, the ability to uplift and care, and being able to put love into action.

How do we nurture and grow compassion? His Holiness explained how our materialistic world needs a shift, for materialism only provides physical comfort. To nurture and grow compassion we need mental comfort. By paying more attention to our inner world and our mental mind we can begin to grow compassion.

Bill Austin discussed being taught compassion and the lesson of caring at a young age. Saying that we each have the responsibility to grow our compassion every day, small acts of kindness make a difference and all acts are important and matter.

The discussion was then open to the audience, most questions focused on the current United States political climate. His Holiness joked about not spending enough time in the states to truly know how to fix our problems before speaking on the importance of finding commonality, listening, and overall, being compassionate.