Dalai Lama urges true compassion

By TIFFANY CRAWFORD, London Free Press, September 10, 2006

VANCOUVER, Canada -- The Dalai Lama, the jovial leader of millions of Buddhists worldwide who believes the purpose of life is to be happy, joined scientists yesterday to discuss how stress can affect health.

The 71-year-old monk, clad in traditional robes, answered questions from three prominent scientists who work in fields related to mental health.

Among them was celebrity scientist Deepak Chopra, who noted that rising violence and terrorist attacks are increasing the world's yearning for peace.

The Dalai Lama replied that early stress in life from poverty or abuse leads to negative emotions such as fear, jealousy and anger, which turn into violence.

Essentially, the Dalai Lama believes world peace begins with inner peace, tolerance and compassion.

He said once people develop compassion, more meaningful dialogue can take place which will ultimately lead to a less violent world.

"To understand meaningful dialogue first you must understand others' interests and you must respect them as your brothers and sisters and also consider them as a part of yourself," he said.

He said people could look to the example of a nurturing mother to understand true compassion.

At one point Chopra, who studies the mind-body connection in relation to good health and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey show many times, asked the Dalai Lama if world peace would come about if society elevated the profession of motherhood.

The Dalai Lama chuckled, scratched his head and said, "Yes that's good."