Whole Life Magazine

June/July 2015

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Page 19 of 43

By Abigail Lewis I t's not every day a beloved spiritual and political leader turns 80. This year marks His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama's landmark 80th birthday, coin- ciding with the Global Compassion Summit. World leaders, Nobel Laureates, celebrity guests and artists will gather for three days in Southern California to offer birthday wishes and discuss the role of compassion in the environment, the arts and youth leadership. His Holiness has promised to participate in each talk and panel. High-profi le musicians and Tibetan children will provide entertainment. Compassion is always a concern of His Holiness. On the occasion of his birthday it will be addressed with a discussion on Awakening Compassion: The Transformative Power of Creativity and Art, Sun- day, July 5, at the Anaheim Honda Center. Sessions on July 6 and 7 at UC Irvine will feature conversations with His Holiness and world lead- ers on climate change and education, as well as a forum that includes other Nobel Laureates. Full details at www.HHDL80.org. The Dalai Lama does not charge a speaking fee and no as- pect of his visit is being used to profi t fi nancially. Any potential profi ts will be donated to charities at his discretion. Ven. Lama Tenzin Dhonden, Personal Emissary for Peace to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was kind enough to answer a few questions about the event: His Holiness is scheduled to talk about the transformative power of creativity and art. Where is the intersection of art and spirituality? The highest form of art is itself a form of spirituality. Art is aligned with spirituality. It is a very pure expression of humanity. Re- gardless of the art form, art allows us hu- man beings to express a part of our inner selves. In a single expression of art many people can see themselves or relate to it, so art reaffi rms our sense of oneness. How can we better empower artists to share the message of compassion? Art happens by itself, and compassion cannot be forced to be cultivated; it comes from each individual's heart. As I sat enjoying a quiet cup of tea this morning, my thoughts went to all the displaced persons in the world who are denied that simple pleasure. How are we to overcome so much cruelty among races and religions? It is diffi cult to have compassion for the oppressors. Seeing the beauty in everyone makes you more positive. You need the eyes to see the beauty in everyone, including yourself. This alleviates confusion. It's all in the perception. Some of us are quite discouraged at the way we humans are treating Mother Earth. Do you envision an awakening in world leadership? This is a question about karma. Where there is democracy, the people of the world select their leaders. So the peo- ple must be educated in order to make good decisions about their leadership. The responsibility lies in the hands of peo- ple. We are all responsible to take care of our environment. Join the celebration: ticketmaster.com for Honda Center, ucirvinetickets.com for UC Irvine Art, creativity and compassion HHDL80, OR THE DALAI LAMA'S 80TH BIRTHDAY PARTY yoga & spirit 20 wholelifetimes.com

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