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#2595 - Monday, September 25, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee   The Nondual Highlights



My religion is kindness.

The warm, compassionate heart is the basis for peace of mind, without

which the mind will always be uncomfortable and disturbed.

Love and kindness are the very basis of society.
If we lose these feelings, society will face tremendous difficulties; the survival of humanity will be endangered.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our peace and stability, it is essential for human survival.

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.

Each of us in our own way can try to spread compassion into people’s hearts. Western civilizations these days place great importance on filling the human “brain” with knowledge, but no one seems to care about filling the human “heart” with compassion.

One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.

The realization that we are all basically the same human beings who seek happiness and try to avoid suffering is very helpful in developing a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood; a warm feeling of love and compassion for others.

Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education
About the Center

Committed to the Promotion of Peace

The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is committed to the Dalai Lama’s vision "to develop the heart, be compassionate, work for peace in your heart and in the world."

Founded in 2005 with the active support of the Dalai Lama, the Vancouver based Center has no religious or political affiliation. It will build upon the Dalai Lama’s unique and compelling appeal as a world figure who reaches out to all people with a message of compassion, kindness and mutual understanding.

The Center will be located in the heart of Vancouver and will provide a multi-purpose venue with accessible meeting, lecture and exhibition spaces. It will include a gallery, library, cafe and bookstore among its warm and inviting spaces.

"The key concepts that define the goals of the Dalai Lama Center are: one, the promotion of human values; and two, the promotion of a sense of oneness within humanity. These two ideas serve to promote peace among different communities within one nation, within one world. And they will be particularly useful in shaping the long-term goals of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education in Vancouver, Canada."

The Center will foster and support "education of the heart" and teachings on kindness, compassion and interconnectedness through the three pillars of research, education and dialogue.

Advisory Board:

HH the Dalai Lama, Honorary Chair
 Archbishop Desmond Tutu
 Jimmy Carter
 Vaclav Havel
 Shirin Ebadi
 Tendzin Choegyal
 Mairead Maguire

2300 - 515 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, BC Canada V6B 5K3 Tel: 604-215-2DLC E-mail: [email protected]
The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education
A Canadian Cultural Institution in downtown Vancouver

“My religion is kindness,” the Dalai Lama famously stated. The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education (Center) is aligned with this ethos and to His Holiness’ belief that each person must “cultivate the heart, and work for peace within yourself and in the world.” The vision of the Vancouver-based Center reflects the Dalai Lama’s life-long commitment to compassion and inner well-being. Founded in 2005 by Victor Chan and the Dalai Lama, the Center will be a world-class institution, grounded in Vancouver yet global in nature. While its physical home will be here, its reach, due to the Dalai Lama’s far-flung connections, will be world-wide.

The Center will have no religious or political affiliations. It will promote peace through education, personal transformation, and dialogue. The Dalai Lama believes that vital, sustainable communities depend upon many small, individual acts of compassion and helpfulness. By thinking less about ourselves and more about the wellbeing of others, we actually enhance our growth and happiness. By helping others, we contribute to the greater good. Along the way, our lives and the lives of others are touched.

“Educating the heart” is the Center’s tag line. The Center will provide an educational environment that cultivates mindfulness: the integration of mind, body, and spirit. It will encourage heightened awareness within diverse practices of art. And it will offer a venue to examine the world’s wisdom traditions through creative interpretation. By bringing peace into our own lives, the Center will help to bring peace into the world.

What makes the Dalai Lama Center special?
When built, the Center will be the only institution in the world that bears the Dalai Lama’s name. As a repository of the Dalai Lama’s ideals, the Center is committed to advancing his twin goals of personal growth and acting for the greater good.

The Center is also special in its cultivation of two essential dimensions of our humanity: our need for intellectual sustenance and our yearning for emotional and spiritual well-being. The Center is a venue designed for active, experiential participation.

Its programs will optimize chance encounters and interaction between people and ideas. They are designed to maximize synergies between our minds and hearts.

Where will the Dalai Lama Center be located?
The Center will be located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The high volume of pedestrian traffic, throughout the day and evening, will help to anchor the Center in the community. Over time, the venue will become a hub, a vital link in Vancouver’s cultural DNA.

Who will design the Dalai Lama Center?
An eminent architect will design the Center. Our choice of architects will not be based on their grandiose vision, but on their outstanding sensitivity to Vancouver’s landscape and spirit. Most importantly, our architect will excel at creating spaces that promote psychological and emotional comfort for all who come within the Center’s orbit.

Their artistry will create a structure that encourages visitors to connect meaningfully with each other. Our architect will be attuned to the dual personality of the Center: on one hand, an energetic setting for animated dialogue and interaction; on the other, a cloister-like oasis for contemplation.

How will people experience the Dalai Lama Center?
The Center will be experienced both actively and reflectively. A wide array of different-use spaces within the building will promote engagement between individuals and groups, people and ideas, communities and spiritual rejuvenation. In Toronto, the multi-million-dollar addition to the Royal Ontario Museum (the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal) was designed by Daniel Libeskind to enhance people’s contact with iconic objects. In contrast, the DLC will be designed to generate direct interactive experiences between participants. And to push the potential for serendipitous encounters.

The Center will have a low psychological threshold for entry. All it takes will be the purchase of a cappuccino at its sidewalk café or a stroll into its light-bathed, free-admission gallery. The Center will be designed to warmly welcome all who gather  or wander  into its premises. People from every walk of life and social strata will be made to feel at ease. They will be encouraged to drop in, and linger, at all hours of the day.

What programs will the Center offer?
The Center is conceived as an open cultural bazaar, embraced by residents and visitors alike. It will have a smorgasbord of compelling programs that offer sustenance to the mind and spirit. The following are some examples: Literary evenings: Local and international authors will give readings, followed by informal discussions in a Dialogue Lounge. Renowned writers such as Pico Iyer, Doug Coupland, Malcolm Gladwell, or Anne Lamott may be on hand for casual conversations.

Philosophers’ Café:
Informal discussion groups will explore diverse ideas and issues in another Dialogue Lounge.

Film and video screenings:
Thought-provoking documentaries and other genres will be presented every night, followed by moderated discussions.

Nobel Laureates lecture series:
Nobel laureates will give public lectures and facilitate extended seminars. Our current Board of Advisors includes five Nobel Peace laureates: HH the Dalai Lama, Shirin Ebadi, Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, and Jimmy Carter. Other possible invitees include Elie Wiesel, Oscar Arias Sanchez, Mikhail Gorbachev, Steven Chu, and Daniel Kahneman.

Science and spirituality dialogues:
Workshops by prominent researchers and spiritual leaders will explore the intersection of science and spirituality. Faculty may include those at the forefront of positive psychology: Andrew Weill, Deepak Chopra, Richard Davidson, Ed Diener, and Martin Seligman.

Contemplative programs:
Contemplative practices foster wisdom and allow people to plug into our natural capacity for compassion, forgiveness, and inspiration. These ways of knowing, and in particular, the cultivation of empathy, are at the heart of moral development. Eminent teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, Sharon Salzburg, Father Thomas Keating, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and Jack Kornfield will be invited to lead intensives and workshops.

A special emphasis on the arts
Modern aesthetics and art practices have been strongly influenced by the mindfulness teachings of spiritual traditions, both Eastern and Western. These principles are now a major force in contemporary art, and they continue to inform the global art community. Artists of differing beliefs are integrating meditative practices and awareness techniques into their work. For many people, creative endeavours are powerful tools to further their personal growth.

The Center will provide an educational environment that cultivates mindfulness, integration of mind, body, and spirit, and heightened awareness within art practices. We will develop an artistic resource center for Vancouverites, local in operation yet global in influence. The creative process will be used to cultivate openness to the wisdom of mind and heart, allowing participants to mature as artists and human beings.

Educating the Heart
The Center will work to balance the education of the mind with the education of the heart. We believe that the learning process should be holistic: a full engagement of our physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. The objective is to advance peace in ourselves and in the world. The Center will embody spirit, intellect, and wisdom in service to the greater good.

The Center recognizes the need for all of us to acquire practical skills for the contemporary workplace. Yet the cultivation of emotional intelligence and inner fulfillment is also an urgent need, in light of society’s rapid changes and unpredictability.

Our founder, the Dalai Lama, believes that the most essential knowledge arises not from the head but from the heart. The Center will seek to foster an education that combines both cognitive development and spiritual self-reflection.

What does the Dalai Lama Center mean for Vancouver?
The Dalai Lama’s landmark visit to Vancouver in 2004 generated many fruitful results. A small group was inspired to initiate the InterSpiritual Center project. Victor Chan, chair of the 2004 visit, was motivated to create the Dalai Lama Center. Similarly, the Center can be likened to the imperceptible flap of a butterfly’s wings: an event with unpredictable and profound consequences. We know that His Holiness’ commitment to peace and universal ethics has profound resonance for many people around the world. The Center will undoubtedly act as a beacon, drawing like-minded people and institutions to Vancouver. The city will have the potential to become the model of a socially sustainable metropolis. And the Center may act as a powerful catalyst, giving Canadians the vision to create a kinder, more altruistic society. 


The Center's Programs

Education Programs

From its foundational concern with "educating the heart", the Center will give special emphasis to the moral education of young people. It will support the teaching of peace at all levels and in all educational contexts. It will build strong connections with schools, and through its programs will encourage attention to the emotional, social and moral development of educators and of the children they guide.

Dialogue Programs

The Center will host seminars, workshops, dialogues and lectures, including a Nobel Lecture Series. It will invite distinguished thinkers, educators, researchers, social innovators, artists and other leaders from diverse cultural, religious and educational backgrounds.

The Dalai Lama has expressed his intention to return to Vancouver periodically to participate in the Center's dialogues. The Center will use its web site as an interactive portal through which these dialogues will be experienced internationally and through which the Dalai Lama's thoughts and ideals will have a continuing archival presence.

Research Programs

The Center intends to establish an endowment fund to support collaborative research with British Columbia universities. Inspired by the Dalai Lama's interest in engaging with many diverse fields of practice, the research programs of the Center will encourage the development of new perspectives and multidisciplinary exchange. The Center will also ensure that these research findings reach the widest possible audience.


The Women of Tibet

The Women of Tibet film project consists of three one-hour documentary films revealing potent historical moments of past and contemporary Tibet. The films touch on themes of women's endurance and their struggle for freedom, social justice, peace, and human rights. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Himalayas, the Women of Tibet film trilogy shows the strength and perseverance of a people dedicated to the principles of peace, non-violence, and compassion.

Women of Tibet: Gyalyum Chemo-The Great Mother is now airing on the PBS national network. Check here for
PBS Air Dates and Station Finder


Multimedia Webcasts of the Vancouver Dialogues 2006

Webcasts © Copyright 2006 Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, all rights reserved.


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