We were excited to announce our participation at the Princeton University Poverty and Peacemaking conference in our last newsletter.  

The highlight of this event was the appearance of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at the conference

Our colleague and former project partner, Professor Matthew Weiner organized the weeklong event that culminated in a provocative conversation with the Dalai Lama primarily on the topic of “the meaning of service.” Professor Weiner shares his full reflections and take-aways from the meeting with the Dalai Lama in a Huffington Post feature. A selected excerpt from the piece: 

[quote]By some accounts he did not always address what was asked, but the compass directing his answers was clear: your intentions matter, develop your heart, be honest with yourself, work very hard at these things, and let them direct your efforts. Such action, and this is indeed activity, must precede any external action of service for it to be genuine and sustainable. The real mover, he said, is love.

When pushed on how such compassion is feasible even in the face of hatred and prejudice, he acknowledged that his moral strategy was decidedly hard work. From a Buddhist perspective it will take lifetimes to get it right. For all of his laughter and visible ease, the Dalai Lama is a serious man playing the long game. He has spent a lifetime studying texts on this very topic. He rises daily at 3:00 a.m. to meditate for three hours. His impossible goal, put forth through sacred vows, is to save all beings from suffering. But is it really possible, Prof. Eddie Glaude asked urgently. Professors were not born as professors, the Dalai Lama responded with a laugh. First they had to learn the alphabet, then to read and write. Now look at them!

– Professor Matthew Weiner reflecting on the Dalai Lama’s appearance at the Poverty and Peacemaking conference [/quote]


dahlai at princeton

           Photo Credit: Associated Press