The Dalai Lama and a Commitment to Compassion

Jacqui Jessup

Gabriola Ecumenical Society and Friends of the Gabriola Library

Tuesday, September 16 2014

Victor Chan will be speaking on September 20, 2014 at the Haven. Victor will share his personal and intimate insights from his encounters with the Dalai Lama including details about the upcoming fourth invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit Vancouver. At the invitation of Victor Chan, the Dalai Lama made three other visits to Vancouver in 2004, 2006, and in 2009 for the Vancouver Peace Summit: Nobel Laureates in Discussion

For over forty years, after their first meeting in 1972, Victor Chan has travelled and conversed with the Dalai Lama, and co-authored two books about the Dalai Lama’s teachings: [2004] Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys; [2012] Wisdom of Compassion: Stories of Remarkable Encounters and Timeless Insights; [1994] Tibet Handbook: a Pilgrimage Guide is a comprehensive guide to the history, culture, art and sacred places of Tibet which is based on Victor’s eleven visits to Tibet. 

In 2004, after the Dalai Lama’s first visit to Vancouver and with the Dalai Lama’s agreement, Victor founded The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education in Vancouver. This is the only institution in Canada to use the name of the Dalai Lama. The center supports the Dalai Lama’s philosophy of the importance of compassion as the source of a happy life. Inspired by the Dalai Lama’s commitment to balance educating the mind with educating the heart the Dalai Lama Center aspires to foster altruism and compassion among children and youth. And in particular promote social and emotional competencies in classrooms and schools. 

Studies have shown that SEL [Social Emotional Learning] students score an average of 11 percentile points higher on standard tests. 

The Dalai Lama’s 2004 visit catalyzed the establishment of the Tibetan Studies Program at UBC. 

In April 2013, at the “Culture of Compassion” event in Northern Ireland, the Dalai Lama asserted, stressing the importance of peace of mind: “Warm-heartedness is a key factor for healthy individuals, healthy families and healthy communities...Scientists say that a healthy mind is a major factor for a healthy body. If you’re serious about your health, think and take most concern for your peace of mind. That’s very, very important.” 

From the Dalai Lama: 

We have to make every effort to promote human affection. Promote a warm heart; look at humanity as a whole. Today’s reality; whole world almost like one body - one thing happens some distant place - the repercussions reach your own place. Destruction is essentially destruction of yourself” [theme for 2004 visit