Twenty three people from eight different countries (Korea, China, Malaysia, Tibet, Russia, Israel and India) gathered in my living room this morning for a talk on Happiness and Compassion by Sonam Rinpoche. "Rinpoche" in Tibetan means "Precious One". There are many Rinpoches who are recognized and appointed by the Dalai Lama. They are usually appointed very young and are believed to be great masters who are reincarnated. I spent the afternoon with my husband and Sonam Rinpoche last weekend, too. What inspired me most was not the Tibetan tradition or exactly what this Rinpoche had to say, it was more his joyfulness. He reminded me of the laughing Buddha in my garden. He has the innocence of a young child and the wisdom of an old man.
The part that was wonderful about today was that I shared the time with people from many different countries and backgrounds who came together with a universal hope for compassion and happiness. Compassion and happiness are qualities that are not owned by any religion. They are basic human needs, like food, water, shelter, etc. The Dalai Lama once said,
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive."
Sonam Rinpoche talked about planting the seed of happiness and helping suffering beings.
Here is a short video of that talk:
I believe that when we surround ourselves with good people and we are also good, this multiplies and spreads in the world. Set all religions aside and what is your intention. Is it to convert people or is it to share good qualities with everyone, regardless of their race, background and religion. Sonam Rinpoche is my Facebook friend. We live in a high-tech world and some may argue that people like Rinpoches should not be on Facebook, but I'm happy he is there. On Facebook under "What is your religion?" the Rinpoche wrote "kindness". Where it says, "What is your political view?" he wrote "selflessness". This made me smile.
People like the Rinpoche give me inspiration to do good things in the world and to make use of this life I have. I am happy for all the people I have met in the blogosphere. Some have given me praise and others have given me criticism. It doesn't matter to me really. My intention is to share, to open, to move towards universal positive qualities like love, peace, happiness and compassion. This is my true hope.