Dalai Lama on Terrorism after 9/11 (Speech in New York)

Ben BootheI just returned from hearing the Dalai Lama speak in Central Park in New York City. There are few world leaders who combine his wit, charm, humility, and simple eloquence of communication. The park was filled with thousands of New Yorkers and Tibetans were gathered on blankets to share a "Tibetan picnic" on this day. Their presences brought a  reverent holiday atmosphere. 

I'd like to share a few of his points especially considering that the world's leaders were also in New York City, at a UN meeting to address war and terrorism. 30,000 to 50,000 people showed up to sit on the ground and hear his words.

Here are a few quotes: "Terrorism doesn't come from a gun or an airplane. It comes from a mind. Consider the hours that a mind or minds spend planning the evil of terrorism or war. If we react to terrorism as if it came from a gun, by the use of another gun, we have only spread the poison to other minds. Terrorism can be dealt with when we deal with the mind. First ours. Then with compassion and teaching to the other."

"Those who believe in war as a solution are completely out of date. Theirs is an outmoded philosophy. All of us who know the world, know how small it is. How that the actions of even one person on the other part of the world can impact us. Thus, we know that we are all connected. We are all one! So, to war on other people, to kill others, is to hurt the whole world. It is to hurt ourselves. The solution can only be found in compassion for others."

"We all need love. We are born needing the love of a mother's milk. We need to be hugged and nursed. We must love our children so that they can grow to be happy and healthy...not hungry and angry. We must learn how to pass love on to all the world's children."

"The reason I believe that each person should have a religious faith is because those who do not, do not have compassion for others. Those without a religious believe tend to be selfish and into themselves. Religion tends to remind us all to have compassion and love for others. So, whatever your culture or environment, I would suggest that you adopt and follow a religion. Mine is Buddhist. But I will accept yours, because religion is a reflection of man's highest aspirarations."

"It is a beautiful day. I speak a few words like bla bla bla, but if you don't get anything from my words, enjoy the day. Enjoy the sun and the flowers, and go have a picnic. Enjoy this day in Central Park!"