A Chinese parable: an old man set out to change the world. He found that he wasn’t making much progress, so he tried to change his country. This was also too difficult, so he tried to change his neighborhood. When he didn’t have success there, he tried to change his family. Even that was easier said than done, so he tried to change himself. Then an interesting thing happened. When he had changed himself, his family changed. And when his family changed, his neighborhood changed. When his neighborhood changed, his country changed. And when his country changed, the world changed.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Last weekend was our yearly CharityFocus coordinators retreat. The people you see in the picture above are amazing teachers, I am blessed to be able to learn from them.
Wanted to share one element of the weekend that really resonated with me. We started the weekend going around in a circle sharing a moment of gratitude for the service of others in our lives. Everyone went around and gave beautiful anecdotes of how kind people had been to them in their life. If only all our weeks could start in such a way...
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Today, Shephali and I were treated to an impromptu audience with the Dalai Lama (along with about 50 other folks) thanks to our wonderful friend Tashi.
His talk seemed totally extemporaneous and was about his gratitude to India for being such a wonderful host to his people over the past 50 years. A few of the interesting tidbits below.
He considers his mission in life two-fold: 1) espouse the values of compassionate, non-violent existence, and 2) advocate religious harmony through mutual respect. In both regards, he feels heavily influenced by values from Indian traditions (specifically, the concept of ahimsa, which he spoke on at length). In fact, he repeated referred to India as his 'guru' and and himself as a 'messenger.'
Towards the end he implored the group to actively engage in service work as a major key to help him on his mission. He ended with an interesting anecdote about the religious reciprocity between India and Tibet. Just as Buddha was from India, Lord Shiva (from the Hindu tradition) makes his home in Mount Kailash, which is located in Tibet. The two religions are quite interlinked.
The whole meeting was less than an hour long and seemed to fly by. It was awesome to hear him speak so lovingly of India.