His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama spoke to an absolutely quiet and enthralled audience today at Gibson Amphitheater. The anticipated event was produced by Whole Child International, the brainchild of Karen Gordon - more on her later.
I have seen HH Dalai Lama speak several times, but this time he seemed at his best, IMHO. He is unassuming and not aware of his star power when he speaks. He truly comes across as, he says, a humble monk. Contrast this with the blowhards on Capitol Hill or the White House. So self-important... what a snooze.
Today, His Holiness spoke almost in lessons so to speak, not in high-brow fashion, but in a down-home voice almost - along with his translator, who His Holiness constantly shot questions to for interpretation of certain euphemisms and idiomatic expressions. In this regard, the 76-year-old monk is remarkable.
His Holiness remarked that the day before, a woman at another event told him she had healing powers. He said that he was skeptical. (Only in Los Angeles would someone tell HH that they have healing powers. And you're worried about legalizing marijuana...?)
He said to her, and I'm paraphrasing a little, "I have no healing powers. On October 10, 2008 I had my own gall bladder removed by a surgeon. If I had such powers, I'd have worked my healing powers on myself. This is scientific proof that I have no healing powers, however, the doctor and his wife are getting along much better since my surgery," to which the audience laughed and applauded in appreciation of his candor, but I think in a bit of disbelief also. He said, "having a compassionate heart is the only healing power you can have."
A few other gems from HH today:
- The future of humanity depends on the public (not government leaders)
- Inner peace leads to global peace. It starts with you, not politicians
- Cultivate compassion by caring for all living things (except mosquitoes, he said to roaring laughter)
- There is no more US and THEY - that is "old way," he said...today only WE
- Internal disarmament leads to external disarmament
I would love to go on and on about His Holiness, but the day also belonged to visionary Karen Gordon of the phenomenal non-profit Whole Child International, whose vision is "to elevate the level of childcare for vulnerable children worldwide so that each child be granted the basic human right to fulfill his or her developmental potential."
Gordon's vision for Whole Child is to get children "off the assembly line of caregiving" and get them focused, one-on-one attention by the same caregiver in institutional orphanages by focusing on a train-the-trainer model.
The organization she founded in 2004 produced today's event to honor HH as the 2010 Whole Child Humanitarian as well as Tom Mower, Sr., founder and Chairman of SISEL International, who was named Whole Child International Champion.
In a video presentation, Mower said he was on the verge of setting up his own company to help such vulnerable children, when he happened upon a Forbes magazine article featuring Gordon and Whole Child. Gordon said to the group, that Mower has since given over $1 million of his personal assets to Whole Child.
HH was honored because he believes that "the way to cultivate compassion among humanity is to lovingly nurture each child."
After Gordon's opening remarks, we were treated (and I mean really treated) to several songs by Sheryl Crow, the first being The Beatles Here Comes The Sun. Crow donated her time for today's event.
I've seen Crow a few times live and I'm beginning to believe that she is entirely under-rated. She blew me away. Lots of soul in her voice - you can't teach that to someone. I think you have to be entirely present to sing like that.
You can donate to Whole Child International via Text2Give by following these instructions:
Text the letters WCI followed by a space followed by a donation amount to 27138.
WCI $100 to 27138