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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Dalai Lama breathes peace into Montreal

October 5, 2009

By Max Harrold
Montreal Gazette
October 3, 2009

MONTREAL - Know thyself and have an open heart toward others.

That was the simple yet potent message delivered to Montrealers Saturday by
the Dalai Lama, who has come to personify laid-back cool among religious

The 74-year-old Buddhist monk and exiled leader of Tibet's six million
people used little more than his famously down-to-Earth appeal in his talk
about the power of compassion to more than 14,000 people at the Bell Centre.

"I speak to you not as a Buddhist, nor as a Tibetan, but as a human being to
other humans," said the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner who was on his third
Canadian stop after Vancouver and Calgary.

"My parents were illiterate peasants but they were very honourable and
kind," he said, adding that a parent's love can seed compassionate potential
in all people.

He got a big round of applause when he answered a question e-mailed
beforehand about how to raise a child.

"I'm not an expert," said the never-married monk, with a hint of his
well-known humour. "But I believe warm-heartedness and brain development"
are key. "Parents must also provide maximum affection and spend more time
with their children."

Compassion leads to better health too. "People who say 'me, I and mine' a
lot are at greater risk of having heart attacks" according to scientific
studies, he explained.

"We are social animals and deep inside you feel safe when you are surrounded
by others," added the Dalai Lama as he sat cross-legged with two
interpreters on a stage adorned with yellow flowers.

Altruism flourishes via an exploration of the self in which a calm state of
being is attained that clinches one's connection with the human family, he

The man forced to seek exile in India in 1959 by Chinese communist leaders
also recommended having compassion for one's enemies.

"Oppose actions, not the actors," he said. This can take willpower. He said
his Buddhist training helped him.

Montreal Gazette
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