Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Round Table Discussion: KT (Kalsang Tashi), Josefa, and Ali ask and answer questions sparked by Seeds of Compassion talks

What is the first time you remember showing someone else compassion? (Ali)
Ali: When I was 3, my little sister Daisy was born, and my first recollection of being compassionate is towards her because I loved her so much.
KT: I don’t remember.
Josefa: I remember when my sister started school, and I helped her so much with her work because she needed help and couldn’t do the work on her own.
KT (from India) and Ali (from Seattle)

How can we personally change the world with compassion? (Josefa)

Ali: I think we can change the world with compassion by making the world emotionally healthier and kinder place to live in. Everybody has to make a personal decision to do it; it won’t really work unless everybody decides they want to make the world a better place.

KT: We can make the world more compassionate by making others aware of the bad relationships between countries - not just Tibet and China, but between all the countries.

Josefa: The world will be more compassionate when you don't have to worry about who you are, the color of your skin, if you’re millionaires or poor people.

How do you deal with a situation if someone is treating you badly, if you are angry? (question asked at the Youth and Spirituality forum today)

KT: If I’ve done something good to someone and they are ignoring me, I just act as if I can’t see it; I just go on. I still treat her well, because that way there will be more hope of friendship. Whenever you are angry or something bad has happened to you, that doesn’t mean you have to be mad at the person. (Is it more difficult when the behavior towards you is violent?) It depends on the situation. You can’t have a calm mind for all your life, then people might take advantage of you.

Ali: I really like when he (HHDL) was talking about how if you have something that’s a really bad emotion you have to find the opposite of it to diminish the bad emotion, counterbalance it. It’s the way I try to deal with things. If one of my friends is in a fight with me, I try to spend more time with the people I really like and people I have not been in fights with, and then I’ll try to just put it behind me and go on in everyday life. But, like the Dalai Lama said today, that doesn’t always work.

Josefa: If I have a problem, you have to confront it with calm like Ali said. If the person insults you, you have to understand them. Sometimes if we fight with people it can start to be a whole new problem. It’s important to understand what they went through before they said that thing - they could be having a bad day.

Who in your own life has shown you compassion, specifically maybe when you weren’t being very nice? (Kristie - Bridges mentor)

Ali: My mother is the first one who comes to mind. When I’m angry and am upset with her, she says she loves me more than I will know, which annoys me at the time but is good in the end.
KT: Your enemy can be your best teacher in showing you how to be compassionate in a critical situation. Because of your enemy, you know how to be compassionate. Like his holiness, he says the next generation should be the generation of dialogue. He says that the enemy is the best teacher.
Josefa: When someone is against you, ask him what’s going on and give a solution to the problem. This has happened sometimes with my sister…sometimes she gets upset with me because she won’t do her homework, and so to provide a solution I just start to teach her how to do it. That works.

Loeden (Bridges student) said that the Dalai Lama's reincarnation may not be in Tibet and could be a woman- would that change anything? (Ali)
KT: He said that next Dalai Lama reincarnation can be in Tibet or from somewhere else. I think he said he didn’t want it to be in Tibet because it would bring difficulties. It wouldn’t be any change if it is a woman or a man...how they are controlling the government, that is the main thing.

The Dalai Lama said on Friday that sometimes you learn best when you are afraid of your teacher, but sometimes it is better if your teacher is friendly What are the differences between your school at home and the Seattle schools you've visited? (Cheryl - Bridges staff/blogger mentor)

Josefa: In Santiago there is a lot of order in the classes. In here there’s a lot of chaos. But I really like both, I don’t really have a preference because in both you can really learn. Sometimeswe are a little scared and if we bother them we can get in big trouble, so it’s better to just not bother them. If the teachers are happy, then they’ll share with us and we’ll share with them.
KT: In class we have to raise our hand, and then stand up to answer the teacher. If we don’t stand up they will say we are not showing respect. Out here the teachers are like friends.
KT and Metok visit Seattle schools

In one sentence or one idea, what was your biggest learning this week, or what will you remember the most? (Kristie)

Josefa: What the Dalai Lama said: it doesn’t matter what society we are in, there is compassion and that is going to be the future of our world.
KT: At the first talk (on Friday) he said that you must have a calm mind when practicing compassion. Also, the next generation will be the generation of dialogue - I don’t think I will forget it.
Ali: When the Dalai Lama said that everyone is born with compassion, you just have to learn to tap into it.

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