The Flourish Foundation was fortunate enough to welcome Victor Chan, a dear friend of the Dalai Lama, to the Wood River Valley this weekend. Victor, who grew up in Hong Kong and first met the Dalai Lama in 1972 after being abducted in Afghanistan, is the co-author of several books and co-founder of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education with the Dalai Lama. Their friendship bridges a historic divide between Chinese and Tibetan ethnicities and is an example of what is possible when we open our hearts.Compassionate Leaders meet with Victor Chan of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education to discuss His Holiness, meditation, and compassion.
Prior to Victor’s public talk given at the Community Library, Educating Hearts with the Dalai Lama, our Compassionate Leaders were lucky enough to gather with Victor in the morning to ask questions about his life, the Dalai Lama, and contemplative practices around the world. The gathering began with a meditation led by Ryan Redman, unfolded into stories recounted by Victor of his travels around the world and what prompted him to try mediation, and concluded with a Q & A session. In talking about compassion, Victor described two types of compassion the Dalai Lama practices. One is the innate compassion shown to family members and loved ones; the second compassion is that which we show towards people we do not readily like or strangers; while the latter is more difficult to cultivate, it is equally important to the former for our own well being and that of humanity’s. Throughout our time with Victor, his wit and dry sense of humor had everyone laughing often. As one Compassionate Leader later said, “Victor is one of the coolest people I’ve ever met!”
Victor Chan addresses the public in his lecture, Educating the Heart with the Dalai Lama
In his lecture, Victor emphasized the fact that the practice of meditation and compassion is directly correlated with peace of mind and longevity; using the Dalai Lama as an example, he said that when we appropriately combine education, compassion, and happiness, we are able to lead authentic, sustainable, and meaningful lives. How do we cultivate compassion? Through education, awareness, and the power of cognition in understanding why compassion has a bearing on one’s happiness. And how do we balance education of the mind with education of the heart? While learning to read, write, and do math is of course important, so too is the cultivation of altruism, compassion, and empathy. We can educate our hearts by incorporating the following into our lives: exercise, meditation/mindfulness, grit (perseverance), social and emotional intelligence and learning, and habit. As the Dalai Lama’s bumper sticker reads, If you want to be happy, show compassion. If you want others to be happy, show compassion.
Thank you, Victor, for visiting us in Sun Valley, Idaho! It is heartening to know that the principles we so value at the Flourish Foundation are mirrored by your inspiring work.