February 23, 2008

The Dalai Lama on Educating the Heart

In 2006 I attended the Vancouver Dialogues hosted by the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. Below are some notes of comments made by the Dalai Lama on the topic of Educating the Heart. You can hear the full webcast here.

Dalai Lama speaking on Educating the Heart
We can learn from basic human beings, not sophisticated people. They sometimes create artificial abilities that give us confusion. I prefer more uneducated people in education. We can learn much from young children. They are still unspoiled… unspoiled is much easier to distinguish in the beginning of life – once it is dirty, it’s harder to clean up. Like water that gets dirty.

“Children are more capable of naturally expressing what is fundamental to human beings.”

The fundamentals – being playful, smiling, joking… not just knowledge.

“Sometimes we take more serious artificial constructs of the human mind at the expense of what is very natural to the human mind.”

“I’m just another contributor here and still searching. I’m not here to give answers. Now is time to establish a body or group that has experience and do more research and find out evidence. If we rely on religious belief, it further complicates – what religion to choose? So universal, humanity in general, needs the focus. Can’t promote universal values on religious basis. Must use secular basis. Nobody can dispute the point that compassion and love is good. Research is needed, educational institutes to carry on the work. Non-governmental programs are more useful. Teachers, communities, parents. I am like others. It is easier to see the faults. More difficult to find answers.

This is a moral crisis, the gaps between education and the poor. Younger people will face more problems in the future. We need to not take for granted the existing system. Reality is changing and we have to find new ways to deal with reality so education has to change. . . Focusing on honesty, self-confidence, determination…”

This stuff is natural and it is our duty to be courageous speaking about it. We need research and to prove to the world that social and emotional realm and the goodness in all of us is important. Teaching people to care about community and to give them the opportunity to excel in communities.

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