The Dalai Lama brought his message of peace and compassion — and his trademark humor — to Hawaii, celebrating the coming together of two native cultures. Similar to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the indigenous culture of Hawaii has its own inherent spirituality.
“He calls it compassion. We call it Aloha,” said one participant at the events.
The Dalai Lama’s visit marks the launch of a new initiative entitled Pillars of Peace Hawai’i with the goal of “building peace on a foundation of Aloha”.
Pillars of Peace and the visit of His Holiness is sponsored by Hawaiian residents Pam Omidyar and her husband Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. In 2009, the Omidyars gave the Hawaii Community Foundation $50 million, believed to be the largest single gift from a living donor in the state’s history. The investment established the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund, which, among other philanthropic efforts, aims to bring global peace leaders to Hawai’i to exchange ideas about the many forms of peace that exist at home on the islands and around the world.
In the Dalai Lama’s only public appearance during the two whirlwind days of events, the topic for his talk to 9,000 high school and college students was “Advancing Peace Through the Power of Aloha.”
He admitted that at first, the word “aloha” didn’t have meaning. “It was just the sound, ‘aloha, aloha.’ But now I learned the deeper meaning of aloha,” he said.
He shared his views on the importance of educating their hearts and nurturing their compassionate natures. Students later talked about the ways they intend to practice peace and spread compassion in their own lives.
Watch the videos from the events below, from Pillars of Peace.
(READ about his public speech in Hawaii News Now)