Seattle will be the site for a unique, historical event as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama joins scientists, policymakers and educators for a five day conference on nurturing compassion in children.
Seeds of Compassion, an organization created by the Kirlin Charitable Foundation, is coordinating the event. Founded by Bellevue entrepreneur Daniel Kranzler in 1999, the Kirlin Charitable Foundation focuses on the developmental needs of children in family and educational environments with special emphasis on promoting empathy and compassion.
Said Kranzler, “Seeds of Compassion is deeply honored to host this historic event in which His Holiness will sit side by side with scientists, community leaders and children to share real-world everyday examples of how we can successfully build the foundation of compassion in our children and youth. His visit and public talks will inspire thousands to take action toward a more compassionate society for the benefit of our children and our world.”
The idea for the conference grew out of an event held in 2005 in Sun Valley, Idaho, commemorating the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a nationally televised address on compassion and healing the wounds of suffering. At that time the Venerable Lama Tenzin Dhonden, the Dalai Lama’s Personal Emissary for Peace, who had organized the event, met Mr. Kranzler and suggested a program in Seattle. Later meetings between His Holiness, Lama Tenzin and Mr. Kranzler resulted in a more concrete theme for the Seattle event: compassionate education.
His Holiness will arrive in Seattle a day earlier than originally planned so the event will span five days, April 11-15, instead of the previously scheduled four. All five days of the conference will be open to the public, with tickets available free of charge through the Seeds of Compassion web site, www.seedsofcompassion.org. Details of how to obtain tickets are expected to be posted sometime after January 17. (The Northwest Dharma Association is unable to provide assistance in obtaining tickets to any of the events.)
Most events will be held at Seattle Center and will include a “Day of Science” and a meeting of His Holiness with children in Key Arena. The biggest event will be held on Saturday, April 12, at Qwest Field, where His Holiness will lead a conversation on compassion with educators, policymakers and activists that will be broadcast worldwide via satellite and the internet. His Holiness is expected to be joined by fellow Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu for part of the conference.
Commenting on this event, His Holiness said, “As one of six billion human beings in the world, I believe the future of humanity is everyone’s responsibility. I believe that to achieve a happy life on an individual, family, national or global level we ultimately need to reach wholeheartedness of compassion. I really feel that this conference can plant positive seeds for a happy future, a happy world, particularly for children. They, the younger generation, are the real basis for our hope.”
Contributor: Bill Hirsch