Tuesday, August 01, 2006

HHDL to Open Centre for Peace and Education in Vancouver

As reported on commonground.ca

“My religion is kindness,” says His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is aligned with this ethos.

The vision of the Vancouver-based centre reflects the Dalai Lama’s lifelong commitment to compassion and inner well-being.

Founded in 2005, by the Dalai Lama and Victor Chan, whose relationship spans 35 years, the centre will be a world class institution, grounded in Vancouver, yet global in nature.

The centre will have no religious or political affiliations. It will promote peace through education, personal transformation and dialogue.

The Dalai Lama believes that vital, sustainable communities depend upon many small, individual acts of compassion and helpfulness.

By thinking less about ourselves and more about the well-being of others, we actually enhance our growth and happiness. By helping others, we contribute to the greater good. Along the way, our lives and the lives of others are touched.

The centre’s tag line is “Educating the Heart.”

An educational environment will cultivate mindfulness: the integration of mind, body and spirit, and also encourage heightened awareness within diverse practices of art. It will also offer a venue to examine the world’s wisdom traditions through creative interpretation.

By cultivating inner peace, the centre will help to bring peace into the world.

When completed, it will be the only institution in the world to bear the Dalai Lama’s name.

As a repository of his ideals, the centre is committed to advancing his twin goals of personal growth and acting for the greater good. The facility is also special in its cultivation of two essential dimensions of our humanity: our need for intellectual sustenance and our yearning for emotional and spiritual well-being.

Its design will encourage active, experiential participation, and its programs will optimize chance encounters and interaction between people and ideas, as well as maximizing synergies between our minds and hearts.

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the high volume of pedestrian traffic will help anchor the centre in the community.

Over time, the venue will become a hub, a vital link in Vancouver’s cultural DNA.

A wide array of different-use spaces within the building will promote engagement between individuals and groups, people and ideas, communities and spiritual rejuvenation. The building will be designed to warmly welcome all who visit, whether by design or by happenstance.

People from every walk of life and social strata will be made to feel at ease. They will be encouraged to drop in, and linger, at all hours of the day. The centre is conceived as an open cultural bazaar, to be embraced by residents and visitors alike.

It will offer a smorgasbord of compelling programs that offer sustenance to the mind and spirit.

Modern aesthetics and art practices have been strongly influenced by the mindfulness teachings of both Eastern and Western spiritual traditions.

These principles are now a major force in contemporary art, continuing to inform the global art community. Artists of differing beliefs are integrating meditative practices and awareness techniques into their work.

For many people, creative endeavours are powerful tools to further their personal growth.The centre will provide an educational environment that cultivates mindfulness, integration of mind, body and spirit and heightened awareness within art practices.

It will develop a local artistic resource for Vancouverites that is global in influence. The creative process will cultivate openness to the wisdom of mind and heart, allowing participants to mature as artists and human beings.

The Dalai Lama visits Vancouver from Sep 8-10 to inaugurate the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. For a list of scheduled talks, see http://www.dalailamacenter.org