My dear friend Roshi Joan Halifax spoke at the TEDWomen event last week in Washington, D.C. The subtitle of the two-day event was “Reshaping the Future,” and what an amazing line-up… in addition to Roshi, speakers included Madeleine Albright, Naomi Klein, Eve Ensler, and Hilary Clinton.
The video hasn’t been posted yet, but Roshi was kind enough to give me notes from her talk. Here is an excerpt:
Compassion arises out of our capacity to be intimate, to be transparent, to have a heart and mind that is so balanced that we can perceive the world clearly and realistically. Compassion also makes it possible for us to be perceived deeply by others, to have an undefended heart. It is a fundamental courageous mental and behavioral process that allows us to be more resilient, according to neuroscience research, to be more mentally integrated, the neuroscientists have discovered, and to even have a greater immune response to the noxiousness around us…
So I want to know why we don’t nourish the seeds of compassion in our children, if compassion is so good for us? Why don’t we train our health care providers in compassion, since compassion is about the commitment to alleviate suffering? Why don’t we vote for our politicians based on compassion, so we could have a more caring world?
Know that it takes a strong back and soft front, equanimity and kindness for us to realize compassion in our lives. We need the strength to uphold ourselves in the midst of any conditions, and at the same time great openness and caring toward the world.
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