We began today with anthropologist, author, teacher and Zen priest, Joan Halifax — a member of the Charter for Compassion’s Global Compassionate Council, who offered a presentation to TED Women, sharing the many facets of compassion — from the great cats to the plankton. She talks about the healing work of women in the world. She dismisses “sentimental compassion” in favor of something we might call “strong compassion.” (Video link)
On the subject of women and compassion, I refer you to two key resources — first, our own Charter for Compassion Women and Girls sector — with a program for ambassadors young and old. They also have a Medium blog (here). And go to this link to see more videos from TED Women.
I was struck by the perhaps counter-intuitive teaching of Roshi Joan Halifax that Compassion enlivens us… builds neural integration… enhances our immune system. These scientific findings illustrate how our “enlightened” world focused on the “strong back” but ignored the “soft front.” I imagine many of you watching and listening today are thinking about the calls to resist President Trump, to face nationalism and white supremacy in the UK, in France — across Europe — and in Canada. We would do well to think about this idea of Roshi Joan’s advice of a “strong back” and a “soft front.” Rather than trying to win, let’s try to be dis-arming.
Roshi Joan Halifax spoke of the many facets of compassion — and how we must not only respond to human needs, important as they are. So we turn now to look at a compassionate attitude toward the planet. From Ladakh — the mountainous intersection of Pakistan, China, India and Nepal — to Bhutan — east of Nepal and north of Bangladesh — Buddhist nuns and monks from the Himalayan region work on environmental projects. From cleaning up rivers, to installing solar panels, the nuns and monks approach the environment with a sense of compassion, recognizing the interdependence and inter-connectivity of all things. (Video link)
KHORYUG is a network of Buddhist monasteries and centers in the Himalayas working together on environmental protection of the Himalayan region with the aim of practically applying the values of compassion and interdependence towards the Earth and all living beings that dwell there. Learn more at Khoryug.info
Now we turn to Father Frank Mann. Father Mann’s awakening to the plight of animals has inspired thousands of people around the world. Fr. Mann’s heartfelt compassion and love of justice touches people from all backgrounds. (Video link)
This video was made in support of a screening of the film “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home: which tells the story of five farmers, two animal rescuers and a cow named Snickers. You can view it free online. (Video link)
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Learn more about this series, and register for the two remaining sessions, here.
Join Team Charter for Compassion through the World Interfaith Harmony Week and report your actions of interfaith, peace, and compassion on the Global Report Map here.