Today we had the privilege of seeing the Dalia Lama speak about compassion at The Domain in Sydney. There seemed to be even more people there than I'm used to seeing at a Homebake concert in the same venue, it was increadible, especially considering the poor weather.
The key points I picked out of his talk were that everyone, no matter what race, religeon, or creeed, needs compassion in their lives, and that showing compassion for others makes the world better for everyone. To that end we should all work seriously towards putting an end to hatred and anger and the conflict they result it, particularly war.
When asked "What is the meaning of life" (seriously!) he simply answered "I don't know" to the applause of the many thousands in attendance. He then went went on to elaborate on that, saying that we should all strive towards happiness.
I loved that he considered compassion from the perspectives of other theistic religeons, atheism, and even science, and demonstrated how compassion can benefit us all.
As he left in his motorcade he was applauded by the enamored crowds and even followed down the street, but not in an idolistic way as you'd associate with a pop or movie star. People were smiling happily but besides the applause were otherwise silent. It was more like a gesture of appreciation.
Notice the hands clasped together in the photo of the Dalai Lama leaving in his motorcade? I thought I'd just captured someone clapping at the moment when their hands were pressed together. Actually, I had my camera in burst mode as he drove past and looking at the sequence of images I realised that the owner of those hands actually held them pressed together like that the entire time the Dalai Lama drove past.