NEWS: Honorary Fellowship from the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion

Photo by Keiko Ikeiko

The Forgiveness Project’s founder, Marina Cantacuzino, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion.  The Centre is a new initiative working closely with several institutions at Oxford University.  Inspired by the Dalai Lama’s vision of compassion the aim is to provide a forum for universal ethical discussion which can apply to everyone, no matter what their beliefs.

On Monday 14th September trustees, fellows, honorary fellows and guests had a private meeting with the Dalai Lama in Rhodes House, Oxford, during the Tibetan spiritual leader’s nine-day trip to the UK.

The Dalai Lama called for religious harmony across the globe, saying that faith was often depicted as the cause of conflict. “People feel religion is a troublemaker [but in fact] religion teaches compassion, tolerance, forgiveness and contentment.  However, he also conceded that, “Religion, frankly speaking, has failed to bring a peaceful world…There is too much concern about differences. When we are born, die or are ill there are no differences.”

Echoing a fundamental principle of The Forgiveness Project’s work he focused on the importance of placing the message of compassion in a secular framework and revealed to his audience, “I consider my mother’s immense affection as my first experience of compassion.”  Promoting a secular agenda for the work of the Centre, he said: “Religious people can sometimes be a little bit biased.  I’m a Buddhist and I’m a little bit biased. I try to become non-biased; it’s very, very important in order to know the reality. If what we do is biased then nonbelievers won’t pay much attention.  We must respect all religions and respect non-believers.”

He also embraced the concept of uncertainty, claiming that scepticism leads to doubt, doubt leads to investigation and investigation leads to a clearer picture of the reality. “So scepticism is very, very important” he declared.



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