In the spring of 2001, Tensin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, spoke to an audience of 8,000 people in California. This book is a translation of that teaching. He begins with a morally stirring defense of the spiritual practice of unity saying that we are not strangers all of us are human beings: "Differences in belief, just like differences in experience, are minor compared to our common humanity. The essential thing is that we are all the same in being human thinking, feeling and being aware. We all share this one planet and we are all members of one big human family." Courageous words from a spiritual leader in exile. Stirring words from a wisdom teacher who refuses to give in to tribal hatreds and violence afoot all around the world.
The Dalai Lama believes that all the world's religions must speak out in support of compassion, forgiveness, brotherhood, and sisterhood. That is why he also calls for global participation in inner disarmament by individuals and communities. In the second half of this volume, the Dalai Lama talks about the Heart Sutra and its emphasis upon emptiness as a prelude to compassion.