The Dalai Lama read from "Eight Verses of Training the Mind," an 11th Century text by Geshe Langri Tangpa that focuses on developing appropriate regard for the self and others, turning obstacles into opportunities, and cultivating compassion for all beings. His Holiness joked to the audience about the briefness of the text saying "A short text is good," delighting the crowd by describing himself as a "lazy" reader.
Through-out the two hour teachings he described the text as one of his key sources of inspiration and also discussed the text in relation to Islam and Christianity as well as Buddhism. He advised the audience to use the text to train their minds to generate inner peace rather than cave in to destructive emotions, "Ignorance will not go away through prayer or wishes," he said, encouraging the crowd to seek truth through education. "We must have full knowledge of these emotional systems."
The event, sponsored by the Gyuto Vajrayana Center, a San Jose-based non-profit organization that promotes Tibetan Buddhism was considered by all to be a great success. Susan Killian of Richmond, a recent convert to Buddhism said. "I'm coming away from this with that sense of healthy compassion."