This morning, His Holiness participated at Science of the Mind Forum as part of the Happiness & Its Causes conference. Now in its sixth year, the conference brings leading scientists and thinkers in spirituality, science and the arts from all over the world on a common platform. His Holiness has been part of the conference on a few previous occasions.
Today, he spoke on transforming our minds to achieve a happy life. He was joined by Dr Paul Ekman, a pioneering emotions researcher from the US, Prof Marco Iacoboni from University of California and Prof Pat McGorry, an advocate for mental health and last year's Australian of the Year. The three presented their latest work with His Holiness - Dr Ekman argued on the emotional nature of compassion, Prof Iacoboni talked about how mirror neurons function and Prof McGorry discussed the need for moral leadership in dealing with mental health. His Holiness then addressed a business luncheon and shared his thoughts on values in leadership, environmental thinking and the action required.
He then proceeded to give his public talk to the largest audience on his current tour to Australia. 0ver 8000 people flocked to the Riverstage at Brisbane's Botanic Gardens to hear him speak on "Finding Happiness on Life's Journey and Overcoming Loss". The talk was of great value to a community devastated by massive floods earlier this year. Just before the talk, His Holiness met with a group of people from the Lockyer Valley, one of the worst-hit towns. The mayor of Ipswich, another badly-affected town, joined him on stage.
His Holiness' insights on love, compassion and grief were a source of great comfort and inspiration to the crowd, who have gathered on a sunny afternoon. He fielded questions from a number of people, some of whom face great emotional challenges in their lives. A woman who has undergone nine brain surgeries asked in tears how she can deal with her sense of isolation. His Holiness offered her to come on stage, gave her a warm hug and reminded that she is not alone. He said, "We human beings have the capacity to share other's sufferings. You are one of the six billion human beings." He then asked her to take his address and contact him to share her problems with him in future.
On the subject of grieving, His Holiness said we can transform this feeling into a renewed energy and commit ourselves towards creating a meaningful life.
His Holiness leaves for Perth tomorrow morning before returning to India on 20 June.