Dalai Lama speaks on educating in a non-violent world

Dalai Lama at UNIHis Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet was greeted with thunderous and sustained applause by more than 4,000 spectators as he took the stage this morning at the University of Northern Iowa's McLeod Center. The Dalai Lama participated in a panel discussion on "Educating for a Non-violent World," along with moderator Gloria Gibson, executive vice president and provost at the University of Northern Iowa, Art Erickson, founder and CEO, Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation; Judy Jeffrey, former director, Iowa Department of Education; Jackson Katz, founder and director, Mentors in Violence Prevention, Lee Rainey, president, C-Level Consulting.

The Dalai Lama sprinkled his comments with self-deprecating humor, poking fun at what he called his laziness and lack of work experience.

He received applause for his comment that we must respect all religions, saying they provide not only a day-to-day perspective, but also a long-term vision. But he said it doesn't really matter what religion you are. "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness."

Speaking to the focus of the forum, the Dalai Lama said, "Education brings about knowledge, education brings equality, but education alone is not sufficient. We must have more sensitivity to what people think."

He said we need to educate both mind and heart to create peace, and it needs to start early in life. "Whenever we saw some conflict or disagreement the instinctive response is how to force. Using force or violent attitude always bring more trouble. From kindergarten must teach whenever you see conflict using force is the wrong method."

Fundamentally, he said, we are human beings, then faith, color or gender, these are secondary. "I am always telling people many problems we are facing today are man-made problems. Most of these problems have too many emphasis on wealth, gender, race, forget it, fundamentally we are the same human being."