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Charity Matters: Summer Reading

A few weeks back a girlfriend sent me a book for my birthday. Now that summer is kicking into high gear, I am thrilled to be diving into a great book. When something is inspiring, heart warming and fills my soul…well I simply have to share.

The book I am reading is called The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The two icons decided to spend a week together to celebrate big birthdays but their gift was not only to each other but rather to the world. They wanted this book to be an invitation  to more joy and happiness.

There is more wisdom than I have space to share, but with one voice these two said, “No dark fate determines our future. We do. Each day and each moment we are able to create and re-create our lives and the very quality of human life on our planet. This is the power we wield.” 

They go onto say, “Lasting happiness cannot be found in pursuit of any goal or achievement. It does not reside in fortune or fame. It resides only in the human mind and heart, and it is here that we hope you will find it. Every day is a new opportunity to begin again. Every day is your birthday.”

So as your summer hits mid-way, I hope you find time to rest, relax and read this inspiring book. It is such a gift and I hope one that you enjoy as well. Happy Summer!

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2017 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Enlightenment, a slow process

I’m not sure if it’s getting older or perhaps wiser, but lately it seems that digesting information takes more than a few minutes but rather days to sink in. So, last week when the Dalai lama spoke I found myself taking copious notes and trying to take it all in.

As I sat there listening to this incredible man, I felt like a young student trying to cram for test, wanting to absorb the wisdom being shared. A week later I am still chewing on it. So perhaps sharing it here will help me process and practice His Holiness’s wisdom.

Here are a few of his words: “Happiness is a skill and compassion needs to be cultivated  Producing a good heart is just as important as a clever brain.” The Dalai lama went onto say that in his 80 years he has already seen great change. He has watched billions of people realize that no one wins in a war, he has seem man realize the importance of the environment and he believes that,”this century has the potential to be known as the peaceful compassionate century.”

His Holiness, inspired hope in our future and asked all of us to change our mental diet by practicing simple acts of kindness. As I continue to process all of this wisdom, I know that practicing this work is where the real learning happens and that enlightenment is a slow process.

 

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2015 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Scott Neesom, The Cambodian Children’s Fund

Scott neesom and cambodiam childrens fund

Since my “enlightenment” this past week in the presence of his Holiness the Dalai lama, I began to research who else his Holiness spends his time with. In this search, I can across the most amazing man and story. His name is Scott Neesom and his journey during his short 56 years is simply remarkable.

As a young man, Scott grew up in Australia and wasn’t much of a student, dropping out of school at 17. He ended up working in a movie theater and before long had climbed the corporate ladder to film promoter, then buyer and in a relatively short amount of time, was head of distribution for 20th Century Fox in Australia. Before he knew it, Scott was in Los Angeles, very successful and within seven years was the President of 20th Century Fox International.

Three years later, in 2003, Scott was on a five-week vacation in Cambodia, when he asked to be taken to  Phmon Penh, the 18 acre garbage dump. Upon arriving, Neesom saw an incredible site which he describes as “an apocalypse” with over 1,000 children living and surviving from the trash and poverty beyond imagination.

“The moment I stepped there it was the single most impactful moment in my life. I was standing there facing into the abyss. The smell was almost visible.There’s this sudden moment when you realise it’s people – it’s children and they’re working. There were kids everywhere. In some cases, they’d been left there by parents that didn’t want them. They’d be going through the rubbish looking for recyclable, metals, plastic bottles making maybe 25 cents a day.”

Scott returned home a changed man and knew that he needed to do something. The following year, in 2004, he created the Cambodian Children’s Fund. He began the fund by quitting his seven-figure job and selling all of his possessions, cars, boats, homes and funneled them into saving these children.

What began more than a decade ago, as one man’s mission to save 87 children, has today cared for more than 2,000 students and 10,000 people annually providing to entire families and communities in crisis. Scott recently met the Dalai Lama, who told him, “Karma means action. Real impact comes from action, not just thinking.”  If there is one thing Scott Neesom’s life is about, it is action and karma.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2015 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Happy Birthday Dalai lama!

“The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.”

Dalai lama

Dali Lama's bday

God works in mysterious ways. Months ago when we were planning our youth leadership camp at UC Irvine, we were told that we might have to share some space with a “secret VIP.” At the time we were none too pleased. What are you supposed to do when you discover that the VIP is the Dalai lama and he is celebrating his 80th birthday? Answer: Channel your inner zen, take a deep breath, pray for enlightenment, an invitation to the party and know that the camp will sort itself out.

How did the Dalai lama choose to spend his July 6th, 80th birthday? He decided to have a three-day summit and world birthday event called the “The Global Compassion Summit.” While I didn’t see party hats and favors, I did get an invitation to see his Holiness celebrate his 80th birthday (along with hundreds of others). Only the Dalai lama would use his celebration as a platform to discuss, the transformative power of creativity, youth leadership and compassion for the planet. How I loved the irony that our youth leadership camp was getting reorganized so that His Holiness could discuss youth leadership.

There was more wisdom shared during this amazing event than I have had time to process or share but I will say one of my favorite thing that His Holiness said was this, “We focus on cultivating a clever brain and not a good heart. It is only with cultivating wisdom and compassion together mixed with action that we create change.” 

The Dalai lama’s birthday event will continue to create change. His Summit or party was hosted by both UC Irvine’s Center for Living Peace and Friends of the Dalai Lama,  which is a non-profit organization founded to amplify the positive messages of His Holiness. The organization’s mission is to nurture kindness and compassion through action.

Never have I been so happy to be at the party, so full of joy, and inspired to share the message of compassion.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2015 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.