Loving Kindness Peaceful Youth: The Beginning
“All human beings carry the potential for peace within them, but we have to work to develop it.” — His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Have you ever received advice from your guru, and then later questioned yourself as to whether you could really fulfill their advice? In 2004 that happened to me.
I was volunteering in the FPMT Mongolia center at the time. I had been there for almost eighteen months, after offering my services to Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 2002. Before that I had been volunteering and traveling in India and Nepal for a few years. Mongolia was an amazing center to be involved in, but I was now twenty-five-years-old and wanted to return home to Australia, to my family and friends, the sunshine and beach.
I was fortunate enough to have a meeting with Lama Zopa Rinpoche and I mentioned my plans to return home, saying that I would always be happy to continue helping while I was home. I envisaged helping out at Buddha House and De Tong Ling (my FPMT centers in South Australia), secretly thinking that having offered service in Ulaan Baatar, (the coldest capital city in the world), nothing could be harder than that.
Well, I certainly was wrong!
Rinpoche was in Mongolia teaching at EEC4 [Enlightenment Experience Celebration 4], which I was coordinating. During his teachings Rinpoche mentioned a new organization that he wanted to start for young people, called Loving Kindness Peaceful Youth (LKPY), which would use the tools of Essential Education to teach young people of all religions and countries the principles of the ‘good heart.’
“You teach young people loving kindness, the result is peaceful youth, and as youth are the next generation, the result is a peaceful world,” Rinpoche explained. I heard it briefly while rushing around organizing things and I remember thinking, “Wow, that sounds pretty interesting; it will be amazing when that happens,” but I didn’t give it much more thought, as EEC4 was keeping me very busy.
However, during my meeting, Rinpoche mentioned the youth organization again, and asked if I would be interested in setting it up. Instantly my dream of relaxing on sunny beaches in Australia and occasionally volunteering at the local Dharma centers disappeared, and when I said yes, I would try, the very next thought that came to my mind was – how?
How was I going to set up a new international organization that was not Buddhist, but is based on the Buddhist principle of loving kindness, and also make it attractive to young people of all countries and all beliefs?
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This article is an excerpt of the full article printed in Mandala