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January 16, 2009

Community and Inner Strength

The Dalai Lama

When we pray together, I feel something. If we utilize it properly, this feeling is very helpful for developing our inner strength.

 -- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

 

Good Morning,

Brian Glanz and Mohini Glanz

To relate the Dalai Lama's observation to something of universal value to all people, who may follow any religion or no religion, we need to address the definition of "prayer." Some definitions are similar to "Addressing a deity, a prophet, or an object of worship. Petitioning or soliciting help from a supernatural being." Other purposes for prayer may include confession, meditation, or thanksgiving. Some definitions of prayer are not at all religious.

The most nonreligious and unbiased definition of prayer, which we will use, may include "Contemplative meditation, affirmations, and reflection on sacred texts or wisdom." By this definition, CompassionRise is a daily prayer.

If CompassionRise appeals to a higher power, then that higher power is comprised of our community, our ability, and our potential. Our higher power is not only the gathered, living community of people, but also our collected extrasomatic knowledge, our technology, and our imagination of what is possible. One thousand of us together are not merely one thousand times the potential of one of us; one thousand of us are enough, in time, to remake all we have accomplished. History has proven that what we can dream, we can do.

The Dalai Lama discusses praying together, and using the feeling derived of that common experience to develop inner strength. The Bahá'í Faith is a religion alongside its nonreligious, philosophical ideas, and its nonreligious ideas include a "Philosophy of Common Experience." This philosophy is essentially a long form of the Dalai Lama's message today. As CompassionRise interprets: no matter what our religion, we should not only meditate or pray alone. We should gather in communities to express our common dreams, wishes, confessions, and thanksgiving. Together we can each and all be stronger.