Saturday, December 14, 2013

Being Your True Nature

Being Your True Nature
by Osel Hita and Matteo Passigato


What makes people travel from all over the world to meet each other, exchange ideas and feel inspired to commit themselves to a lifelong task?

Universal Education for Compassion and Wisdom Gathering
France, August 2011

Sometimes it goes back to the influence of just one person.

The late Lama Thubten Yeshe was born into a remote village in Tibet in 1935. He was both a scholar of traditional Buddhist texts, and a radical free-thinker with a passion for helping people to find happiness and satisfaction.

In 1974, he became one of the first Tibetan Buddhist masters to travel abroad, along with his devoted student and companion Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

What Lama Yeshe soon noticed was that even if the people he met seemed happy enough on the surface, they rarely seemed to be satisfied with their lives, or to have any lasting peace of mind.
Andy Wistreich: educator, UK

"We are addicted to growth, not just at a social level but also at an individual level. We feel that happiness comes from going to the shops and acquiring more possessions, so then we are filling our house with more and more possessions."
Lama Thubten Yeshe

"So even you (do) not feel you are suffering, if you check up (on) your mind, are you satisfied? You ask yourself: are you satisfied? No, I'm not. I'm not satisfied. Okay, how many things (are) you not satisfied (with)? Then comes this. I want this, I want this, this, this, this, this…"
Osel Hita: director & musician, Spain

"So in the end we are all trying to be satisfied. What is satisfaction? Where does it lie? I mean, unless we live in the moment, we can't really be satisfied; it's impossible. How many people are searching outside, in this materialistic world, in this world full of entertainment and distractions and suffering?"
Lama Yeshe was convinced that dwelling deep inside every being without exception is an inexhaustible source of wisdom and compassion. The root of the problem is that we fail to develop these qualities.
Lama Thubten Yeshe

"We need new education for the world because all the education is no longer up to date for the present intelligent people. And present education produces a lot of conflict and dissatisfaction for the new generation."
Andy Wistreich: educator, UK

"Sometimes the education is useful for understanding the outside world, but mostly the kids are just bored. The education system didn't offer them any meaning in life, any way to really understand oneself at a deeper level."
Pan Cayton: Creating Compassionate Culture, USA

"Teach the children to awaken their awareness to the way things exist, then what would arise out of that would be a healthy emotional state of mind."
Lama Yeshe explained that kindness and compassion are the natural result of developing wisdom.
Connie Miller: editor and teacher, USA

"This extraordinary potential for love and compassion and connection with others, and being there for others, and that being there for others completely and totally was what Lama, for me, embodied."
The more we accept and understand that none of us exists in isolation, the more we can expand our consciousness to embrace all other beings.
Anna Colao: youth worker, UK

"Into our own reality, our own existence, the way that we are connected to other people, it's unbelievable, it's tangible, we are so interconnected with each other. And from that it's only logical that if we create positive actions in the world, more positive things will happen."
Lama Yeshe believed that this special combination is the key to bringing about a happier and more peaceful world.
Alison Murdock: Director of the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom

"Universal Wisdom Education is about people discovering their potential, discovering the compassion and wisdom that we all have deep down inside ourselves and seeing that making use of that and bringing it out is actually going to create satisfaction and happiness in our lives."
Lama Zopa: Honorary President of the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom

"Not harming each other, helping, benefiting each other, bringing happiness to each other. That's what it is. Bringing the self, individual and whole world into higher and higher happiness. That's the aim."
What Universal Wisdom Education seeks is a language that speaks to universal human experience at its simplest and most profound.
Lama Zopa

"Everybody in the world cannot become Buddhist, cannot become Muslim, cannot become Hindu, Christian or so forth, in the teaching of any religion. But you need to bring some method, education to this world. For the better life, for the better world, more happiness, solve all the problems, cause of unhappiness. So, I thought that. Need to bring another method to use in the world. So I thought Universal Education, which Lama Yeshe started, I thought this, how important it is."
Rasmus Hougaard: The Potential Project, Denmark

"The mission is basically to take part in creating a more peaceful, more just, more kind and more compassionate world. Very basic. And we believe by training people to train their minds, that's the best way we can do this. So a more peaceful world, that's the very main objective of what we are doing."
Esther Garibay: Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom

"Actually what we want is to be happy and to have basic skills to know how to cultivate happiness. So this is I think for me the most powerful thing, that it's not that you are giving wisdom to people, it's that you are helping people reveal their own wisdom and the wisdom that they already carry within. So I think this is the work we do and this is what I am passionate about because I think everybody has this potential."
Osel Hita

"We are life. Each individual represents life. We are a reflection of the universe. The universe exists through us and therefore, as an individual, our mission is to understand ourselves and to discover our inner reality, our true nature and that's where the rear satisfaction comes in, it's when you live with yourself, when you're happy with yourself, you're satisfied with yourself and you're living each moment as it is, as it comes, and as you design it, in order to help other people. Because that's where the real satisfaction is."
Andy Wistreich

"And when our mind comes into harmony with reality, then everything changes."
Sofia Marban: teacher and therapist, Spain

"All of us, everyone, is very responsible for their actions. Because every single person who is with you is learning from you, in the same way that you are learning from others. So it's very important our action in any moment."
Universal Wisdom Education is particularly important for children, who hold the future in their hands. There is increasing scientific evidence that small children, and perhaps even babies, have an unexpected capacity for compassion and meta-cognition. Skillfully led, Universal Wisdom Education can also offer powerful experiences for young people.
Lydia Rigdzina Dolma: student, UK

"I don't usually go this deep into myself or into my feelings, so that was quite weird. But I think it could be useful for loads and loads of teenagers out there, because my generation and the next generation have been accustomed to violence for so long, through video games and stuff, and UWE is all about compassion and wisdom, and I think that could really bring them out of this kind of numb feeling that everyone has when they're confronted with violence on the news, on a video game, on the computer, and even in adverts. It's quite weird to see how deep even I could go into myself with the right kind of help and the right kind of teaching."
Universal Wisdom Education is logical, practical and relevant to every life situation, whoever we are, whatever we do, whichever is our religious belief or cultural tradition. Its programs are now taking off all over the world, in schools and colleges, healthcare and prisons, the workplace and the home.
Alison Murdock

"We've been taking advice for this work from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who was the number one student of Lama Yeshe, and he gave us some very interesting and very helpful advice at the beginning, which was to try working with just one program, an 8th century text about ethics - how to live a good life, develop a good heart - which we've turned into a program called the "16 Guidelines for Life". And to our surprise, it's proved incredibly popular. It starts with humility, it ends with courage, it talks about how we think, how we act, how we relate to other people and how we find meaning in life. Very straightforward practical everyday things. And it's been taken now into over 20 different countries and translated into 5 different languages."
The 16 Guidelines for a Happy Life
How we think:
  • humility
  • patience
  • contentment
  • delight
How we act:
  • kindness
  • honesty
  • generosity
  • right speech
How we relate to others:
  • respect
  • forgiveness
  • gratitude
  • loyalty
How we find meaning:
  • aspiration
  • principles
  • service
  • courage
David Machles and Karen Mastroianni: organizational consultants, USA

"They brought the 16 Guidelines to our center for the children's program, and one Sunday when they were presenting it and I heard them talking about the Guidelines, it was the most powerful thing I'd ever heard, and I said 'this is what we need in our organizations.' So I came back to David and said 'you have to come hear this, we have to go learn about the Guidelines' and your first comment was 'it's for kids, not adults!' David was doing work in prisons for anger management at the time, and was going to start doing some things at the youth prison, and anger management is really just one piece that people suffer from, so we decided to use the 16 Guidelines in the prison program and we called it 'Building Inner Strength'. That's really how you started using them. And that was in a youth facility, a youth prison."
Rasmus Hougaard

"The transformation that is taking place for people in the corporate world when they start to engage with these methods is really profound. For me as a trainer, it's amazing to see the changes in their lives. So there's been done research, especially from Inseat, which is the largest business school of Europe, which has pointed out very clearly that the practice of mindfulness, that mindful leaders and mindful employees are better at what is called corporate social responsibility, they have higher corporate social responsibility. That means they take better care of their employees, they take better care of each other, and they take better care of the environment at large. So there's a lot of research backing up that it does not only have an impact on the individual, but actually also on the globe, socially and environmentally."
The huge amount of interest and enthusiasm poses many organizational challenges. How do you turn such a vast vision into reality? Into something practical that holds both integrity and diversity? That can adapt to the moment while remaining true to its roots?

But the passion and commitment of the growing UWE community makes us confident that we will gradually achieve our goal of creating a happier and more peaceful world.


The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom was established in 2005 to take forward the vision of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa.

One year after the gather: Work has begun on a set of experiential study courses to guide and support this work worldwide. The manuals will make accessible in contemporary style and language some of the most profound yet universal aspects of Buddhist philosophy, psychology and science.

The people who met at the gathering in France have gone on to set up all kinds of projects in their own communities.

Universal Education for Compassion and Wisdom has replaced the name Universal Wisdom Education as a reflection of the urgent need for more compassion, love and empathy in our 21st century world.
Lama Zopa

"So, everybody, please enjoy your life with good heart and with wisdom. Okay, thank you very much. And make the world better. Make your life better so that the world can become better."

We invite you to find out more:
for additional interviews and supporting information
to join the mailing list
and learn about our educational programs
about Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa and Osel Hita


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