CASA—Center for the Adolescents of San Miguel de Allende

On Oct 31 I was privileged to speak at the First Annual Wellness and Spirituality Expo in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico—a benefit to raise funds and awareness toward the fight to stop violence against women and children.

This life-changing event was sponsored by Sibyl English of SIBYL Magazine and SIBELLA Poetry Magazine.

CASA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for Mexico’s most vulnerable communities through a wide brushstroke of educational programs. From childhood development to employment and other areas, including domestic violence prevention and support.

To learn more about how your financial support can help to change lives, simply follow this LINK.

Have you ever been paralyzed with fear—afraid for your life?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

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Lunch with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

On April 26 I had the unique opportunity to be one of eighty guests who enjoyed lunch with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Loyola University after he spoke to a crowd of 4,000 people about the importance of non-violence and human compassion.

Sitting in the second row, I had a clear view of the sacred chants, musical performances, and three high school students who read their award-winning essays in response to the Dalai Lama’s question:

“How can an attitude of non-violence counteract the prevalence of violence in our families, in our communities, and in international relations; and how can we as individuals cultivate and promote such an attitude?”

A humble man with a contagious smile, the Dalai Lama describes himself as, “A simple Buddhist monk.” Currently 76, he was proclaimed the 14th Dalai Lama at the age of 4 and became Tibet’s leader at 15. In 1959 he made a harrowing escape from Tibet over the treacherous Himalayans as the Chinese made a violent grab for power. He now resides in Dharmsala, India.

Never once using notes, the Dalai Lama spoke from his heart, calling on young people to lead the world toward peace. He said, “Concern should not be rooted in religion, rather, the focus should be on understanding.” And while his message was serious, he also shared stories that made the audience laugh:

His eyes sparkled with mischief as a recounted being a toddler riding on his mothers shoulders and using her pigtails to “steer” her in the direction he wanted to go in the event she wasn’t listening to him.

When he was ten or so, he and his older brother were not interested in studying—they liked to “goof off.” His spiritual teacher came to the conclusion that two “whips” were needed: a regular one for his brother, and a “holy” one for him (his was painted yellow). With a grin, he assured the audience that a “holy” spanking hurts just as much as a regular one.

In his message of hope the Dalai Lama shared:
“Change must start within one individual.”
“The future depends on the present.”
“The difference between violence and non-violence resides in the heart.”
“When we exercise a compassionate view, we let go of anger.”

In my perspective, the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of goodness. If we all emulated his compassionate attitude—one that is positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing—the world would be a very different place.

What’s one change that you can make for the better?