In recent months, the topic of peace has once again been on everyone's lips. It is easy to grow numb to the seemingly endless news of conflict afflicting the world. But, for the spiritual leader and visionary, His Eminence Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche, this is symptomatic of a cause that goes deeper than race, religion, or borders.
His Eminence champions a compassionate worldview that is grounded in ancient wisdom but is as pertinent as ever in the modern world. For His Eminence, the key to fostering peace in the world is to begin by cultivating a deep and personal experience of inner peace: "Because of all the strife we experience in the world, we often hear the call for more force and control. Of course, it is imperative that we proactively work for peace and harmony in every way. However, on a personal level, calling for the need to change or improve oneself can create a disempowering narrative of inadequacy and limitation."
His Eminence's principle focus deviates from the popular self-help wave now widespread throughout the West. He posits that we do not need to radically alter who we are to find a peaceful state of being; instead, we need to grow more aware of all that obscures our true nature to reveal the radiant and peaceful heart that dwells within. This is founded on the view that all beings innately possess this fundamentally good essence.
The ancient wisdom traditions based on compassion and loving-kindness will serve as the ground for the Universal Peace Sanctuary, currently under construction in Lumbini, Nepal. The sanctuary will house a museum, and a library focused on preserving spiritual texts on the subject of peace in all languages and meditation rooms for personal or group practice and instruction. The Universal Peace Institute will offer students the opportunity to study various spiritual traditions and practices.
A primary mission of the Universal Peace Sanctuary will be centred in the Main Assembly Hall, providing a space for the brightest minds to participate in conferences, seminars, and speaking events aimed at establishing and maintaining peace. Here, world leaders will have the ideal setting for reasoned dialogue and conflict resolution.
His Eminence's wish to share his message with all humanity epitomizes his vision for the Universal Peace Sanctuary - offering a safe space for people to join together and champion the power of peace over conflict. It will facilitate dialogue and discussion to help guide humanity towards practical and peaceful solutions for the global issues of the day.
In 2012, His Eminence published a selection of his teachings in the book, Living Fully: Finding Joy in Every Breath. Once again, this book avoids the well-trodden path of self-help and gently guides us away from materialistic and consumer-driven notions of happiness and an obsession with instant gratification.
In a world that can often appear fractious and divided, His Eminence seeks to build a shining beacon of peace that highlights the values of compassion, tolerance, loving-kindness, and equanimity. As His Eminence says, "If it is given the natural space to thrive, then peace will always prevail over conflict. The Universal Peace Sanctuary will be fuelled by the drive to realize a simple but powerful vision: making peace more fashionable than war."