El Segundo High School

Dalia Lama’s 80th birthday celebration with musician Kai Brown

The official world celebration of the Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday was held in Southern California from July 5 to 7. The celebration was hosted by the Global Compassion Summit in partnership with Friends of the Dalai Lama, and UC Irvine, and the Center for Living Peace.

I had the opportunity to speak with Australian musician Kai Brown, one of the artists that performed for the Dalai Lama at the Honda Center on July 5. Kai was one among Nobel Laureates, world leaders, artists, and Kris Jenner (who took a selfie), who were there.

Kai, who is based in Los Angeles, performed “Take Me To Your Heart” with seven time Latin Grammy nominated artist Debi Nova; “Take Me To Your Heart” was No. 1 in Costa Rica for eight weeks. Kai and Debi performed the song for the event as well as a new song “Let Love Be Your Sail” from Kai’s latest album.

After the performances, the Dalai Lama gave a three-hour public talk and dialogue to a crowd of 18,000 on transformative power of creativity and “awakening compassion.” Thereafter, of course, it would not have been a birthday without a cake, and he was given an eight-foot high birthday cake! For his birthday “gift” the Dali Lama simply asked for “a more compassionate, kind planet, that would be the most beautiful gift of all,” added the Buddhist monk, who broke down in tears during his tribute: “As a human being, as a social animal, every individual has a moral responsibility to think of the well-being of humanity,” he said.

So, to the high school students reading this article, I ask us all to take a moment in honor of the Dalia Lama, and think how we, the next generation of leaders, academics, and Nobel Laureates, can create a better world- one that is more compassionate, kind and inclusive in love to all. I challenge us all to put into our daily practice an intention to do good for humanity. Peace.