July 6 will mark the 77th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and to celebrate, the day has also been designated by the good folks at the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) as “Compassion Day.” As Michael Ium, Compassion Day coordinator for the FPMT explains:
“Compassion Day arose out of three main desires: establishing a joint celebration for the FPMT North American community; honoring the birthday of His Holiness, and cultivating compassion through both internal and external practices. Our hope is that Compassion Day is a celebration of compassion in every aspect of our lives, and a way for us to connect and support each other. Our main objective is for individuals and Dharma centers connected to the FPMT in North America to make Compassion Day a special celebration, whether that is through the creation of a gift for His Holiness, having group meditations, or offering community service. Of course, we would welcome involvement from any individuals or groups who also wish to honor His Holiness, or celebrate compassion in their own ways! Right now we are in the final planning stages, and hope to ramp up the momentum in the month leading up to July 6th.”
There are three main aspects to Compassion Day: Rejoicing, Compassion in Action, and Meditation. For more on how to participate in the these, visit the Compassion Day website and/or Facebook page.