Dalai Lama speaks out on COVID-19

ABC News' Dan Harris goes one-on-one with His Holiness the Dalai Lama about the ongoing pandemic and how people can reduce anxiety and help each other.
12:11 | 05/29/20

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Transcript for Dalai Lama speaks out on COVID-19
Well with the world's seemingly standing on his head right now aides never been more important to stay calm and centered and if there is anyone on the planet who can help us with that. It's the Dalai Lama the spiritual leader of Tibet turns 85. And after traveling the world many times over inspiring generations with a Buddhist mention message of compassion kindness and mindful miss. He remains as humble as ever so as we close out mental health month our Dan Harris shares it's unique conversation with his holiness the Dalai Lama. I in the Himalayas and darned Sally India where even here there bracing for the virus. His holiness the Dalai Lama who has spent much of his life traveling the planet delivering spiritual teachings and meeting with world leaders. Is now on lockdown just like the rest of us I sat down virtually wit his holiness. And started by asking how his life has changed during this pandemic. His answer simple. No change. He explains that he often takes a long meditation retreat every year for a few weeks or months now he's doing just that albeit in voluntarily. And I orders in lieu. Renovation. At least one on two Losman that. Then most of the time. Some terms as heating. Mainly the fish. I think duty. Of limited edition. And what I can. We'll pull my loss. The youth who wouldn't have. And he says for those of us who want to explore meditation start small. At the beginning. 22. In his second. Volatility. They're individually. One minute. Play minutes ten minutes you can see it. And that code missile might. I think little. To stop. The Turkish. Then. Mind. Not in all including you. A mind. That people mind. Then used to pull posting. Some do you move meaning. We knew all grew life. For the Dalai Lama meditation is helpful but he says even for him. Watching the news is painful. The effect. And I. So. In dilution. Thumb. The world starting people. Or will people. From a variety crying but he reminds us not to feel helpless Indies who dissent. We're told are losing. Posted a cottage. And sadness. Shouldn't. Thomas home. Did diminish. More something more determination. Should not impede have missed had missed this. That there Pena. He references the struggles he's faced in his own life. He was recognized as the fourteenth Dalai Lama the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people at the Egypt to. He was just a teenager when the Chinese military marched in in 1959 he escaped into exile in neighboring India. Like old colts may never. Total and Cuba we try to try to unknown if these things. One page again. And flipped it it can at hunt. There's the problem. Did you meet one effort paid them completely lost. Well U and to demand that's wrong. Period again. Trying trying trying to try. Phil. Hall. You're going to be easy it is known noble doctor Ruth neurosis. Is indeed reading groups have replaced only. I Healy. We appreciate wonderful. So who don't losing a loss of confidence they Catholics make a foot. Dennis important. You have lived through. So much pain yourself you're are refugee. As a consequence of Chinese military action and now we China is playing such a controversial. Role. On the world stage you are still able to generate positive feelings for the Chinese after all of this. Yes that ended. China no democracy. Particularly. Well quite tight control. So to try agitating vision. But these. Who really change. I content nudity and received. For apparent friendliness of the feeling here. Did you mean a mall in peace. Since the Dalai Lama mention that he's watching a lot of news these days I ask about the performance of president Donald Trump. Who he has criticize in the past for a lack of moral principle. You have met with the every American president. Except this president. At Donald Trump. I wonder. If you could speak with president trop now about. America's role in the world. In the midst of this virus will what would you say to him. America. Did you Tunisian wolf creek country knows he will. So. His of convene only America William. Did it too small. There's like Fiji. Then. Go to American Media. To some benefit global brawler vulnerable criticisms that this you'll of this. It's clear if if if if it. Given that so many of us are feeling so much fear these days I asked his holiness about the best way to reduce anxiety. He is unequivocal. Compassion. Turkish confessed we will assert its mineral. Forty. Felt like it. That's mostly knew. You'd New York said they look at. This debate should fuel long life depend. You should take him Morgan. So at resume is its ultimate fall awful happens. I've heard you described this as wise selfishness if we're if we're feeling anxious or scared. In our current circumstances. I from what I hear you you're advising us to turn our attention outward. To help other people and that will in turn make us feel better. Yes. This. I myself. UC. As soon as I and they go islanders can. And treason. That he brings in the peace in the stacked. Also on this video call with S during the interview. Use an American neuroscientist. Named Richard Davidson yeah. It's. It. While the Dalai Lama is a religious leader he's also become a major scientific figure. Many years ago he challenged Richie Davidson. Richie to use modern science has studied the impact of meditation on the brain. In graduate school. Graduate school and look at urge them and try to and and well done well I was asking you look at it person that was right. One of the things Ritchie has learned is that. The kind of compassion meditation. That the Dalai Lama recommends has profound impacts on our happiness our behavior and our body. And ash. Is anti. Nash. Before ending our interview I had one more question asked is only do you ever watch something fun. What do you what do you do when you wanted purely relax. And they'll and then. You look at animals and it. The eighty based his. Some bonuses it goes. Hundreds. Of diapers. Poland neighborhood these. Some things may be uncomfortable. But dias. And d.s. Many peaceful. That abuse from. So I phoned to look and it. His holiness. Watching animals on TV has great interview thank you so much for bringing us that and so he talks about some meditation intense and among those he says to start small and also consider starting out in the morning of meditation nick expand on the. So I hate to be in a position of disagreeing at all with his holiness the Dalai Lama but I might tweak that advice to silent. Definitely start small one of my little slogans when it comes to meditation is one minute counts and I I like to say that if you do one minute they really can help. And and any Rick I say that because habit formation is really heart. And it's really useful to start small so I'd totally agree with the Dalai Lama on that in terms of the morning I think the morning is great if you are a morning person if you're not a morning person I think you should do it when it works best for you. Really the best type of meditation as Richie Davidson is known to say the best type of meditation. Is the meditation you actually do. So I when I'm giving people advice about how to boot up happened I'm just thinking about how can you fitted into a life in into your life in a way that will make an abiding hat. At face a note to self I may not be doing that that morning routine. There's a reason why you anchors at fox. Exactly so to that neuroscientist he also socking about the benefits of on the brain of compassion meditation. Give us an idea of how one would do that. OK just to say about receiving he has been a pioneer in studying. What impact. Meditation has on the brain and he studied all kinds of meditation in fact he likes to say that the word meditation is a little bit like the words sports it can describe a whole range of activities so in particular he's a he's been looking at compassion meditation. Which the Dalai Lama talks about. And so they and there are many kinds of compassion meditation but the kind of done Obama is talking about was talking about to us and our interview is called tong Len. As actually quite simple even though it has a name that may make it sound foreign. You sit comfortably in a couple position close your eyes or you don't want to close your eyes gaze at a neutrally at a spot on the ground. And he does breed naturally you not to breed in any special way and as you feel your breath coming in. You breathe and the suffering of somebody you you pick somebody who may be suffering it at this moment. And breathe in their suffering and then breathe out you or compassion your wish. That they be free from suffering and you can move from person to person as you're doing this practice now let me say this may sound. A little clunky maybe even a little cheesy to some people and is certainly it struck me that way when I first heard about these compassion practices. But there's an enormous amount of evidence that compassion is like a muscle that you can train. And that we're not stuck with our compassion settings like their factory settings and are somehow on all terrible and that's really radical notion that compassion is scale. Always interesting and good to talk to your Dan Harris and you can hear more much more intense conversation of the Dalai Lama on the latest episode of his podcast. 10% happier.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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