Mayors from across the country meeting in Indianapolis this weekend got a message of compassion this morning from the Dalai Lama.

The spiritual leader told the U.S Conference of Mayor attendees  mayors that compassion is a basic part of human nature and that liberty, freedom and democracy have to be more than just a slogan.

You can see his holiness’s‘ comments here, as well as the panel discussion with pop music icon Lady Gaga.

The forum was moderated by Ann Curry, former NBC Today show host and anchor.