Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Dalai Lama Comes To Albany and Damon goes to see Him...

I just returned last night from seeing the Dalai Lama, yes, the 14th re-incarnation of the Buddha, at the Palace Theater in Albany, NY.  

It was one of those experiences that kind of sneak up on you.  At least it did for me.  I had had a long day, and the event had been cancelled a few times and I didn't give it much thought until I found myself waiting in line with hundreds of people to get in.  It still didn't hit me until he came out on stage and began to talk, in accented and difficult to understand English.  But I understood enough to hear him say some of the following - to paraphrase....

"we all have the right to overcome our suffering"  he said this a few times and it was clear that he looks at suffering as a choice, which is a powerful concept.  It was also clear that he has chosen to overcome it despite his demographic, socio-political situation.

He spoke of not too many people really being religious or really believing in God.  He said that many many go to church but that when they get outside of church they don't follow the word of GOD.  It was clear he only picked religion as an example and that the point was many many of us do not practice what we preached.

One of the more clear and powerful things he spoke of was the importance of honesty and transparency in everything we do.  That there is no need to hide and create human problems, why do we do this?  Why not be honest at all times.  Honesty and simplicity where the keys to a happy life.  It was also clear that it was work to be honest and simple and that's where ethics come into play.

He spoke of the difficulty in Tibet and how it saddened him to have lost his home and country and how the news is generally all bad coming out of Tibet but how through it all he must, and does maintain his sense of peace and simplicity, which leads him to happiness....he said that through the difficulty his most reliable friend, most loyal friend has been his inner peace and simplicity.  That statement, to think of inner peace, calm, simplicity as a loyal friend, a most loyal friend has planted a seed within me that I can feel even now blooming...it is a profound statement of truth based on his experience and is so unique in it's weight and meaning that it was difficult for me to grasp the moment I heard it and for hours after...

He sat cross legged on a cushy chair and spoke calmly, often giggling at jokes or things he seemed to find funny in the most child like way.  His laugh was of a child, it was pure beauty in human form.

I won't go on more here, hopefully there will be more for me to write, but to close to simply say that his message and his presence is no so far above us all, it is mostly that WE live our lives so far below the standard at which he sets for himself.  He is not a superpower or a healer (at least not in the 'parlance of our time') but a human being (he said so) of such tremendous, solid simplicity and he has shaped his life around the pursuit of truth and expression of compassion that many of us simply cannot relate because we surround ourselves with the "noise" of humanity, with distractions of material, racial, religious, social, political...whatever...THINGS...and we wonder and wonder why we aren't fulfilled or happy (at least I do sometimes).  

The Dalia Lama's message is compassion, truth and simplicity, that's what I got, and he only talks about them because he lives them.  I talk about them because I want to live them and his state of being is a powerful, powerful message to anyone else who feels the same way.

Pure Beauty

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