Sitting with a remarkable man: The Dalai Lama
Saturday, June 06, 2009
How to describe the experience with such a humble Buddhist monk who, at the same time, is the source of inspirational and spiritual guide for all the Tibetan people, a Peace Nobel winner? I can only try to explain how I felt inside while other 10 000 people were going through their unique experience of sitting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
It was what he said that touched my heart, and it was how he said it, and it was the silence of his presence and the few minutes meditation at the end of his lecture that filled my essence and brought peace to my mind.
He is a man who walks his talk. And there are no many men that do that. Amongst my inspiration I can list few from Gandhi to San Francis, from Mother Theresa to Thich Nhat Hanh. People who lived their life for the greater good, and truly intensely practicing compassion in every step of the way. Saints or Buddhist monk who walk this earth with a message of love and an example of wisdom in action. Bodhisattva to its fullness.
So much has been written about the Dalai Lama and his message of optimism, never giving up the hope to return to his country as a free being together with all the Tibetan in exile.
I simply love the man. He evokes in me a sense of hope and deepens the message of the Middle Way.
He speaks clearly and simply of the Buddha message and especially bringing down, in the here and now a sense of responsibility in each of us to develop compassion. When fully applied and lived thoroughly these principles could end any war, any anger, any negative emotions. If only men would take the time to investigate their own mind, their motivation, their purpose and their way they carry out actions, there will be less struggle on this planet.
The Dalai Lama was emphasizing that no matter which one is your spiritual choice and religious beliefs, every practice needs enthusiasm, every practice needs actions and determination to deepen a better understanding of the mind - the soul - the Ultimate truth. Call it how you want it.
The Public talk was on "The power of compassion in turbulent times" . You can order any talk given in Amsterdam and in other places at this link.
He commented on Shantideva 's teaching about "The perfection of patience".
Why be unhappy about something
if it can be remedied?
And what is the use of being unhappy about something
if it cannot be remedied?
Is it not wonderful? To let the truth of this statement to be fully realized inside ourselves will bring great peace of mind, lessen the fights, and reduce the worries to ashes. Why not? I believe it is possible to turn the destructive emotions in harmless states of the mind. We only need to learn not be disturbed by it. And if we can learn how to deal with those emotions then we won't suffer from them, we won't be enslaved by the emotional turmoils that clouds our vision and performs wrong doing.
The Dalai Lama words from my notes:
"We all have the ability to turn all of the difficulties, mental problems into something good.
Mental problems come when one hates to face the problem.
When there is more challenge there is also the possibility to have more understanding."
To that I couldn't avoid having a tears tickling down my cheek. After all I am always in rapture when the divine touches my soul/no soul (atma- anatma) in me. Much the same as when I read Hafiz words when the Lover whirls in ecstasy around the Beloved/ God.
How many challenges have I been facing in my life and still am. And how much I learned from it and still am.
At the doorstep of another important change in my life I am humbled by the gifts bestowed upon me and through the pains and aches of my heart and body my happiness is real.
The happiness of the Buddha.
The Dalai Lama and Osho. My life with Osho
I used to sit for so many years in the Buddha hall listening Osho talking about every possible subject. Although I really liked some of his discourses especially on Zen I really didn't appreciate some of his political view he had. In the name of being a rebel, not identified with anything or anybody, Osho spilled often heavy judgments on remarkable and wonderful people. He criticized Gandhi, laugh about the good deeds of Mother Theresa and had the arrogance to even give suggestion to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
I remember that discourse in Buddhahall in 89, from the series: "No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity", Chapter #8. He talked about the Dalai Lama.
I had a bitter taste in my mouth the day after I sat with His Holiness, thinking about Osho lectures. But I had the sweetest taste in hearing and being with this remarkable man in the Amsterdam Rai the 4 of June 2009.
I've found that discourse and these are the words that Osho spoke:
"I have loved Buddha, and I have loved those who have loved Buddha. I have deep love and respect for Dalai Lama. My suggestion to him is: don't leave this country; just drop the desire to be the sovereign head, the political head of Tibet. In fact, it is not right for a religious man to have such aspirations for being a political head. Just drop that idea. Be an ordinary meditator, a lover of Buddha -- then China will not ask for you. You are being asked for because of your continuous desire to be the head of Tibet again. Too much water has gone down the Ganges; it cannot happen, at least in your lifetime.
But my insistence is that fundamentally your desire is wrong. Tibet is gone, out of your hands. You should have renounced it. Your desire for power is a political desire -- it is shameful in a man who is thought to be a meditator. Just remain in the Himalayas, and nobody is going to trouble you. The trouble is arising within you because of the desire that you want Tibet to be again under your rule.
Forget all about it. It is ugly, absolutely condemnable, to have such a desire. That was the singular message of Gautama the Buddha: don't have any desire in this world; when the other world, the mysterious world, is ready to open its doors you are asking for some illusory power. This shows that Dalai Lama himself is not a meditator.
I would like him not to go anywhere. You have a beautiful place in Dharamsala -- go inwards. It is time that you prove that there is an inner world far more precious than anything the outer world can give to you. And if you cannot prove this, who do you think is going to prove it?
Once he drops the desire and the claim, and he becomes an ordinary, simple human being, China has no interest in him. He can live in the Himalayas -- he is accustomed to living in the Himalayas. "And I say again: nobody is going to behave in a friendly way with you. What can you offer? China offers a tremendous power. You will not get shelter anywhere in the world."
Now I must say, despite the upheaval that my statement will bring up in some of my sannyasin friends, that I am ashamed I sat in Buddha hall and listened to these words. I should have stood up and left. I was young, young and naive. And I was trained to sit and listen in total silence and even if reaction where coming up inside I was supposed to watch them, borrowing the Buddhist way, and not react even when it was going against my better judgment. If I could re-live that moment with the awareness and a bit more understanding of now, I would stand up and leave the hall.
Osho certainly had some insights, however he was a man that really had an attachment in provoking people. He enjoyed to create contradiction tremendously, instigated arguments and generally went against any opinion and ideas but I am not sure if he knew anything about politics. He had a great vision of the new "spiritual man" but he also did not walk his talk!
But yes Osho is after all gone and the Dalai Lama is still here walking his talk. I am in awe and in deep appreciation for who he is and how after so many years he can still stand tall, clear in his mind, not polluted in his heart and still with a vision of optimism that, despite the ugliness forced on his People and his Land, Tibet, he insists in bringing this message of true compassion to this world.
The Dalai Lama still stirs up, after 20 years from Osho's discourse, huge uproar in any country he visits. He brings around the world the issue of human rights, religious freedom, political inter-dependency and a message of love and compassion. He didn't give up and he is still here and not because he is on a "power trip" as Osho accused him but simply because he is a man of words, a man of Good Heart.
Long life to His holiness the Dalai Lama. His favorite quote.
"For as long as space endures
and for as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I too abide
To dispel the misery of the world"
"It is in the salt inside your tears where the divine hides his Love,
it is in the wrinkles of your smile
that peace irradiates joy to your heart "
Milena (June 09)