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A Tuesday to Remember...

Because I have been blessed with lovely friends who do a much better job of being aware of current events than I, Tuesday I loaded up in a car with these ladies...

to attend this event...

We knew we were in good company when we arrived at the event venue and had to stop to allow a group of red and gold clad Buddhist Monks to cross the street. (What a surreal moment I will not soon forget.)

While the venue was set very formally, as one would expect for a major university event of this magnitude...

the Dalai Lama right away established that his talk was nothing more than a simple, casual conversation human being to human being. Not only did his warm presence pull you onto the couch next to him, his every action made you feel as if you were in the presence of an old friend...

(The bright lights of the stage were bothering his eyes, so he gladly accepted, and wore throughout the whole event, this bright purple UNI visor. It was somewhat comical, yet at the same time seemed totally appropriate.)

The Dalai Lama had been invited to the UNI campus specifically to present on the topic of education. But this afternoon public talk took on a much more informal feel as he discussed everything from education, to religious tolerance, to families, to marriage, to the environment, to the source of true happiness, to the importance of inner beauty, to science and technology. Through it all the base of his messages was clear.

1. We all must strive to live a compassionate life and to promote others to do so as well.

2. We must all strive to live in harmony. Rather than allowing secondary differences such as age, race, gender, and philosophical beliefs to divide us, we must first remember (and be united by the fact) on the most basic of levels we all simply human beings.

Compassion and harmony. A simple yet powerful message aimed at promoting peace.

The Dalai Lama has authored a number of books that can obviously more clearly share his message and wisdom than I can summarize his Tuesday talk from memory. But for me, just as important as the words he spoke was the way he spoke them. Slow and deliberate, from the heart. While some scholars share their knowledge from the facts and studies stored in their heads, the Dalai Lama very obviously shares his wisdom from the knowing of his heart. From the way he leaned towards the crowd making eye contact with people in the front rows during his talk; to the way he interacted with his interpreter; to the number of times he reached over and squeezed the hand of the UNI president's hand with a laugh and a warm smile; to the time he took to thank everyone on stage with him with a bow and the gift of a ceremonial white silk scarf at the end of his talk, his actions showed how clearly he lives his message every moment of his life. It was touching and even today the memory of his actions brings warm tears to my eyes. It was a day I will always remember and cherish.

For more information about the Dalai Lama's visit to UNI, you can read a short article on the UNI website. Or for a short video of part of his morning panel discussion, check out this YouTube video posted by an audience member. If nothing else, you get a little taste of him amazing laugh. (I'm hoping UNI might offer up their own short video of the day's events in the coming weeks.)



shinyyoga said…
Wow. what an experience : ) the image of the maroon and gold clad monks is fabulous : )
kshotz said…
I so wish I could've gone! What a wonderful experience for you! Thanks for sharing a bit about it and what he had to say too. (I have two of his books and can only imagine how moving it must have been to have seen him in person.)

Laurie said…
What a wonderful experience! Thanks for clarifying the purple visor. ;-) I have a couple of his books that I've yet to read. You may have inspired me. :-)
What a treasured experience! You are so lucky!!!

Just FYI, I deleted myself from Facebook, so don't fret if you don't see me on your friend list. We're still friends! :)

I've been thinking of you, and hoping the selling/buying/moving details are all coming together for you.

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