Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lama Llama Lama

Went to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Saturday. That's what the lady from our local TV station kept calling him. "His Holiness." Said it five or six times in short sentence. While I think the guy is friggin' brilliant, and talks about a lot of important stuff, this woman sounded like the worst kind of fawning idiot. I mean, even he doesn't think he's all that great.

"I don't know."

How refreshing to hear that from the mouth of one of the most revered people of our time. After he had spoken (for what seemed like a very short amount of time), he allowed for three questions to be asked from thousands submitted. The first one concerned how we c an possibly get our leaders to finally turn away from war as a political policy to something more like diplomacy. He said something to the effect of. "That sounds like very serious question, coming from a very serious place. Truthfully, I don't know."

You don't know?!? How can YOU of all people, not have that one figured out yet?

He followed it up. "I had an idea, back in the 1980s, that perhaps what was needed was for the leaders of all of the superpowers to go on vacation together with their families. And not to talk business! Just have a good time, relax."
There you go! Simple, brilliant, and of course, never gonna happen, but still...

He did speak about nuclear arms at one point in his talk, and made a couple of profound suggestions. First off, he acknowledged that at one point, maybe we needed nuclear arms so as to prevent other bad guys from using them; but now, we just don't need them any more. He suggested that one way to begin was to disarm ourselves internally. To react to violence or conflict with the first thought being, "how do I deal with this situation non-violently?"

Golly. Where has my mind been?

I started writing this post before I left on the business trip mentioned in my previous post, and here I am, back after a week, I can look back on this day with a hazy fondness. I've been reading a book by Pema Chodron (there are umlauts and I'm not sure they'll work here), who is a Tibetan Buddhist Monk (technically a Nun, but who's counting?), and it's all about leaning into the point, or embracing chaos.

In other words, when you are in pain, or in fear, that is when you are at your most authentic. That is when the outside world is exposing you to yourself. So, instead of trying to hide from the fear, embrace it, revel in it... just deal.

This will be a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it.

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