I leave tomorrow for Ann Arbor, Michigan where His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give a teaching. I will see him again in July when he visits Madison, Wisconsin.
Last year I wrote about the first time I saw him in Madison, which was an incredible experience. to be in his presence is simply amazing. as soon as he appeared on stage I felt my heart chakra open and I broke down in tears -- not tears of sadness, but tears of joy, happiness. I expect that I will do that again.
Christian fundamentalists demonstrated against His Holiness last year in Madison. This year the Chinese will be demonstrating -- from the Jewel Heart website:
"A Statement by Gelek Rimpoche, April 15th
I am aware that a group of Chinese Students have applied for permission from the University to stage a demonstration during this weekend's teaching at Crisler Arena. We support all non-violent expression of free speech and expect anyone attending the teaching to respect that right of expression without confrontation. We do not anticipate these demonstrations to interfere with any of our programs."
To listen to excerpts from Gelek Rimpoche's teachings on the events in Tibet, compassion, and more, click below:
The Dalai Lama has said how the events in Tibet have upset him:
"As pro-China demonstrators waved signs in downtown Rochester on Wednesday, the Dalai Lama admitted to having feelings of helplessness in recent weeks. "Since March, last month, my mind is much disturbed,"....
When asked about how he keeps his composure amid recent troubles, the Dalai Lama said he never loses compassion for people, choosing instead to focus on the negative emotions that cause their actions.
"I take their afflictions to task," he said.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate added that he has coped with recent difficulties by practicing tonglen, a meditation technique in which a meditator mentally takes on the suffering of other people and sends out warm feelings in an effort to alleviate that suffering.
When facing disturbances in life, the Dalai Lama said, it's important to keep a basic mental attitude of calm and inner strength."
The Dalai Lama has always said that he is a simple monk. so for him to say that his mind is disturbed comforts me. it comforts me to know that even the Dalai Lama feels helpless sometimes, as I do. each of us can take a lesson from His Holiness about compassion, and next time when I have my own doubts about myself, whether I am "good enough" for this Path, I won't beat myself up (so much....)
I will endeavor to keep His Holiness' words about compassion in mind when I see the Chinese flag waved in protest of the Dalai Lama. I admit that it will be very difficult (pictures of Tibetans shot dead by Chinese armed police), but I will recite the prayer that I use to end my classes:
may all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness
may all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering
may all beings never be parted from freedom's true joy
may all beings dwell in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion
I will write about his teaching when I return.
OM MANI PEDME HUM
SO SHALL IT BE