A Holy Tibetan

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I have a Dalai Lama story.  In the early 80s when I was married to my first husband (yes, I had a first one before I hit the jack pot with the second) he took me to a house in Long Island, New York where we were to spend a day with the Dalai Lama.  At that time I was 20 years old and cocky.  My writer husband somehow got invited by an organization (can’t remember which) to come and meet with the Dalai Lama and help promote his plight and his work in the US.  

I must confess that at the time I had no idea who the Dalai Lama was.  All I knew is that I was going to be meeting with someone who was supposed to be holy.

When we arrived, my ex-husband and I, were introduced to the Dalai Lama by a man wearing a dark suit who was our host and translator.

I remember what I was wearing, olive silk blouse, black silk pants and black boots.  I remember a swimming pool and I remember staring at the Dalai Lama’s face trying to find holiness in him but becoming disappointed when all I could find was the calm and lovely face of a Tibetan man.

Since that time I have learned that holiness is in the simple things; playing with my dog, having a meal with friends, kissing the lips of the person I love.  Holiness is almost never introduced by fire works but it is often readily available if we can calm ourselves down long enough to notice.

Below are some sayings I found attributed to the Dalai Lama; a simple, man with a holy heart.

1- Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.

2- If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.

3- If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

4- My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.

5- Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

6- The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.

7- We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.

8- We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.

9- Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

10- If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.

11- If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.

12- Human potential is the same for all. Your feeling, “I am of no value”, is wrong. Absolutely wrong. You are deceiving yourself. We all have the power of thought – so what are you lacking? If you have willpower, then you can change anything. It is usually said that you are your own master.

13- We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity. That the happiness of one person or nation is the happiness of humanity.

14- Through violence, you may ‘solve’ one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.

15- As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it.

16- To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.

17- There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.”
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.

18- The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.

19- A spoon cannot taste of the food it carries. Likewise, a foolish man cannot understand the wise man´s wisdom even if he associates with a sage.

20- In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.

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Comments

One Response to “A Holy Tibetan”
  1. markus7a says:

    Who am I to argue with either the Dalai Lama or Deborah Calla. As you say, our minds commonly overlook the holiness that is lying around. You’d think with all the holiness lying around us we’d trip over it once in a while and fall face first right into it. As a matter of fact, that seems to be exactly what does happen, on those rare occassions of epiphany, peak experience, or the inexplicable brush with the hand of grace. For the most part though, we seem to have great difficulty accessing it, appreciating it, percieving anything resembling a sacred dimension of the world. We are a production oriented society. Doing, not being, is the order of the day.
    It ain’t necessarily so, as the Porgy and Bess song goes. Things weren’t always prioritized in this order. For example, before the Chinese dismantled the 8000 or so monasteries in Tibet, approximately 15% of the adult population were ordained as monks and nuns, and the population as a whole played an active supportive role in fostering their spiritual evolution. Robert Thurman has referred to these institutions as enlightenment factories, as opposed to the more familiar factories that belch smoke and crank out widgets. Another example that comes to mind is that of the Australian Aborigines, before their culture was effectively dismantled by the West. They considered any time spent outside of the state they called “Dreamtime” as a waste of time, beneath the station of a self-respecting human being. Though a non aborigine cannot really know what “Dreamtime” is, we can surmise that it was a state that carried a connection to sacred experience, a consciousness of the sacredness that permeated their vision and experience of the natural world. Think of that. A human society that apparently had the capacity to inhabit sacred space consistently, as a rule rather than as an exceptional and rare experience. It makes me feel that for all our technological wealth, we are in some ways impoverished here in the modern world. And it makes me think that a re-evaluation of priorities, of where we allocate the lions share of our energy, is worth considering.