Seeing the Dalai Lama


Although I was in a crowd of thousands, I feel lucky to have heard His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak today. Ironically held in Gillette Stadium, complete with hot dogs for sale and a jumbotron presiding, it was still a beautiful cultural and spiritual event unlike any other I’ve ever seen or am likely to see again.

I got prayer flags (wind horses) for my goddaughter and also had her name written in Tibetan. I got beads and a scarf for myself. Both will pack small.

I think I’ll mostly recall and continue to think about his childlike humor. He tucked his feet up under himself in the chair he spoke from in the afternoon and posed cheekily from under the Pats cap they’d given him to keep the sun off. Later he declared it wasn’t doing the job and instead sat under an umbrella, giggling.

He was asked in San Francisco why the Chinese government calls him a demon. “Probably because of my horns,” he said, putting finger-horns up over his head. Too bad he didn’t throw some rock horns, but even the Dalai Lama isn’t perfect. :)Edit: Wow!  Someone posted a movie of the horns thing I quoted!

His English is very good, but he still deferred to his translator. In the afternoon, they were the only two on stage. In the morning, monks sat on carpets and other folks sat in chairs under the daïs from which HH spoke. I learned the four noble truths directly from him!

I’m not a Buddhist, but I don’t think I was the only non-practitioner there. You certainly don’t have to be Buddhist to hear and act on the message of compassion in such a turbulent world. Heck, you might even see me say just that on a documentary at some point: a camera crew stopped and interviewed my friend and I, asking how we felt (excited), how excited we were (very), and if we thought the Dalai Lama was important to the world (does the Pope wear a funny hat?).

The whole thing was too far away for me to get a picture, but I did take a few shots of the prayer flags kids and other folks made at the stadium and hung on the stairs.  I also took a pic of the sky above me as I listened.  Even though the whole trip this weekend was very scheduled and a bit rushed, I felt very still listening at the stadium.  Amazingly, I didn’t miss my laptop the whole weekend!  (Sorry, WoW.  You might have to step up your game to keep me hooked.)


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