I knew as soon as I woke up that it was going to be a special day: I was going to see the Dalai Lama, in person. The long security lines and the nonstop waves of people approaching the arena only served to raise my excitement level. The feeling of holiness and renewal in the air was palpable hours before the event even began. To avoid waiting for hours in the regular security line, I left my purse at home and carried only a journal and a pen so I could enter through the express line. Once safely inside the arena, I could feel the buzz: His Holiness, the XIV Dalai Lama, is about to enter and give a lecture in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
Along with 10,000 people, I stood up and applauded as the Holiness made his way to the stage. The Dalai Lama entered with a wide smile on his face as he walked from one side of the platform to the other, waving hello, bowing, and making eye contact with people in the first few rows. He began with a joke, sharing that he had never actually done homework, so telling the crowd not to expect marvelous teaching. ?Just moments after arriving on stage, while he joked and communicated with us, it appeared that he recognized someone in the audience. Suddenly, he left the stage and hurried into the crowd.
The leader of the Tibetan Buddhist religion saw a friend in the crowd, a blind man named Richard Moore. As he approached Richard, he leaned his forehead onto his friend, allowing him to feel his face and showing an audience of 10,000 what it means to show love. He then shared with the audience that Richard had been injured and blinded as a child during the conflict in Northern Ireland but never developed anger. He chose love over anger.
Back on the stage, the Dalai Lama spoke about love and compassion as life’s most important values. When asked about peace between nations he said: ?Change must start from individuals. No matter what the situation is, you have to keep your peace of mind.?
I was moved to tears by his humility and genuineness and surprised by how ?down to earth? he was. There is something about his presence which says: ?I’m an ordinary person, just like you, my friend. ? Observing the Dalai Lama, it hit me: he is pure BEING.? Even when he is DOING, he is BEING. .?
I was witnessing a person whose entire being is nothing but love and compassion.
He might see himself as an ordinary person, but his story is definitely extraordinary.
His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born on July 6, 1935 to a peasant family in the small village of Takster in northeastern Tibet and was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of His predecessor, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.? The Dalai Lamas are the manifestations of the Buddha of Compassion, who chose to take rebirth to serve humanity. Dalai Lama means ?Oceans of Wisdom.?
The Fourteenth Dalai Lama has lived in exile in the Hamalayan foothills in Dharmasala, India, since 1963, following the national uprising of the Tibetan people against Chinese military occupation in March of 1959.
The Dalai Lama, recipient of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, is the first of his predecessors to travel to the West in his world-wide speaking engagements in favor of ecumenical understanding, kindness and compassion, respect for the environment, and above all, world peace.
He encourages people to set aside their ?extreme self-centered attitude? and pursue a life of compassion.? Born to an illiterate mother, he teaches that growing the seeds of compassion begins with education.
?Through education, we can develop firm conviction in the mind.?
The Dalai Lama educated me very deeply last October on the principle of choosing love and compassion over anger and hatred. In the Holiness?s words:
?Anger is the ultimate destroyer of your own peace of mind. The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.?
As a Reiki Master and teacher, I teach my students the first Reiki principle: ?Just for today, do not anger?.
Dr. Mikau Usui, who discovered Reiki (an ancient Japanese healing system) more than 100 years ago, created the Reiki principles to serve as a guiding light for people to recognize the gift of living in the present. Each REiki principle starts with the words ?Just for today? to remind us that awakening in the here and now is the basis for a genuine spiritual consciousness, as the flexible channel for the divine power that flows through individuals who are awakened.
The ?do not anger? REiki principle reminds us to recognize the anger, thank our higher power for providing us with the energy we need, and then to take this energy and translate it into action. When you stop anger and get into action is where the healing happens.?
There is much to be learned about being peacemakers from world leaders, like the Dalai Lama and the founder of Reiki, Dr. Miaku Usui.? With their wisdom and their support, my request for you, my friends, is this:
Each moment of your life presents you with an opportunity to love or to hate. World peace starts with each individual’s peace of mind. Let’s take a stand today and be committed to choosing love over anger.
?Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.?
~The leader of the Tibetan Buddhist religion, the Dalai Lama.