Friday May 10th, 2013 we attended a talk by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Matthew Knight Arena on the University of Oregon Campus. Security was tight but quick as we emptied our pockets and walked through the scanner. We were not allowed cameras with removable lenses so took our point & shoot. The pictures you see here are from the jumbo screen and the distance we were from the stage. I think Vince did a great job given what he had to work with.
I made a paper crane from my ticket and we people watched as we waited for his Holiness to come to the stage.
Three times a monk appeared on stage to make sure things were set up perfectly. First to move a chair, next to fluff the seat cushion of a brand new chair and again to fluff the back cushion. It was evident those directly involved were just a wee bit nervous.
My heart was a flutter and I could feel the emotions beginning to well up as we waited. He calls himself just a humble monk but this brief moment in time is one I will remember for the rest of my life.
Not all Buddhists around the world know who the Dalai Lama is. There are many forms of Buddhism and if he was still in Lhasa, Tibet we probably wouldn't know of him either. I was told by a man living in Northern Thailand that his Thai wife doesn't know who the Dalai Lama is..............because she is not Tibetan and in Thailand like other countries, each town or village has their own Buddhist Temple with its own "Head Monk Guy" for them would be on par with the Dalai Lama. We are looking forward to meeting monks and making merit when we move to Thailand.
The arena erupted in to cheers as His Holiness stepped on to the stage. He waved and put his hands together while he turned in a circle and acknowledged the entire building. He finally shushed the crowd by smiling and making a hand motion to sit down.
I have read his books and have gone over many paragraphs again and again because his thoughts and words are so deep and full of meaning I was not sure just how to convey what we heard. I will just list quotes from the notes I took.
His first words were.......... "Today is a beautiful day in the life of the Universe"
"The world is just one small planet. East, West, South, North - no difference. Race, color - no difference. One human - All same. Oneness of human being"
"Don't separate yourself from others. I look at you as another human being. Not, I am Buddhist, I am Tibetan. It creates a wall, a separation"
"Everything is interconnected, interrelated. Reality and perception, our perceptions must be holistic. With calm mind we can see the real way"
"America is lacking knowledge of the outside world" (Audience cheered)
"Compassion to another will bring happiness to yourself. More compassion practice opens your inner door. Practice is medicine for yourself"
"If you are..."I" "Mine" "Me"..... have greater risk - too selfish and strong self centered attitude no good"
"Those that have no love early have hatred and negative emotions"
"Affection at early age is in the blood and compassion is easy" (He then told a story about riding on his mother's back as a very young boy and when he wanted her to go left he would tug on her left ear and when right, he would tug on her right ear. He laughed at this story, but said he was spoiled by her compassion)
"Happy life, Happy Society, Happy World"
"Education, teaching to transform the mind. Buddha accept different thoughts of his followers. All Buddhist teaching - Love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, faith and respect to all religions" (Audience cheers)
He then took several prerecorded questions. One was from a student that works with inmates and said she had one from a man in prison. "If you could say one thing to the next Dalai Lama, what would it be?" To which, His Holiness laughed and replied, "That is a silly question. I don't know. Next question!"
Poor thing, I can only imagine her going back to tell him......The Dalai Lama thought your question was silly!
Back to his talk..........."Our very own survival depends on community & compassion for happy life. Peace must come through inner peace. Change individual, change society, happy world"
"Take care of your own condition - then take care of others. Doctor sick, can't take care of you!" (He was laughing)
"21st Century should be a century of talk and dialogue. You will see more friendly, more compassion. In terms of community action is more important than prayer" (More cheers)
"Have realistic vision - a world without armament very possible!" (Loud Cheers)
"Peaceful - step by step - clear vision based on oneness of humanity - one world. Nurture through education and awareness. Source of compassion is female"
"Education brings more equal man and woman. Existing education very much on material. Education should take care of development of inner value and concern for others"
"Female much more compassion. Female should take more active roll. Female Dalai Lama is very possible in 600 years" (He was not being flip or making a joke......he was completely serious and the crowd cheered even louder)
His last words were........... "Provide Maximum Affection to Children"
As I finished getting this ready for the blog it feels like when you are standing in nature and seeing the most spectacular view that brings goose bumps to your skin, tears to your eyes and stillness to your soul and you just know if you take a picture you will not be able to capture the moment. I wish all who read this will feel a small bit of our moment.