Just waking from a nap on the monastery, one of the oldest and, we could say, most influential in India.
This in and of itself is surreal. I’m waking from a nap inside the same room, too, where hours ago Thupten Jinpa, the brilliant Monastic Scholar, who has been the Dalai Lama’s translator for the last 30+ years, held a class for us, monk desks and all (if you‘ve watched documentaries on His Holiness or have read any of his books, you’ve seen Jinpa or read or heard his words many, many times).
It’s important to note that on our first day, we were told explicitly that we were not here as tourists, but to learn. I can’t tell you how much I loved hearing that.
But before the amazing teachings from Jinpa, in another small room with the 35-40 of us invited to this week’s experience, in one of the other prayer halls/ buildings on the larger compound, I knelt a foot away from His Holiness, as he spoke to us for the first time.
He had walked slowly through the middle of the pathway we had created for him, about 20 of us on each side, that led directly to his big chair. After taking a photo with us, he addressed our group. (Jinpa later told us that this (below) is what His Holiness wanted us — and our friends and communities back home — to hear most):
• He mentioned how education systems around the world should include mental education, or in other words, helping children to learn about emotions, specifically how they work, so that destructive tendencies would lessen ~ “emotional hygiene“, he called it.
• We are social animals, he said, and so we naturally have the ability to be compassionate ~ we have it built in. That we need to use it over and again to let go of anger and fear.
• He addressed and emphasized how important community is and that we are all “one community”. He discuss this topic of oneness of humanity or of a common humanity a lot; that when we don’t have or feel it, we feel more fear and more loneliness. It used to be that our family was our “village” or community, he said, but today it’s about (needs to be about) our global community. He wanted us to share this, specifically, because he felt this was another way to make positive change in the world.
• Early on, he discussed how Buddhism uses the mind / intellect and the “methods“ of compassion and meditation to achieve peace ~ use the methods, he said, (he mentioned this a few times). Compassion, meditation, compassion, meditation. Just as in Buddhist chanting or praying, it’s all about repetition, repetition — it does eventually create, not just a practice, but a better life and better actual living [loving] communities.
• Going from a “me” mindset to thinking about the greater good was discussed, too (see point about our one global community).
• Some of his exact last words before he walked out:
(emphasizing again…) “We must keep our mind on 7 billion people.”
There was not one dry eye in the room.
The day was so special, a treasure. And, there’s still so much more to say, but how?
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Life is good,
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur