Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Dalai Lama In The Living Room

Recently I invited the Dalai Lama to come sit on the couch in my living room. He looks right at home there, don't you think? Blends right in and all, just what you'd think the Dalai Lama would do. Serene, at home, reflective.

You'd think I might have had a few intelligent questions for him. Maybe even a cup of tea. Well if you thought that you'd be wrong. But he's a patient guy and he just waited out my performance anxiety. OMG what will I ask him now that I have a chance?

When I finally settled I asked, "what is this anxiety all about? Why do I get anxious about the same old things over and over? Isn't that the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? You'd think I'd learn? What can I do about this? He looked at me quietly and deeply. I felt a great sense of peace emanating from him. He was apparently okay with my anxiety.

And I wondered, "why is it so hard to just accept things as they are? How do we do that? How can I work on acceptance?" So many times a day I see myself wishing in small and large ways that things were different, silently (or not so silently) rejecting things as they are. I wish it were sunny today, I wish my health was better. Sadness and concern for natural disasters and seemingly dangerous political unrest in the world, and so on and so on. It was obvious from his stillness that acceptance filled his heart, concern was in his eyes, yet the corners of his mouth were swept upward.

I asked him, "why is it so hard to be present for long swaths of time?" He smiled that serene smile that steals your heart and empties your mind and simply modeled loving presence for me. Wise teacher. I realized he has been practicing since he was a young boy and many previous life times. I was encouraged by that.

"What is the best way to make a contribution to this world?" Might as well ask the big questions, and the personal now that I've got him here, I thought. He looked thoughtful and centred, with that deep sense of wisdom and gentle strength he exudes. This is what he brings to the world, I thought. This is why he is loved wherever he goes. He didn't answer because he has faith in me that I can answer this question for myself, I thought. Is that not the supreme vote of confidence. I sat a little taller in my chair.

And the questions went on like this for sometime. We spent a lovely, contemplative afternoon together. I was uplifted by his warm, easy presence, eased and calmed by his natural sense of equanimity and inspired by his wisdom. It's not everyday you get to have the Dalai Lama sit in your living room. What would you ask him, if you had the chance?


  1. What a coincidence . . acceptance . . it's what I'm addressing now . . acceptance of EVERYTHING . . even when I'm not accepting & see I'm not, I accept that I'm not accepting. Definitely lightens my energy. I saw a an enlightened teacher last weekend (Jan Frazier), and she stressed "don't judge what you find." Wonderful to know other seekers like you!

  2. 'What would you ask him, if you had the chance?'

    i'm not sure..but thats something i can sit with.

    what has jumped out at me reading your post is that 'all the qualities you see in him are also a part of yourself'. something else for me to consider today..thanks.

  3. Jan - I have read a little bit of Jan Frazier on her blog. Bet she was wonderful in person. Reading a Byron Katie book right now borrowed from my meditation teacher called "A Thousand Faces For Joy" and it's all about acceptance of everything. Her premise is that arguing with "what is" creates our unhappiness. Happy accepting!

    ari - yes I have heard this said before, that what we see in others (the desirable, the undesirable, the light, the dark) are all contained within ourselves, that's why we notice these particular qualities. Thanks for this uplifting reminder!

  4. He looks so cheerful sitting there in those luscious colors of your living space. I would like to sit there and take in the sun and chat with you too!

    In a bit of a pickle myself right at the moment; I was fighting against it. I wonder what would happen if I just accepted it? I'll give that a go today.

  5. Byron Katie is great! I love her simplicity and "bottom line" approach.

  6. Leslie - interesting how we say "in a bit of a pickle". What are pickles, if not sour, made with vinegar, &/or salt? Love to hear how your acceptance works on the "pickle"!

    Jan - I find I work best with simplicity. My mind doesn't hold too much complication well!

  7. Beautiful post! So clever! Made my Heart smile :)
    Thank you for bringing this lightness to this Heart this morning!

  8. Perfect again, as usual! I love the colours in the painting and how they reverberate with the colours of the room. It is incredible how you are able to create the conditions in which you can have an intimate conversation with HHDL and include us with the same intimacy! Thank you!

  9. you also created the beautiful smiling face so that it/he might sit in your livingroom. what fun to converse with your own artwork.

    I love Byron Katie and have an audio CD and also her first book and go back often to remind myself that most of the hooplala in my life is self created by my thoughts.

    Jan Frazier lives not far from me and is offering a course, I think on writing, soon if not now.

  10. MeANderi - glad my foolishness offered some lightheartedness to you. Keep that smile in the background for when you really need it!

    Genju- Glad you were able to join us for tea. Sort of new you would!

    Suki - yes I love how Byron Katie's simple questions cut through so much, like little word swords! It is so nice to do in person things. Jan Frazier sounds inspiring!

  11. i'd ask 2 things:

    1. why do you meditate every day? aren't you a holy man (yet)?
    2. it is true you fix rolexes for a hobby? kindly have a look at my Seiko.