The Dalai Lama is in Madison! This is his 7th visit to Madison, and our first to experience being in his presence. I am not Buddhist. I'm not anything really. My personal creed of Truth has been taken from many religions and beliefs and it is a changing philosophy, as new information comes my way on a daily basis.
I work with four Tibetans, and their excitement at this upcoming visit has been infectious. They told me that Tibetans from all over the country will convene for this event. All of them have friends and family coming and it will be a week of culture and community and teaching. Most of them saved vacation time to be available for the entire week.
We could only arrange our schedules for one event, but I think that will be enough. I just want to be in the presence of the Dalai Lama, to feel his heart, to experience his love and compassion. We have tickets for Sunday, which means a morning session and an afternoon session.
It was quite a site to see His Holiness sitting with a congregation of monks. They all wear robes of saffron and burgandy and are surrounded by flowers and images of Buddah. The audience was dressed in all sorts of garb. It didn't seem to matter.
We all stood when His Holiness entered the arena. Many people did their ceremonial bows and soon I began to feel the peaceful energy emmanating from the front of the room. I closed my eyes so I could concentrate on this energy, as it felt quite wonderful. I'll admit that I quit listening. I was after the feeling that the words were trying to convey. The words are not necessary. It is the space between the words that is important, to me at least. Soon, I was so full of this peaceful energy that I was on the verge of going to sleep. I had to fight to stay awake when what I really wanted to do was to lie down and surrender to the blissful feeling. Eventually I had to concentrate on the words just to stay with the event. It was an interesting afternoon to be sure.
Because I hadn't paid attention to the teaching, and I'm now curious, I have been researching the Daili Lama and learning. The more I learn, the more I respect and revere this great teacher. I'm so grateful to have had this experience.