10.20.08

Modern Prophet

Posted in HH Dalai Lama at 7:47 am by Marion

One year ago today (it was a Saturday about 5 a.m.) I said good-bye to the kitties and pups and departed on a milestone voyage.

I was heading to Atlanta, a journey that was part road trip, part holy pilgrimage. I was going to see His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama speak during two days of teaching.

There’s no doubt I was excited, but there was a lot of fear, too. I worried about disappointment; worried he would be self-absorbed or fussy, the way some celebrities are. A false prophet; a sham.

From the moment I saw him, I knew he was the real deal. He emanated genuine modesty and compassion, wearing flip-flops on bare feet, along with the shapeless sheets that were his robes.

For two days he spoke, always keeping to a schedule, never using notes, exploring with remarkable clarity the depths of Buddhist ideals and human nature. His mind has the complexity of a labyrinth; yet he is all heart.

He received accolades, honors and unending praise that would make anyone uncomfortable at least — and egomaniacal at worst.

All he said was, “I’m going to get a big head!” and roared with his trademark laugh.

It’s hard to imagine a saint walking among us, but I believe he is.

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