Erika Sanely (erika_sanely) wrote,
Erika Sanely
erika_sanely

Day 15 (In which me and the Dalai Lama become BFF's)

So as I was saying, yesterday I traveled down to Canberra for a conversation with the Dalai Lama. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak in person, I totally recommend it. He speaks very eloquently, and has a really soothing voice. I firmly believe you could get him to read a Stephen king novel, and you would find the experience moving, his voice is that soothing.

He talked about how we need to have more compassion in our lives, and how we need to be careful of biased compassion, which is something I've never thought of before. (Basically, how it's easy to show and have compassion for a friend, than it is for an enemy. A simple thought, but one I'd never considered before.) He giggles a lot more than I figured a man of his stature would. He also spoke of the need to forgive the person, but not the actions of the person, which he admitted is difficult, but a worthy state of mind.

And I must admit that I kept getting distracted by the woman who was translating his words into sign language. He speaks beautifully, and watching his words become actions of this woman is probably the biggest memory I've taken away from the experience. Admittedly, I don't often (well, ever) get to watch sign language in action, so I don't know if the rhythm and sheer beauty of this woman's hands is how it always is, or if it was from listening to him speak of love and kindness and compassion and wisdom and watching her hands dance along to the cadence of his voice.

He took questions from the audience, and the son of a woman I know (incredibly small world) got to ask a question about becoming a Buddhist. (In short, study all religions before choosing one. Saying you are does not make it so.) Another child asked him if he had a pet, and what was its name. (In case you're wondering, he has had dogs in the past, and has a cat now. Cats are hard work compared to dogs. Cats only follow you when hungry, otherwise they ignore you. Right on, D.L. Right on.)

I am so very glad I went. I don't think it has made me a better person listening to him, but it has made me glad to alive in a world filled with people who want people to be better through love and compassion for others.
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